H1 – Keep on the Shadowfell – Game Session 8

Game summary for April 23, 2009; present characters included Galinndan (eladrin wizard) and Gloombrood Sorrow (tiefling rogue) accompanied by mercenaries Bree Shinbreaker (halfling cleric) and Skald Konietzko (dwarf warlord).

The team advanced down the stairs into the caverns and discovered numerous giant rats scurrying along the ceiling. The vicious creatures ran up and down stalactites, biting the Unspeakables as they moved through. Before long, it became apparent why the rats traveled on the ceiling—a massive ochre jelly soon sloshed up to the party and tried to consume them! Fighting broke out in earnest, with rats falling from the ceiling and oozes splitting into smaller, still vicious, puddles. After a long, pitched fight, the Unspeakables won out and defeated all the vermin, but not without taking substantial injury.

After the battle, the team discovered a secret room in the caves and holed up. After six hours, the team awoke refreshed and alert, ready for whatever additional dangers the dungeons would hold.

H1 – Keep on the Shadowfell – Game Session 7

Game summary for April 16, 2009; present characters included Adran Thorn (half-elf ranger), Balasar Scaleskin (dragonborn fighter), Galinndan (eladrin wizard), and Gloombrood Sorrow (tiefling rogue).

Wasting no time, Balasar slashed through the curtains blocking the adjoining passageway. He plunged through to find goblin cutters and warriors waiting. Vicious fighting ensued, but the Unspeakables soon put down all the goblinoid vermin.

They proceeded through a pair of doors to find another goblin warrior, and Balgron the Fat. Balgron launched crossbow bolts while the warrior engaged. Adran ran forward to press the pudgy goblin and got swatted in the knees with Balgron’s club for his efforts. Then, the overweight injured goblin waddled through some curtains and disappeared. The group quickly advanced on the curtains and found they surrounded a bed and Balgron’s mate, but no Balgron! The screaming female goblin was convinced to tell them Balgron had fled through the wall. A quick search unveiled a secret door!

Through the door, down the steps and through another secret door brought the Unspeakables into a hallway. Following a trail of blood, they found themselves back at the entrance of the keep. They decided to head the opposite direction to investigate some voices they had heard. They discovered a large chamber being excavated by a trio of goblins. The floor was dug up all over, and wooden beams connected islands of flagstone in a sea of open pit. Down in the dirt, a pair of guard drakes snarled and spat.

Ever the headstrong hero, Balasar lunged out across one of the beams, which cracked and collapsed under his weight! The dragonborn crashed to the earth below and was hounded by a guard drake. Meanwhile, the goblins scrambled up onto islands and lobbed volleys of crossbow bolts at the group. The ferocious attack drove the group back. Galinndan unleashed a sleep spell, which knocked out one archer. Balasar struggled to get away from the drake, and Gloombrood launched sling stones at the crossbowmen. Bravely, Adran stepped forward and shot one drake and one goblin, killing them both. His allies rallied and pressed the advantage. Gloombrood attempted to cross over to the goblin island but lost his footing. Were he not so agile, he would have landed heavy, but instead he rolled to a comfortable stop in the dirt. Galinndan continued a barrage of magic missiles while Adran launched bolts. Soon, the enemies were slain.

Nursing a severely injured Adran, the team moved on. They discovered a dark stairway descending into some sort of cave. They tossed down torches and a sun rod to reveal scattering rodent-like forms the size of a dog. What horrors lurk in these depths?

H1 – Keep on the Shadowfell – Game Session 6

Game summary for April 9, 2009; present characters included Adran Thorn (half-elf ranger), Balasar Scaleskin (dragonborn fighter), Galinndan (eladrin wizard), and Gloombrood Sorrow (tiefling rogue).

The Unspeakables wasted no time proceeding deeper into the complex. They headed North and heard goblin voices from beyond a door. The group kicked open the doors to find some goblins who had heard the commotion from a few moments earlier. These goblins were lead by a cruel hobgoblin torturer swinging a burning poker. Battle was joined, and Galinndan took up a position in the doorway, where he was riddled with crossbow bolts. The torturer went about setting Gloombrood and Balasar on fire.

Soon, the goblins spilled out into the hallway and brought the fight to the Unspeakables. They put away their crossbows and engaged in melee. The mighty Balasar went down under a flurry of brutal strikes. Grievously injured, Adran and Gloombrood kept up the fight. Eventually, they killed the last of the monsters and dragged their defeated allies into the torture room.

Inside, they discovered a cell occupied by Splug the goblin. Splug claimed to be awaiting his execution for sleeping with Balgron’s woman. The Unspeakables learned that Balgron is the chief of the goblins, and Splug agreed to show the team where he is. In addition, the goblin revealed himself a follower of the King that Crawls. The foul goblin made a horrendous salve that he forced into the nostrils and mouths of the fallen allies. He then danced about and invoked dark powers, which resurrected the dead and healed the injured. Then, true to his word, Splug took the group 15 feet to a doorway he claimed led to Balgron.

