And so it ends

22 September, 2013


We are alive. All of us. And Nerissa is dead. Or, at least as dead as she can be. She lived in a separate pocket plane – wheels within wheels. It was the fact that Locate Object could not find Briar that was the main clue. I tripped the portal to her plane within a plane with a correctly keyed visualisation. Happily, we had a group share thoughts effect, so the others were able to follow.

The fight was – well, as tough as you might be able to imagine. 8th level spells, and a pair of shambling mounds tricked out with just about every artifact we had discovered over the past few years. All scattered across the astral plane, now. She was beaten up by the boys – my main contribution was Glitterdusting her so that Rainor could see where to aim (oh – and dealing with a Wall of Force at one point), but once the mounds were dead she abandoned stealth and simply dropped one high-level spell after another on us – I recognised Prismatic Spray, Firestorm, Gruyere our healer was Mazed at one point … I was twice within a fingernail of dying.

But we have prevailed. And Fredonia faces now the harrowing prospect of a few decades of Peace and Prosperity. Perhaps His Majesty will be up to the challenge, perhaps not.

I will remain a season or two, to see the royal heir. Morgana tells me that the queen carries twins. Then I will come home and heal my soul for a while, under th trees, under the stars. Father sent me out about the annuals to grow up a little. If seeing bloodshed makes an elf an adult, then surely I am one now.

After that – I really don’t know. I hope that King Jope’s line continues – perhaps even beyond my lifetime. But our shared destiny is done, now, I feel its ties slipping away.

Expect me home by – oooh, let’s say before two turnings.

I am,
Switch, thief and convict
Countess Verdant, of Fredonia
Once chosen of Zon Kuthon
but always,
Your sister, Seldryn

Goodbye Switch! It will be a melancholy moment when I put you into the shredder! You will always be, for me, proof that Arcane Trickster rocks as a class.

Thanks most of all to Dave, who for just shy of three years has DM’ed above and beyond the call, not just running game but fleshing out each of our characters with backstory and seamlessly and imaginatively integrating those stories into the campaign, inventing whole slabs of module – cloudarc temple, the kobold slaves, and God knows what else because it was so well done that even at the end we didn’t know what was Paizo and what was Dave.

Amazing job.

He wrote a coda for each of our characters.

Switch, it seems, grows bored of the elven court and – after a series of high-profile burglaries, each of which bears the tell-tale evidence that no-one has any clue how they might possibly have been accomplished – shows up at Castle Tuskwater with a bag of holding containing a number and variety of rather powerful magic items. Many which she herself crafted … but some which she almost certainly didn’t. She shows up just in time to either assist her old comrades explore (ie: annexe) parts of the feywild, or to deal with some rather nasty developments happening up north in Brevoy. Epic-level stuff.

But, as Michael Ende said – that’s another tale, and will be told another time.

Next post will be Andrew’s campaign, running the rebooted “Rise of the Runelords”.


29 July, 2013

Goodness, I haven’t made a diary entry in ages. And so much to write about!

We get the impression, from Briar, that Nerissa has some few main underlings and that killing them might be a good idea. So instead of simply heading to where we think her castle is, we are taking side trips, and periodically returning to prime for much-needed recuperation.

We took down the enormous crow (or whatever it was) that seemed to be linked to the dreams that had been besetting our people. It was shrouded in shadows and hard to hit – I burned a Limited Wish and a 1500gp diamond to duplicate the effect of a Farie Fire spell, after which it was easy meat for his majesty.

We were attacked by frost giants in a frozen graveyard – one of them being particularly enormous and four-armed. It was a straight-up fight, that one: I didn’t get involved.

We visited some sort of iron beehive thing, and were attacked by trolls. One particularly big one had a necklace made of soul cages, which we had enountered before – any harm done to the wearer is transferred to the pixies trapped within. While Jope and Rainor dealt with the other trolls, Kalos fumbled about, attempting to get the necklace off the troll with his lance. Not the right tool for the job. Happily, Gruyere cast a spell on it, forbidding it to attack, and it retreated indoors. I asked Kalos to kindly bugger off and Dimension Doored inside its home – chasing it about until I could grab the necklace, then Dimension Doored out again and freed the pixies. Always prepare two castings of Dimension Door – one to get you into trouble, and one to get you out again.

Switch used an improved invis and a expeditious retreat to chase the thing, and Arcane Trickster “Ranged Legerdemain” to swipe the MacGuffin. DM handwaved the chase.

And while I was busy doing that, the boys beat it up, and we stacked the trolls outside and set fire to them. [We just assumed this – didn’t actually do the “making sure they were actually dead” bit IIRC.]

At which point, we headed to the big tower thing that we had been leaving till last. As we suspected, it was the same as the tower that appeared breifly on out plane, disgorging an army of fey. On this plane, it is surrounded by statues of fey – all broken. We surmise that each statue is one of the fey that came to our plane and was killed.

