Thicket II

21 October, 2013

Still having trouble finding Durak’s “voice”, so I’ll write this OOC.

Not a lot of plot this week, mainly hack-and-slash. We are still fighting our way through a goblin complex.

A couple of fun RP moments. Durak has taken Cleave as a feat, and asked Bevis’ varisian gypsy rogue, since cleave reduces his AC, if he might grab that ring of protection back. Being lawful, Durak sees all treasure as party treasure. The gypsy’s answer was “What? You gave this ring to me, and now you want it back? I do not understand.”

RP aside, Durak has a lot of HP and damage reduction – he’s built to take punishment so it probably is best.

I forgot to play Durak’s fear of water as we crossed the bridge. Problem is – being a 3rd level paladin he’s immune to fear, so where does that leave us?

Anyway. Back to work.


15 October, 2013

I’ve left it a bit late to blog last weeks game, so I’ll summarise.

We foofed around for a bit, ran off to defend a farm from some goblins. This was inserted by the DM, although he ought not to have told us so 🙂 . I had Durak do the defender thing – insert himself bodily between bad guys and party members. All good. There was running. Oh, and Andrew permitted me to order in some lamellar stone armour, which should arrive in two weeks. +8 base AC W00T! Masterwork, of course, so it can be enchanted later.

Then we followed some in-game leads to the island where one of the goblin tribes were located. It turned out not to be an island, but a headland, so Durak’s fear of water (his role-playing weakness) didn’t become a thing.

Combat was interesting, and took place inside a thicket of bramble, with rooms laid out like a cave complex. Cute. The tall members of the party were in difficult terrain, and the SBEG was a goblin druid with entangle. Reflex saves, strength or escape artist checks – all that stuff. Durak is crap at both, but rolled well and was able to get out of the zone. He left a mook goblin alive because it obvious he or she was not the real problem, once the druid appeared.

The real threat was not the druid himself, but his animal companion – a cougar. A serious foe for 2nd level characters.

I’m getting to grips with the capabilities of my character – use of Lay on Hands. Screwed up tactics a bit. Dave summoned a dog to engage the druid. Durak should have left the druid alone and concentrated on the cougar. He wasted a round, while Bevis’ rogue (and everyone else) got hammered by the thing.

Role-playing-wise, Bevis’ rogue attacked the druid after he had surrendered. On the one hand, this is totally unacceptable behaviour. Durak is shocked, shocked, shocked. Outraged. On the other hand – fucking goblins. Let’s face it: it wasn’t going to behave honorably, and it was threat to civilised folk. Realistically, killing it was the only sensible option, and Durak has the wisdom to know this even if he doesn’t like it.

Perhaps a compromise that he can live with is to explicitly declare “no quarter”, to negotiate with the party beforehand that that is the attitude going in, and to spend a round communicating it to the enemy. Nasty, but lawful. They are goblins, and this is war, not a polite skirmish.


13 October, 2013


9 October, 2013

Durak be my name. Durak Stoneson – as proud and fine a name as a dwarf could wish for. Why I am down here so far from the mountains is a tale for another time. Suffice to say – wherever I be, I serve Torag the all-father.

Durak Stoneson is a “stonelord” – a variant paladin.

Thus, when a woman come running past, calling for help and heading into a tavern, I do not simply walk onward. Never! I enter the tavern to see what the problem may be. And so I did.

Well, the woman had run into the tavern to find a group of travelers – adventurers, unless I missed my guess. Such roving bands can be a plague on the landscape, but they do keep the monsters down. My doubts were eased with the mutters around the room: “Heroes of Sandpoint” and among them – wonder of wonders – a dwarf! Oddly dressed, more like an elf than anything: leather togs, bow. Probably has spent years away from the mountains. Him and a brace of human females (found out later they are sisters).

Well, it seems Sandpoint has been having goblin trouble, and the woman actually had one in her house, her closet. A child, too, so naturally we all of us went straight there. We found the damn thing, but were too late to save her husband. A sad outcome, but there was nothing we could have done to prevent it.

These Heroes of Sandpoint were pleased to invite me to be part of their group, and I were pleased to be numbered among them as quite frankly they were a bit light on the “Hitting things with a weapon” aspect of the adventuring life. There was a fourth – a human bladesman, but he was temporarily on other business. The four of us went to see the local ranger, to get the lie of the land.

It seems there are five goblin tribes in the area, each with a home range and a leader. Normally they keep each other in check but recently they have been organised, which is unusual for goblins and very, very bad news indeed. NOt just that they are fighting in bands, but that there is something out there mean enough to make these sadistic but flighty little buggers do it. They are not empire-builders, ye ken. Left to themselves, goblins will amuse themselves pulling wings off flies and never bother decently prepared civilised folk.

Back at the tavern, a terrible scene – a family squabble. Right out in public, no less, and ending with a father disowning his daughter! A shocking, terrible thing. I shouldn’t judge, but humans can be a callous folk. The father seemed to feel there was some matter of honour, but what dishonour could be worse than airing this kind of business in public?