The team proceeded into the hallway beyond the doors and found a pair of goblin guards. They dispatched them quickly, but not before they could yell for assistance. Behind them, the Unspeakables caught a fleeting glimpse of Splug running from the complex, flying them the bird all the way. From beyond the curtains in the room, feet scuffle, doors slam, and blades hiss from sheathes. How many goblins are coming to play?

Twilight – A Vampire Tale

Okay, so there has been all this hype about Twilight, people asking if I’ve seen it, talking about how good it is, and so on. When my wife started mentioning wanting to watch it, I thought I’d have to check it out. So, we rented it.

If you would like to save the time of the rest of this review, I’ll sum in one word: T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. It wasn’t until watching this movie that I realized how overdone the whiny, bitchy, love-struck male vampire is in media. It really started with Dracula, but then, he started it all really. But consider some of the latest vamps such as Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mick St. John from Moonlight. Our society has taken the bite out of vampires! They are all becoming cry babies.

The worst by far though, is Edward Cullen from Twilight. Every scene he is on the verge of a crying fit. He sticks out his trembling lower lip, sulls up, and makes me want to stake him through the face! Not since Sesame Street have vampires been portrayed so ludicrously.

Really, the whole vampire in love with a woman thing is just about as silly as you or I falling in love with a chicken. You gaze longingly at the chicken, lay in the coop with it, stroking its feathers as it sleeps, trying to avoid temptation. Finally, when your will is weak, you lock lips to beak and pray you don’t slam that sucker into a deep frier and chow down KFC-style! Of course, you have to explain to the chicken the imminent danger. In fact, you tried to have a relationship with a cow some years back, and ole Bessy ended up steak, but that’s all in the past. This time, you won’t falter! At least not more than a nugget or two. I cannot help but think of movies like Rise or Blade, where you see what a horrendous mess vampire feeding can really be. For the sequel, let’s call Twilight what it really is, Romancing the Chicken.

At least characters like Angel got mad and broke things, and people, from time to time. He also had relapses into his bestial side, Angelus. Don’t forget when Spike “fell in love” with Buffy, it was still tainted by his vampire nature, and he even attempted to rape her. Vampires aren’t romantic figures, they are predators!

Back to Twilight. Even the “bad” vampires are not so bad. They have great lines like “you brought a snack” and “don’t play with your food”. Wow. Makes one want to shatter the kitchen chair, sharpen up one leg, and stake yourself right there in front of the TV.

Now, I can accept a PG-13 rated vampire movie, and I understand this film is for the romantic 13-year old teenie girls out there. That’s fine, but even at that, this movie is abysmal. The pacing is so S-L-O-W. Minute after minute of awkward silence, lip-trembling, and nothingness. Nothing. Nothing going on. The main characters just stare at each other, make a comment, and stare some more.

Let us not forget some of the riveting variations on the vampire legend. They seem to have venom instead of fangs, which is okay. Twilight isn’t the first to come up with this. My favorite though, is why they cannot go into sunlight. Sunlight makes them too sparkly! Yeah, they glitter like diamonds in the sunlight, so the MUST NOT BE SEEN. Slap on some blush and STFU.

This movie really made me cry tears of blood, mainly because I was clawing at my eyes. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one. If I prevent one poor soul from watching this film, I have been successful. The whiny boy-toy vampire who has lived for 200 years and still hasn’t grown a pair is old hat. Can we please, pretty please, come up with something new?

H1 – Keep on the Shadowfell – Game Session 5

Game summary for April 2, 2009; present characters included Adran Thorn (half-elf ranger), Balasar Scaleskin (dragonborn fighter), Galinndan (eladrin wizard), and Gloombrood Sorrow (tiefling rogue).

The team asked some more questions around town for a while and finally decided to set out to the north toward what they believed to be the ruins of an old keep. The traveled the King’s Road into the evening, following a set of tracks they believed belonged to Ninaran. After a while, the tracks diverged from the main path into the dark, gloomy woods. In a clearing, the tracks mingled with a number of smaller prints, perhaps from goblins.

The Unspeakables trudged on into the night and finally made camp. They rested fitfully in the wet, murky, foggy, forest. Shadows moved about, and wolves howled in the distance. Eventually, the group broke camp and marched on in the pre-dawn light. After a short while, the Unspeakables discovered a burned out ruin with a cleared area exposing a stairwell into the darkness. Numerous muddy boot prints came and went from the stairs. The team descended into the torchlit catacombs.

Within the dungeon, the Unspeakables found a group of vicious goblins. After hurling several insults, the diminutive goblinoids hurled javelins and crossbow bolts. The Unspeakables responded with equal violence. Adran stumbled into a pit trap and had to fight his way free of hundreds of rats. Meanwhile, the others traded blows with goblins warriors and sharpshooters. With much cursing and copious amounts of bloodshed, the Unspeakables proved victorious. With the goblins dead, and every inhabitant of the dungeon undoubtedly alerted to their presence, the Unspeakables prepare to explore. What horrors await in the ancient catacombs?