Chapter 1: A Conjunction of Fates | Part 3

Sorry for the delay on this part, I have been adjusting to quarrantine life, and unfortunately writing had to take a side seat for a few weeks.

But now I and ‘The Wardens of Corinthia’ are back, and we continue the story with part three of chapter one!

If you want to the earlier parts of this chapter you can check them out below:

Prelude
Part 1
Part 2

I hope you enjoy the continuation of this story and a huge thank you for joining me on this adventure!

 


3

‘What does it mean?’ the sharp-eyed Dragonborn asked the wizened wizard.

‘In truth Mojito, I do not know.’ Alysha said as she poured over her scrolls and tomes, consulting all of the divination mechania that filled her study. ‘The appearance of this star is not an accident, and it clearly has some connection to the very weaves of fate that have brought you here.’

‘But it wasn’t fate that brought me here master, I chose to come here of my own volition! I travelled seeking answers from you and found you after a long journey, I was not wandering aimlessly in the wilderness!’ Mojito took a breath after his statement. He had not been able to fully learn the habit of taking breath between sentences and often waited until all thoughts were out of his mouth before re-filling his lungs.

‘I do not disagree with you, but you have just so happened to arrive in our town at the same time as two other travellers who come fleeing significant dangers and are seeking help. That is an impressive coincidence. Particularly under the burning star that is shining today.’ Alysha turned from her books and stared into a looking glass. Mojito could see nothing but a simple reflection in the polished surface, but Alysha was focused on something beyond the glass.

‘Two? There is only the gnome, no other travellers have come since I have arrived.’ replied Mojito uncertainly.

‘There was only the gnome, but a second has now arrived. It’s time for you to go to Aggie again. Tell her to go to the town square, her final guest is arriving.’ Alysha’s eyes remained focussed on what lay beyond the glass. Mojito rose, and with a bow left the wizard’s study, making his way down the spiral stair to the base of the tower, and out to the Studregg Tavern.

***

‘So what exactly did Alysha say?’ Aggie asked as Mojito led her and Tana to the town square.

‘She said that another person is coming and we are to go to the town square to meet them, she didn’t explain more than that,’ replied Mojito, impatient to find out exactly what was going on and meet this final guest. Stood in the town square, the trio watched the bustle as townsfolk attempted to carry on their work, as much as they could, whilst keeping half an eye on the burning meteor in the sky.

‘What’s goin’ on Aggie?’ Willow, the owner of one of the town’s general good stores, asked as she walked over from her small shop front.

‘Well, Alysha an’ Hektor ‘ave asked us t’ meet one of their friends out here, apparently, they are new in town.’ Aggie replied with a shrug.

‘Oh! Well that can’t be good, can it?’ Willow replied, hesitantly. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I love them two, but I mean, it can’t be good news right? Wizards friends turning up at such a time?’ Willow tried to avoid looking at Mojito and Tana as she spoke, but her eyes could not help but flicker across the group. Tana shifted uncomfortably behind Aggie’s large frame as she avoided eye contact with Willow, whilst Mojito scanned the town. If he heard Willow he did not acknowledge her.

‘Come on now, that’s no way to talk! You know these two are friends, and ‘ave been nothing but lovely since they got ‘ere!’ Aggie replied, kindly but not softly. ‘Who knows what’s happening and we have no right t’ judge people who pass through-‘

‘Oh! Who’s that?!’ Mojito called out cutting Aggie short and causing both her and Willow to turn to his direction. Mojito pointed and hopped to see over the crowd, whilst Tana hopelessly scanned the crowd’s legs. She was getting used to not seeing much when there was a lot of large-folk around, but she did not resign herself to impassivity in such a situation. Aggie looked across the square and saw someone who appeared to just as startlingly tall as her, if not taller. ‘It’s a Firbolg!’ Mojito called out ‘It must be, I have never seen one but look! It’s all furry like a Goliath with hair!’ As the Firbolg made its way through town it kept attempting to engage townsfolk in conversation. Had it been any other day Harstead would have been more than welcoming, but people were on edge with the star hanging in the morning sky, and much to Aggie’s embarrassment, people were visibly avoiding the stranger and pointing them in any direction away from themselves.