Rainor heard deep, very slow breathing within, and we surmised “dragon” – the great blue dragon that we had seen earlier. So we cast protections from lighning and his majesty insisted on attacking through the air, from the top. I thought that was a bit pointless, but it turns out that it was the right thing to do.

Inside the tower was an enormous pile of treasure, moving as the dragon beneath it breathed. I blatted it with my most powerful offensive spell and we were attacked. From above. With acid.


Still haven’t surprised anything and used the Arcane Trickster “surprise spell” class ability.

Completely fooled. It was invisible, and completely the wrong colour. The attack popped the Phantom Steeds that Gruyere and I were using, and the acid formed a pool at the base of the tower into which we were dropping. I cast Feather Fall and was lucky enough to fall on the pile of treasure. I spent ages casting Fly, and when I finally attacked it with a Disintegrate it dodged the blow. Double damn.

Next thing I know, I was on the floor with Kalos was applying a paste – Stone Salve. I had been petrified. Another few precious seconds to cast See Invisible and Glitterdust, and then I flew up to give Gruyere a Resist Energy. The damn dragon nearly got me.

Switch failed her reflex save by one point, was out of action points, and should be seriously dead. But we are at the “Fuck it, let’s finish this campaign” stage.

And no-one wants Zack Jackson back.

I finally dropped a Greater Dispel Magic into it, targetting any See Invisible or True Sight spells it might have. Now I was ready to lay down some hurt! But Rainor, who had been calmly firing arrow after dragon-bane arrow into the thing got his final shot and felled it. Deservedly so, and it’s unbecoming to be grumpy about it I suppose.

The dragon was rocking See Invisible, Mage Armour and Fire Resistance, and a few other things. The greater dispel took down those three, and I totally would have gotten the kill. Then again, Andrew was playing Rainor and missed a whole swag of damage that Rainor would have been doing. The fight would not have gone on for as long as it did had Brett been at the table. Get well soon, bro!

So. A dead dragon – an elder black dragon, in fact. We took its head for the trophy room (Naturally. Perhaps His Majesty might like to make it into a throne? Or a towel rack for the turtle-shell bath?) and then we fell to sorting through its hoard. Quite a bit of copper and silver – the acid not doing that any good whatsoever. I suggested that if Gruyere could Create Water, we could flush the worst of it away. There were sundry bits and pieces, plenty of diamonds (I shall Shatter some at next opportunity – I am fresh out of dust for Stoneskin).

Second-cheesiest spell in the book: Stoneskin (communal). We have gone through 5000gp worth of diamond dust so far at 100gp per recipient. Totally worth it. Cheesiest is now Greater Forbid Action.

There was an Apparatus of The Crab under all that coin. I’m fairly sure that that’s what the dragon had placed his illusion on, to make us think that he was beneath it all. An enchanted starknife, which I have claimed, a gem of seeing, a Manual of Bodily Health (for Kalos, whose companions keep getting confused and using him as a practice dummy), Cloak of the Bat (for Jope, I think, who often needs to fly at things to beat them up), some armour, a pair of (very powerful) bracers of armour, and – Sweet Desna! Oh my god! A Rod of Quicken Spell, and not just any, but a Greater Rod of Quicken Spell! There’s not a mage on Golarion but would seriously consider selling their soul for such! Never in my wildest – well, actually, several times in my wildest dreams. But now – how many of these can there be in the whole world?

As I mentioned, nominated “rods” for my special prize and rolled 100. Un-freaking-believable. I might go wizard instead of rogue for my next (and probably final) level, now that I can get off those high-level spells.

We rode the Apparatus of the Crab back to the portal to prime, and I’m sure the royal navy will welcome the addition to their amphibious division. I might add some illusions to it, when we have leisure to do so, and King Jope – master armourer that he is – has some ideas too.

After passing through the portal, we found that several days had passed, and the dreams had ceased as we had hoped they would with the death of the giant raven in the other world. Nerissa knows that we are coming for her, Briar in hand. I think the people need to see their victorious king, dragon-head in tow. We oughn’t dally, but I think we need some time off. There’s a spell: Forcecage, which I have been working on, and we have more than enough ruby from the dragon hoard for a few castings.

And, if we succeed, after that? I don’t know. Perhaps I should return home, or at least visit. I cannot stay with the annuals forever, as some of us have. But it says a great deal that I can think of a future beyond this war.

Random treasure

29 July, 2013

So anyway, we killed a dragon. An elder black dragon, if you please. I should write it up, but there was a lot of fumbling around. Got turned to stone, at one point.

Anyway. Dave the DM looks at the loot in the module and says “Pfft! Call this a dragon hoard? Ok, guys: weapons, armour, rings, rods, staffs or wondrous items. Pick one each, roll percentile.”

I picked “rods”. Hey – I could get lucky!

Rolled 100.

Greater metamagic rod of quicken.


Has Desna forgiven Switch, yet? I don’t know. But things have definitely gotten cheesier.