I think its correct for dwarves to put very high importance on family. Durak is recently down from the mountains and not really accustomed to humans yet.

Next morning, more bad news. The daughter had gone missing. We investigated and found a note left by her brother, asking her to go to the famous Sandpoint glassworks. HAd there been more family trouble? Or worse? We went there without delay.

The front door was closed. A bad sign – the shop should have been open. The side door closed too. We forced the door, and as soon as we were inside heard goblins! We charged in immediately – the furnace room had over a half-dozen of the things and the brother, plainly in league with them. We fought, managing to kill the evil little bastards and knock the brother unconscious, although matters might have gone worse if Zoran had not shown up at the critical moment. One of the girls is a healer, and damned lucky we are for that, and the other a summoner. Again a stroke of providence, as she summons dogs – a goblin’s mortal enemy.

Durak is developing a personality already – just charge in and fight. But I think he was forced to it by circumstance: we were there on a rescue. I don’t think hes an idiot, but since it’s me playing him it’s inevitable he’ll have some of Switch’s bad tactical judgement. Like switch, he spent several rounds unconscious and bleeding out.

We tied up the brother, and searched the place. His father he had … had … By Torag’s hammer! He had encased his own father in glass! A patricide! If the humans will not administer justice for this act, then I swear I shall. Even if not by his hand, he had permitted it to be done. Had the father brought it on himself by his treatment of his own daughter, his flesh and blood? It matters not. Such things – such acts must not be unanswered.

Patriarchial cultures take a very, very, very, very dim view of patricide. Rome A dwarf’s father effectively is an avatar of Torag. Thus patricide is not merely a murder, it is a blasphemy. The Romans, for instance, had a specific punishment for it administered by the priests of Jupiter. Ironic since Jupiter/Zeus killed his own father, the titan Chronos.

His sister we found below, in the basement. And a tunnel into the wall, leading into the sandstone. It seems this glassworks was to be the portal for a goblin attack on the town.

Our – my – priority was to bring the son to justice. I would not simply send the two of them off to see the sheriff, her word against his. The tunnel could wait – it had clearly been there for months, and if goblins were about to boil out of it there’s precious little we five could do about it. We saw the girl to safety, the young man into the hands of justice, and set to exploring the tunnels.

Well, I would like to have shown my no doubt distant cousin some stonework, him spending so long away from the mountains, but it was all sandstone. Rubbish! A mere rub with the thumb and it flakes away. Ah well. He seemed impressed nonetheless. How he must miss the halls of home!

Andrew had each of us choose a flaw for our characters. Bhalek, the dwarf ranger, is claustrophobic (which is why he’s a ranger). Fun times at the table. Durak has a good Sense Motive, but I think we can permit him this little blind spot – unable to fathom claustrophobia, or admit that a dwarf might suffer from it – for comedy reasons.

The tunnels ran all the way under town, connecting with a few of the cellars. Then we found a better-worked area. Not dwarven standard of course, and sandstone, but to give the humans their due – they had done some nice work with it. But to bad purpose.

There was a statue of a human woman or perhaps goddess, her face contorted in rage, and all over the chamber writings some odd untranslatable script. None of us had a clue as to who she might be.

I have some out-of-game info, just background on Golarion and Thallasia, so I recognised the statue. It’s pretty obvious, really.

Further in, a font of unholy water (which, I joked, needed to be purified by the urine of a righteous dwarf). And beyond that a chapel. What to say? We fought a little demon – a quasit, while out of a magic pool came a succession undead things (oh, there were other ones elsewhere in the tunnels) of a kind that my training did not mention. One of the touched me and my mind was afflicted with visions of … wrongdoing.

But in the end, the pool lost its power to bring more undead out, and the quasit finally took an arrow to the wing – once down, it was easily finished.

We explored the rest of the complex, but there was little to find. We transcribed the writings, and tomorrow we shall ask the sage what he makes of them. We shall also collapse the tunnels, I think – I’m sure Bahlek and I will be able to work out something between us.

On the US government shutdown

6 October, 2013

The United States of America has only ever had one serious enemy. One enemy that has invaded the “homeland”, one enemy founded and dedicated to the destruction of the United States.

They lost their war, and the United States absorbed them, and forced every child to swear an oath:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The confederates swear this oath falsely, every day, and put the flag to which they their allegiance was truly given on the homes, their cars, their t-shirts, tatooed on their bodies: fucking everywhere.

Having lost the war, they adopted political subversion as their primary strategy – installing their agents in the US government. Prior to Nixon, they were democrats; more recently: republicans – but the name of the political party has never mattered. The commies were never the subversives: the confederates were. And are.

This strategy has worked. October 17, the United States of America runs out of money to pay its creditors, blocked by confederates that they have foolishly permitted into the halls of their government.

They can limp along for years, but ultimately the only thing that will fix this is secession – undoing Lincoln’s great mistake.