‘Hiya darlin’ how’re doing?’ Aggie asked as she strode forward through the crowd, Tana and Mojito in tow, holding out a hand to the new visitor.

‘Oh! Hello! “I” am pleased to meet you!’ replied the Firbolg placing a hand over her heart as she spoke. Seeing Aggie’s outstretched hand she mimicked the gesture uncertainly.

‘What brings you to our town darlin’?’ Aggie asked as she reached forward and took the Firbolg’s hand and shook it with a smile, ‘You seem like you’re a long way from ‘ome.’

‘Well we are looking for help you see’ the Firbolg replied continuing to shake Aggie’s hand as she spoke, ‘we were sent by the people to find help, and so “I” came here.’

‘So what’s your name darlin’?’ Aggie asked as she subtly tried to break the handshake without outright tugging her hand away.

‘Darling? Erm.’ The Firbolg let go of Aggie’s hand as her golden eyes glanced down in thought, ‘Yes, Darling is my name?’ The Firbolg’s gaze fixed on Aggie inquisitively.

‘You ain’t sure?’ Aggie replied keeping the Firbolg’s gaze. ‘You can be Darling if you want.’

‘Okay!’ replied the Firbolg with a flash of relief crossing her face, ‘”I” am Darling!’

 

(to be continued…)

 

 

 

Chapter 1: A Conjunction of Fates | Part 2

The Wardens of Corinthia is back, and we continue the story with part two of chapter one!

If you want to catch part one of this chapter you can check this out here!

I hope you continue to enjoy this story and thank you for joining me on this adventure!

 


 

2

This was the furthest the firbolg known as the Lalar had ever travelled from her woodland home. She had heard of races cultivating the land and transforming it to produce food in vast quantities, but she had never truly seen it close. Stretches of uniform wheat growing within constructed barriers of deadwood prevented intruders from casually walking across the fields. It was a far cry from foraging in the woodland groves, but upon close inspection it was clear that even in this cultivated land many animals were able to make their home here.

A small family of dormice ran up and down the wheat sheave stalks, and many cottontail rabbits were enjoying the luxurious feasts that such intensive cultivation nurtured. Small birds built nests in the bushes that reclaimed the deadwood barriers, and sung tales of love and joy to the morning light; Chaffinches, dunnocks and wrens flitted from hidden perch to hidden perch. And where there are small animals, there are always larger animals to hunt them, and as far as Lalar could tell by their scent there was at least one family of foxes that had built a set nearby.

Nature always made a way, and no one could tame it for long.

Coming out of the wheat fields Lalar came upon a dirt path that lead to a dwelling built from deadwood and stone. She started towards the homestead before something caught her eye and her stomach turned. Across the top bar of the deadwood barrier that ran along the dirt path, little tiny bodies had been pinned. The bodies of many little, lifeless moles.

The grim trophies framed the dwelling darkly, and so, turning her back on the dwelling, Lalar followed the path in the opposite direction to what was presumably the large city that she had been told to go to.

Over the city she noticed a strange star burning brightly on the horizon. She had been so intent on the goings on the ground she had missed it completely until that moment. Perhaps it was a sign that fortune was with her.

***

‘THE SKY IS WHAT?!’ Tana cried out, rolling off her chair and running to a window of the Studregg Tavern to peak out at the sky nervously. ‘What is going on?!’ The sky was blue and clear, and not a flame could be seen.

‘Oh it’s nothing like that little one,’ laughed Hektor, choking on some bread that had been in his mouth as the deep gnome caught him off guard. Coughing he slammed his fist on the table several times, before settling his throat with some water. Aggie’s stared at him unflinching. ‘There is a comet in the sky Tana,’ Hektor announced as he stood up and walked over to the opposite side of the Tavern. ‘You won’t see it out of that window, but you can see it out of here, look!’ There was a rush and the sound of wooden chairs scraping on wooden floors as guests at the tavern scrambled to look out of the window that Hektor stood by, leaving Tana unable to get close. ‘BACK UP! BACK UP YOU LOT!’ Hektor called out at the crowd, making space for Tana to see the burning crimson and gold firebrand in the deep, cloudless sky.

‘What is it?’ Tana asked nervously, her large green eyes fixed on the burning sigil.

