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Wind, Wave, Flame, & Rock – Poem by Venndalan Vaeldaar, Eladrin Sorcerer, Esq.

July 30, 2010

Wind, Wave, Flame, and Rock.

Air breaks fast on our faces,
We seem to fly along zephyr winds and the pieces fall where they may.
When it seems that we have choice,
The push of Wind shows us where to go.

Surges break on the shore,
Across the keel the Water bends and shapes our direction.
At times when we go with the everflow,
The tide of Wave helps us along.

Fires burn brightest with tending.
The burning of the Old creates the New.
The cinders float towards the future,
And the Flame guides the way.

Earth stands fast and solid.
The weight of the world in every pebble.
The movement may become difficult,
But the Rock holds true meaning in it’s trials.

Primordial Forces

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Words to page – A note to Nydia

May 18, 2010

A note left in my companion Nydia’s pack after the fall of Tyrias and the stabilization of Areah.


My good lady Nydia,

I have long thought of the contents of this note, but have not had the time nor courage to write it.

I have of course noted the distance between us since the night of Raleigh’s reclaiming. I cannot say that this has been easy for me, nor I’m feeling for you. I need to try and explain things from my viewpoint, and hope that you can see fit to reconcile. Your friendship means the world to me. You were the first that I told about my true nature here in Ishtal, and that I hope is not lost on you.

I shall just begin with a basic truth. I am the Raven Queen’s hand on this material plane. You and I both know that this is not a matter of faith. The gods exist and are real. And my mistress has goals and plans that are mine to enact. I was raised to this, and ofttimes have direct knowledge of her wishes.

And as much as I hope this next fact does not cause you further distress, Raleigh knew this to be true as well. As a follower of the Dark Lady, she was well versed in the wants and needs of her goddess. She followed her fate to this strange place because she was guided by a direct hand. She thought her place was to be raised up and made something more than herself. And in a very real way, this is what occurred. Noose the warforged was made real by my actions directly guided by something truly greater than all of us.

Again, I am aware of your thoughts on Fate. We differ here, but think on this. The Raven Queen is not only the mistress of Death and Fate, but Winter. The season of decline is as much a natural part of the cycle of things as Death. From Winter’s cold grasp comes the new promise of Spring’s Life. Just as Raleigh’s Fate gave a new Birth to Noose’s beginnings. We all played our roles in that.

Growing up in the Shadowfell I felt the trueness of the Dark Lady every day. I lived in her home plane, and knew nothing but her Truth. This whole ordeal with Raleigh really shook that to the core. I had a crisis of Faith, but in the end I realized it is not Faith that drives me. It is the knowledge that all of this is very real. Very simple. Very necessary.

I hope that through my words you can begin to understand that we are not all that different in our service to our gods. By necessity the means will be different, but the ends are similar. I want what is best for people. It was just that in this case, that meant Raleigh was to move on to her destiny. She knew that. And finally so did I.

I am truly your friend in all of this. We are bonded us five. I hope that one day you will feel the same way again.

~ Zire


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Testing out this from my iPad

April 30, 2010

Just got a new toy from the FedEx truck. A shiny candy like Apple iPad with 32GB storage and 3G/WiFi connectivity. It really is like holding the net in your hands. Sure net books can and have done these things and have for years, but this is a more intimate, personal experience.
I’ve loaded all my 4E dnd books on it, as well as a bunch of comics, just in case. Adding bookmarks as we speak, but really i’m finding that I’m visiting different sites just for the sheer pleasure of it. The news is now more insistent. The WiKi links more of a trap for me.

Good thing this thing has the battery life of a god.

So no dnd update this go around. Just the expression of “how did I do without this thing” that I last felt when I got my iPhone. Just…wow.

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….I live…

April 7, 2010

I’ve been offline for a bit but I’ve returned to active duty.

Upcoming:

DnD Encounters week 4 write up
Ishtal write up from our last jailbreak episode
MORE MORE MORE!

I have a poem or two in my head banging around so they should soon surface.

Watch my back and I’ll watch yours, fellows!

“Being the Hand of The Raven Queen is very freeing. Fate walks with me, and death not far behind.”

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#DnDEnc – Or how I learned to love Undermountain: Week 2

March 26, 2010

Raziel rechecked his harness again as he was lowered into the darkness.  The lights of the Yawning Portal seemed farther away than he cared to think.  His years in the guard never prepared him for this.  As he reached bottom, he double tugged the rope and waited in the dark for the half-orc to join him.  At times he thought he could hear breathing in front and to the sides, but for now he was safe.

Undermountain

Once the orcish Runepriest got his footing, the world exploded.  A gang of rabble emerged from their hiding places, along with a Halfling wielding a wicked sword.  Even in the commotion, they were able to make out two ruffians, with a large scorpion on chains in front of them.  Raziel yelled up the well to his companions above. “We’re going to need a little help down here.  NOW!”