‘Tis a sign. An omen.’ Hektor replied solemnly.  ‘You know what that means?’ Hektor asked the small gnome who had pulled herself up onto the windowsill. Tana nodded darkly before turning her attention back to Aggie, who was still sat in her chair, looking past the tavern door. Hektor walked over to Aggie, through the whispering rabble, and sat back at the table, continuing to pick at his food.

‘I still thought I would’a had more time,’ Aggie said, turning to look at Hektor. ‘But I guess ye can’t really choose these things can ya?’ Hektor smiled the same warm, chip-toothed, smile he had had for as long as she could remember.

‘Course you can Aggie.’ Hektor said, in a quiet rumble, pushing his empty plate into the centre of the table. ‘You always have a choice. But what ye don’t always have is the opportunity t’do something truly different, t’go out there and see the world.’ Hektor’s hand gestured pointingly to emphasise his words, ‘You have always had a fiery ‘eart Aggie, and you ‘ave built somethin’ truly beautiful here.’ Hektor looked over to Tana who had turned back to look at the comet in the sky. Aggie followed his gaze to the small gnome. ‘There are others who need ‘elp, outside of ‘arstead. Help that me an’ Alysha can’t exactly do no more.’ Hektor stood up and placed his hand on Aggie’s shoulder comfortingly, ‘The last one will be ‘ere soon, after that it’s up t’you. Ye can’t make a wrong decision here Aggie. It’s an important decision, but it’s not possible t’get it wrong.’ Hektor dropped a gold piece on the table as he walked towards the tavern door.

‘Hektor wait!’ Aggie called after the grizzled veteran as he neared the door. Hektor turned around with raised eyebrows.

‘Hmm?’

‘You forgot your leftovers!’ said as she rushed into the kitchen to pack a fresh meal to go for her old friend.

(to be continued…)

 

 

 

Chapter 1: A Conjunction of Fates | Part 1

The Wardens of Corinthia is here, and we start with part 1 of chapter 1!

If you want to catch the prelude you can check this out here!

I hope you enjoy the beginings of this story and writing experiement!

 


 

1

It was a bright and cold Spring morning as Aggie looked out at the frost that still sat on the rooftops of her small hometown. Of the twin moons that hung in the sky, only Luna could be seen in the dawn-light, slowly waning like the closing eye of a lethargic god.

Hektor’s words stuck in her mind like a thorn. This town, this life was all she had ever wanted. It held her parent’s memories and love. Wasn’t that enough? Sighing, Aggie turned back into her tavern.

The wooden floor was clean and the tables and chairs had been arranged neatly. A well-worn bearskin rug lay before the simple stone hearth, which crackled with the morning’s fresh firewood. The creaking of the floorboards above foretold the rising of her guests from their slumber. And it would be amiss for any one of them to wake up without breakfast and a hot drink to greet them into the new day.

***

‘MOJITO!’ Aggie cried out, startling the mixed-blood Dragonborn, who had been quietly raiding the pantry before the other guests had awoken, causing food to scatter across the floor in the process. ‘How many times to I have to tell you to stay outta my kitchen?’ her southern drawl softened the tone of her loud Orcish voice. Mojito’s vibrant blue crest stood on end, like the fur of a kitten that felt threatened, as he reeled back coughing.

‘S…shhooryy…’ choaked Mojito, between coughing fits, which quickly became silent as he struggled to catch a breath. Aggie walked up to him and gave him a solid thump on his back, knocking him to the floor, and causing a large chunk of onion to come flying out of his mouth in the process.

‘Now you know that that tastes better cooked right?’ Aggie said as she helped her scaled visitor to his feet.

‘Well yes, quite,’ replied Mojito regaining his composure and intonation, before diving into a hurried explanation ‘I was hoping to set out early today and was very worried that I would go hungry because I am not sure when Alysha is planning to eat, if she wants me to be with her at all, and if she does not then I am uncertain what it is that would be good for eating around these parts, as I have grown rather accustomed to your home-cooking and figured that your raw ingredients would taste a hell of a lot better than whatever I could find in the woods.’

‘Well raw onions ain’t good for no-one,’ replied Aggie as she started grabbing food out of the pantry, and setting it out on the kitchen counter. ‘And if you can waitfur five minutes I will throw sumthin’ together that will taste a lot better than anythin’ you could scavenge on your own.’

***

Mojito, satisfyingly full, walked to the tall stone tower where Alysha had set up her study and observatory in the heart of Harstead. The chill was slowly breaking as the sun rose, and Mojito was excited about what the day might hold. As he strode past townsfolk beginning their days work, a small mote of light caught his eye. Floating on the wind like a dandelion seed, the small figure of an elemental landed upon Mojito’s hand. The translucent, vaguely humanoid spirit pointed skyward, and as Mojito shielded his eyes from the sun’s glare, something came into focus.

A comet slowly burned silently across the sky, brighter than the Morning Star.

As Mojito stood transfixed by this omen, those around him started to notice the celestial event as well. Worried and excited whispers and shouts came from the townsfolk as early birds roused their households to see this important sign.  Realising the hubbub that now surrounded him Mojito looked to his now empty hand curiously, before continuing onward to his teachers home.

***

Aggie had just started to eat her own breakfast with Tana, after serving the handful of guests that had rented rooms, when Hektor burst through the Tavern door. ‘Where’s my lil’ Aggie?!’ he roared to the startled and sleepy room of guests who were thoroughly underprepared for such excitement so early in the day.

Although he had not been taller than Aggie for many years, Hektor had always called her ‘lil’ Aggie, and hearing those words from the scarred, chip-toothed, bushy bearded veteran, always filled her heart with excitement, even after all these years.

‘Goodness Hektor, what are you shoutin’ about? Are you tryin’ to scare the skin off of everyone here?!’ She roared back, slamming her heavy fist onto the wooden table she was sat at as she spoke.

There was a moment’s silence as uncertain guests shifted uncomfortably in their seats, before Hektor and Aggie could no longer maintain their composure and broke into hearty laughter.

Embracing each other, Aggie lifted Hektor off his feet for a moment before putting him down again and bringing over to the table where she was sat with Tana. ‘How’re you doing little one?’ Hektor asked the small deep gnome at the table.

‘Okay,’ Tana said, averting her eyes from the large man that took a seat at the table opposite her. She found the way Aggie’s friend looked at her to be unnerving. He seemed to know who she was as soon as he had met her, four weeks ago, after Aggie had offered her the shelter she had so desperately sought. He had asked why she had come to Harstead back then, but he did not seem surprised by her story, it seemed like he had already heard it before. But Aggie trusted him, even if he wasn’t telling her everything.

‘So what’re you doing here?’ Aggie called out, as she returned from the kitchen with fresh bread and cheese, which she placed in front of Hektor.

‘The sky’s on fire Aggie,’ Hektor replied with a smile as Aggie sat back at the table. ‘And that means that the time has come for you to make a choice.’ Unmoving, Aggie kept Hektor’s gaze as he started to eat…

(To be continued…)

The Wardens of Corinthia

“After The Sundering the power of the gods was broken. Those that lived under their yoke were free to strike out their own path through history. People of all races and nations now had the opportunity to reach out beyond the mold that had been cast for them by their gods, to reshape the world to their own vision.

However, the ability to take advantage of this power vacuum was not isolated to the material plane…”   (read more)

Welcome to this new writing series!

Over the next several months I am going to be posting short episodic chapters for a new high fantasy story, which will form the Campaign Diaries of a current Dungeon and Dragons game I am running.

Dungeons and Dragons is a collaborative storytelling medium, and the story that will unfold will follow four main-characters, who were crafted and are acted by four real-world people. My role in this collaboration is to provide the setting and the story for these characters to explore and build on together. I have used several sourcebooks from the Wizards of the Coast to help build this setting and the adventure, but this campaign diary will be my own words; my own twist on the events and individuals that have come from a variety of sources, including my own imagination.

The ownership of a collaborative effort is hard to pin down, which is why we are sharing this experience with you for free.

I hope you enjoy the story that will unfold every week. I have ideas about what direction the story may head, but as I do not control the four main characters, they may, and do, undertake actions that I was not expecting, which adds to the suspense and drama of this storytelling experience as a writer.

The first part of this story is a prelude.

From the stage I set this week we will dive into the experiences that my players and their characters have had, presented with proper narrative and prose, for the enjoyment of everyone!

I hope you enjoy this writing experiment and that you choose to continue this exciting journey with us!