The Swordmage flashed into action, greenfire arcing into the halfling.  The ruffians advanced just as the Druid, Tal hit the wet stone floor to access the scene.  Almost immediately, a pillar of lightning was summoned and gave a ruffian a story to tell in the afterlife.  The Runepriest glowed with a blue light and took out one of the dead man’s company.

Just then the Halfling set into Raziel, drawing deep blood.  Raziel stifled a scream, and again struck the halfling, the air shimmering around him.  Just as the Tiefling Belial loosened the ropes of his makeshift harness, the scorpion was loosed on him and bit down on his leg.  The Druid replied by a quick shift into lion form, locusts pouring from him not once but twice taking the scorpion and the last of the ruffians out of the fight.  A very real sense of déjà vu came over Tal, and he steeled his nerves.

This left the halfling, and the two scorpion handlers to take care of.  An obscuring ochre mist seeped from the shadows making it hard to make out friend from foe.  Combat shifted back and forth with the handlers taking the Runepriest to the brink. Curses were uttered and horrible Eldritch Blasts loosed. But in the end all that remained was the Party of Four, rattled and bloodied but standing still.  Stranger yet, the Halfling’s form melted into that of a Changeling.

This would be Undermountain’s greeting.   None are welcome here.

Next week cannot come soon enough!

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Road Stories: Sharing the Chex Mix with new friends

March 23, 2010

I’m all about player creativity in Dungeons and Dragons.

To me, the game is a shared creative work.  This hasn’t always been my opinion however.  Back in earlier editions of the game, specifically Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, I felt that it was the DM’s World, and that we as players were there to enjoy it, sometimes rebel against it, and generally try to shape it with our actions.  But there was no give and take, no shared world building. The end. Amen.

I’m not certain if this was just the longtime DM’s influence, the way we learned the game, or if it was built in to the game subtlety or not so subtlety.  Its been some time since I had the opportunity to sit down with those books and get a feel for it again.  We won’t be blaming my younger brother for selling all of my RPG horde while I was away at school in this post.  I’m sure that that will fuel one of its own.

Whichever influence shaped this mindset, 4th edition has really changed that for me in a lot of ways.  Backstory now includes events that happened along the way, that have details not provided by the DM in advance.  My Avenger, Zire, for example, had to travel with his mentor from his monastery south to the Lowlands, through the Dwarven Nations, through a shallow piece of the Underdark, and finally through the lowland plains alongside a pilgrim’s convoy to get to the parties starting spot.  Fairly basic stuff, unless you consider that most of that didn’t exist in the world before a player wrote it into being.  From the mentor, to the monastery, to the dwarves we met, to the fight against the fire elementals while underground, and the pilgrim’s passage, all of it came from a player’s imagination.  And of course from a great DMs understanding and care.

All of this is a long expository just to insert and celebrate the idea of shared world-building.  And along those lines, my suggestions for Road Stories.

Road Stories are something that I have introduced to my fellow players in our Ishtal campaign recently.  In those times that you have some uneventful days of travel, across boundless tracks of wilderness, or roads trafficked with nothing but benign wildlife, rather than just says days past, you as players can use this time to bring to the table 2 -3 things that you would have as characters shared with friends along the way around the campfire.

Always have a short list of events from the past years of your PC’s life that you can use to shape the world around you.   This is your stage to dazzle but keep it within your character’s capabilities or you risk breaking the shared sense of disbelief.  Very few new adventurers have bested a Balor in single combat, but you sure could have fought alongside a Dwarven scouting party to hold back some minor fire elementals, while trying to hold back your fear.

Thought of a bandit encampment that you passed along the way?  Tell us about it.  Some strange and unexplained magical phenomenon you saw while sailing across the sea?  Details, please!  The best Dungeon Masters will grab at the chance to revisit this later on in your travels.  Some appreciate the plot hooks you’re raining down on them.

Again, depending on the overall feel of your campaign, don’t blow your wad with airship battles and planar invasions.  The smallest details can still bring about fun and creative event with a clever DM in place.

Worldbuild, help shape your surroundings, then have fun dealing with whatever comes back for you in the night!  Its all about shared experiences, and growing your characters in the end.

I really hope that was a pilgrim’s caravan after all…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Questions? Comments? Bananas?  Feel free to use your creativity and leave a sign that you were here!

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Eventually, Hers – an elegy

March 22, 2010

Eventually, Hers

Eventually, all drop to a knee before her.
Drained of life and filled with time, they come.

Eventually, on raven’s wings they present themselves.
Always in passing, the spirits make their peace then go.

Eventually, the Dark Lady ushers them away.
Only her champions remain at her side.

Eventually, this one hopes to be worthy of this grace.
Sending the Fated on their way to my Cold Mistress.

Eventually, Hers.

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