With all that said, let’s start the story first, by going back 15 years ago…

Giff Wars Session 4 Part 2: Finale

The continuation of the journal of Nei, a Paladin in the service of House Organo, written with assistance of those that survived.

The Party

 

The giff knight’s armour was blown to pieces, his skin utterly desiccated, eyes sunken, face rotted. The console was obliterated.

“I was pressing that”, Jurah said, disgruntled.

The giff ship started to descend rapidly.

“Where’s my daughter? Where’s Ubi?” the king cried. Geoff brutalised the deceased giff knight and chuckled evilly as he relieved him of his head. Geoff clung onto the lifeless grisly remains of the warrior’s body to cushion his fall.

Jurah slapped Alicath shouting, “Magic!”, thinking he had magic slaps. He was so impressed with himself, infact, he believed he was probably the God of magic slaps. This led him to ponder whether he could pass this ability onto his followers, when he had more, of course.

Keorath tried to pull javelin out of my shoulder. It came out of the floor but wasn’t completely removed from my body, which hurt! Geoff kept punching the giff’s body, even as he clung to it. Keorath pulled again, harder, and the javelin came out. Jurah muttered something about escape pods, or a lack of them, but it was hard to hear.

As the ship continued to roll, San pulled up underneath the punctured window shouting, “You’ll have to jump or find another way!” Alicath cast featherfall on himself, the king,  Eddie, and myself, allowing us to float down to San’s ship. Geoff cast down a rope and slid down, falling into a heap at the end. Keorath followed him. Jurah went next and, as his calluses started to wear down from the friction, he worried that his magic slap potential could be ruined. He reasoned to himself though that maybe it was actually okay, maybe his slaps were even more potent, as it brought the slap closer to himself a very-much definitely real god. Distracted by his thoughts he landed next to Geoff, on his back, with a thud.

San hurriedly brought us to the top of the airship to help Ubi, who is unloading ammo, alternating between the crystal and enemies, a large bulging bag at his feet. He saw us and yelled “We need to destroy it before we crash!” He reached into the bag and pulled out another grenade, tossing it into the hole in the crystal. Keorath and Jurah ran over to Ubi and tried to reach for the bag. Ubi opposed them; “Get back!” he shouted.

“Grummush guide my magic hand!”, says Jurah as he slapped Ubi. Nothing happened.

“Are you going to slap me, or help me?” Ubi asks. Jurah looked at his hand, shaking it. He then bowed his head solemnly as he realised maybe the rope did take away his powers. Keorath pulled over a loose rope and they bound Ubi with it, “Help! Stop that!” he cries. Jurah reached into the bag and picked out a canister, crushed it, and dropped it back into the bag.

Keorath and Jurah backed up towards the edge of the ship and Keorath sent a large fireball straight towards the bag. “Nooooooo” yelled Ubi. There was a flash of green light. The crystal shattered. The falling ship was blasted downwards with tremendous force, pure energy ripping through the ship, tearing through wood and sail…

Then nothing…

The light faded, and I opened my eyes.

The air was whistling past my ears, the giff ship was falling a little further below me, riddled with explosions. San’s ship appeared to be in pieces. Alicath, the King, Geoff, Eddie, and San, were all falling around me. Jurah, Keorath and Ubi were nowhere to be seen. Even as they fall to their doom, San said, “I can still get us out here guys. I’ve been in worse. I’ve been in worse…” there was a little quaver in his voice.

Alcath cast featherfall again saving those that he could. Geoff gathers bits of San’s destroyed airship, some wood, a sail, and parachutes down, raging the whole way. The remaining companions crashed into the water, and those that made it out made their way to the shore looking over the city.

The crashing ship had sent a tidal wave over the city of Alder, which now lies in flooded ruins. Even as we watched, water was still gushing back into the sea. There was no sign of any empire ships.

“At least the royal line of Aldar survived…” announced the king shortly before Geoff knocked him out cold.

With the city of Alder in ruins, it was a phyyric victory. The Empire was stopped here, but the cost was large. With such a cost to the kingdom, who knows what the future will hold for the House of Organo.

Written by Chloe Wakefield

Artwork by Jess Butcher – www.friendlyurchin.com

Edited by Aaron Surnaym

Previous: The Throne Room

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Giff Wars Session 4 Part 1: The Throne Room

The continuation of the journal of Nei, a Paladin in the service of House Organo, written with assistance of those that survived.

The Party

 

At about this time the Giff-controlled city became a hive of activity and new ships appeared to be launching from the port.

The door swung open revealing a large Giff knight dressed all in black, looking comfortable on a throne, and a hunched figure shackled beside him. Flanking them on either side were two guards, and behind them, workers were busy at a control board and paid us no attention.

Eddie stepped forward and knocked out the two guards with magic. I engaged the Giff knight but was parried with ease. Deep echoing booms filled our ears and the ship started trembling beneath us.

Taking damage, the dark Giff pulled out a metal canister and, crushing it, threw it in the air. The canister exploded ferociously and I flew backward, crumpling on the floor, unconscious…

From what I am told the workers start panicking at this point. In the common tongue, the Giff knight cried out, “Don’t leave your stations until the very end!” Geoff appeared nearby, swinging in anger, again and again, but the Giff knight knocked Geoff’s sword aside.

Back on the ship, San could hear loud bells and explosions coming from the Giff ship. He saw from the ship that the green crystal summiting the Giff ship was cracked, and smoke poured out of it. There was a Giff figure on top of the ship near the crystal and, squinting, he saw that it was Ubi. Several groups of people were streaming towards him, all alone.

San saw another explosion further down, and thick smoke poured out of a large hole in the ship’s hull. Jurah and Keorath, Goliath ship hands, saw this and demanded to be taken to the action, “Remember what Nei said. This is a mission from God, and we must serve him in the bloodiest way”. San disliked the danger and asked where to drop them off as he wanted somebody alive so he could be paid for his troubles. They told him to put them down where the explosions were happening. Grapples launched to the Giff ship, and Jurah and Keorath burst through one of the windows of the control room, landing on the console amongst a handful of minions, and saw their companions fighting a large Giff figure.

Alicath tumbled, stumbling over the guard’s unconscious bodies, but as he stumbled, he cast blindness on the Giff knight, and the Giff knight screamed. Proud of himself, he jumped up and over the Giff knight in mockery, but caught his foot on the knight’s helmet and fell over him. Geoff launched another swing at the Giff knight, this time with his wing scythe. The bony wing pierced the knight, sticking in him, and blood gushed out. Meanwhile, I was still bleeding out, unaware of all that was taking place around me.

The minions completely ignored the two goliaths on the console and continued working. Jurah said “Excuse me”, and strode past. The Giff knight yelled for help and staggered away from everyone in a blind rage. He pulled out a second canister and used it to blast open the wall in front of him. Metal dented, and wood splintered. The minions were left confused, after all, the knight told them to stay there no matter what, but also to help! Alicath used mage hand to place an explosive canister on the Giff knight. When it exploded, the knight was knocked off his feet and left prone, however, the canisters Ubi provided were not as powerful as the one the Giff knight used. The knight was bloodied but not badly damaged yet, but he was not in a good way, as he was blind and prone. Keorath stabilised me as Jurah parted the minions and started playing with the console buttons. “Any wheels here?” he muttered. The blinds on the windows opened and closed. There was an unsettling sound down below, of something spinny slowing down. WUBWUBWUBWUbWUbWubwubwubwubwub. The ship rolled to one side and everyone started sliding. Geoff crawled over, landing one final stab in the Giff warrior (who still had Geoff’s bony wing stuck in his back). Alicath clawed over to the king and used his dagger to break the king’s shackles, which fell off.

The ship was now at a significant angle and I was sliding faster and faster away from everyone. Geoff launched himself over and, seeing the 50ft I was about to fall, skewered me to the floor through the shoulder cuff with his javelin. Jurah was still clinging on to the console, mashing buttons, although significantly less happily. Over the tannoy came a quavering voice “Escape pods jettisoning”. Jurah looked over the console and saw a worried minion speaking into a microphone.

I woke with a gasp and decided that was as good a time as any to lay hands on myself. Still pinned by the javelin through my shoulder, the wound started to heal over, although it was an extremely strange sensation.

The Giff knight, bleeding out badly, crawled towards Keorath and Myself. He bellowed, “You may defeat me but you will never defeat the empire”.

His expression changed.

He sat up, breath rasping, laughing at everyone, and pulled out a third grenade.

He closed his eyes, holding it close, smiling, head tilted towards the sky, and set it off…

 


 

Written by Chloe Wakefield

Artwork by Jess Butcher – www.friendlyurchin.com

Edited by Aaron Surnaym

Previous: Infiltration

Next: Finale

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Flashback Friday: “Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate”

After my first two articles on model painting just being ink jobs I wanted to share some more complete paint jobs that I had completed for tabletop figures!

We revisit this article in this week’s Flashback Friday! I hope you enjoy!

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

This article was orginally published on 29th September 2018

After having a very enjoyable time playing Betrayal at House on the Hill with some friends I decided to pick up a copy myself. Whilst I was looking up the game I discovered that there was a Dungeons and Dragons version of this game; Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate.

I had no choice, I had to get it!

When the box arrived I opened it and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the figures inside the box are very well detailed and molded, and at the same scale as general war-game figures with a 1 inch base (or close enough to pass). However the painting on these figures was, in my view, terrible. The half-orc and the drow had well-printed eyes, but apart from that the painting just completely undermined these beautifully sculpted figures.

20180511_202110.jpg
Fresh out the box. Look at that poor Red Wizard of Thay’s face!

This post is unfortunately not a step-by-step on how I fixed these paint-jobs, as I painted these before I decided to record my painting process. This is more of a showcase of what I can do, given that my first two posts were all about inking, without substantial painting to the models.

20180512_160049.jpg
Look at that Paladin’s armour shine!

I have almost finished painting these figures; I just have to complete the ranger (seen in green at the back of the second picture) but I will be more interested in posting up more extensive paint-jobs I do on the Rage of Demons figures I have, followed up by some Warhammer 40,000 and some figures from the Castle Ravenloft and Legend of Drizzt board games.

 

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Flashback Friday: “Rage of Demons: Lizardfolk”

It’s another Flashback Friday, where we look at an old article I wrote a a year ago. This weeks article is a continuation of the model painting articles I first started this site with!

I hope to revisit some model painting articles in the future when I have time to break out my paints once again! Until then I hope you enjoy!

Rage of Demons: Lizardfolk

This article was first published on 22nd September 2018

Following on from my Banshee post I decided I would post another model that I only had to ink for me to be completely satisfied with the end product. That model is a Lizardfolk that I got out of the same set of Rage of Demons boxes that I got the Banshees out of.

How the Lizardfolk model looked out of the box.

Once again the modelling on this particular model is beautiful and precise. This is joined with an excellent paint job; one of the best paint jobs I have seen on these models. The paint is on the correct parts and does not overlap onto sections it should not be, even the printed on face is precise.  This figure looks almost exactly like the artwork in both the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

The only thing I was unhappy with was the fact that all of those beautiful details were not emphasised by the painting. With that in mind I watered down some paints again!

I mixed a very dark, almost black, shade of green and watered it down into an almost ink-like texture once again. I then carefully painted it only over the green and brown painted parts of the model, making sure that it stuck in all the needed cracks and crevices. Once I had done this I mixed a dark yellow; not too dark, but enough to add some shade to the cream coloured scales that were on the Lizardfolk’s belly and underside. In the same way I then inked the cream scales and left it all to dry.

How the Lizardfolk looked after ‘inking’.

As can be seen the adding of the ultra-thin paint just makes the model ‘pop’; you can even see detail on the shield that I had not even noticed before painting, and the whole model is lifted to a new level.

I will post up some images of more extensive paint-jobs soon.

 

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Flashback Friday: “Rage of Demons: Banshee”

Now This is art, not real life is one year old, I can start to flashback to some of my older posts. If you haven’t seen these before this is the perfect oppertunity to read some new content, or see where this website started!

With that in mind this Flashback Friday I want to take a look back at the first post I ever made on This is art, not real life.

Rage of Demons: Banshee

This article was originally published on 15th September 2018

I bought a few boxes of the Dungeons and Dragons mini-figures for Rage of Demons. I have recently bought the Out of the Abyss adventure and as I was reading through it I thought I would see how the mini-figures look, and I was very impressed.

The figures are very well molded, and very nicely detailed however unsurprisingly the paint work on them as a lot to be desired. Often the printed-on eyes look much better than I could achieve with paints, but they are often not placed accurately, and the rest of the paint on the models is, generally, of a low quality.

With that in mind I have decided to record my painting of these models. The first models I painted were two Banshees I picked up from two different boxes.

20180915_160408
How the Banshee looked out of the box.

As you can see the molding is very detailed and the plastic it is made out of works perfectly for a ghost-like enemy, along with the printed on face, which is very accurate on this figure.

Personally I prefer my models details to be emphasised, and this being a Banshee I wanted it to be illuminated in a slightly sickly green-blue hue, to emphasise the unnatural nature of the creature.

With that in mind I mixed some green, blue and black acrylic paints and watered the dark turquoise colour down heavily until the consistency was similar to ink. I then washed the models with the ink, allowing it to sit in all the models details, using a brush to manipulate the ink as it dried.

20180915_160612.jpg
How the Banshee looked after the paint dried.

As you can see from the image above, once I let the paint dry the thinness of the paint I applied allowed the figure to retain its translucency whilst it gained a bluish tint, and greater definition of its features. Because the paint was thin it also had the benefit of not completely removing the face that was printed on the figure.

Now I have two good looking Banshee figures, that could also double as Ghosts, Spectres or other spectral undead in a game of D&D.

 

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Giff Wars Session 3 Part 3: Infiltration

The continuation of the journal of Nei, a Paladin in the service of House Organo.

The Party

 

As daylight streams into the box, Alicath cast blindness and the worker cried out in pain.

Alicath
Alicath is not quite so well hidden…

Horrified I leapt from the box and restrained the worker, muffling his cries with my hand. A pissed-off Geoff leapt out of his box and sprinted over, pressing his hilt against the side of the worker’s head. Geoff then pressed the button.

A flame leapt from the hilt of Geoff’s sword, and the worker crumpled.

Guard Assassination
Geoff kills the innocent dock worker

I looked at Geoff in horror. He grimaced and discarded the worker’s body into the water. The corpse hit the water with a conspicuous splash. Alicath and I dove back into our box, this time getting the lid closed, and Geoff did the same. Rapid footsteps could be heard outside the box and shortly after, the boxes start being handled. By Eddie’s reckoning for thirty minutes the boxes were moving, shifting, and bumping around, although it may have been longer. Eventually though the movement stopped and the background noise settled down to a low hum.

I listened intently but couldn’t tell whether any guards were around, nor even if my companions were nearby. I made a bird call, ‘Caw Caw’, and from a box not five feet away Geoff slightly raised his box’s lid and peered around.
‘All clear,’ he said.

The room was darkly lit and full of boxes piled on top of one another, however there were no signs of guard activity nearby. We walked to the room’s entrance and found a corridor leading off left and right. Turning right, at the end of the corridor was a thick wooden door.

Eddie listened closely but could hear nothing.

Geoff, impatient, and evidently still grumpy at being stuck in a box for so long, gave the door an almighty kick, utterly destroying the previous silence.

The door burst, splintering into the walkway behind, landing with a final thud. Alicath looked around nervously. ‘I was just going to use the bloody handle,’ I said with exasperation.

Geoff grinned with a shrug.

We carried on and saw, in the distance, a walkway crossing ours with occasional Giff troops passing back and forth. Thankfully they seemed undisturbed by Geoff’s antics. Master Ubi gestured for us to stop and come together.

A moment with Ubi
A moment with Ubi…

He said that he thought he might know a way to bring down the ship, that he needed to access the green crystal. He told us we were likely to find our king at the command centre, and that we’ll shortly need to go our separate ways.

Going forward we marched with Ubi in front, Alicath and myself acting holding Geoff and Eddie prisoner, we entered the guarded passageway. The passing Giff troops paid little attention to our cohort and we soon reached a large room. In the room were a handful of guards and workers, and at the end was a strange contraption with rising platforms on one side and falling ones on the other with no end in sight. Workers stepped on and off the platforms out of and into the corridors on each floor.

Ubi marched towards a map on one of the walls, etched into polished metal. The map was a cross-section of the ship. He pointed out our location. “This map doesn’t show it, as it has been in place since before the Giff modified the ship, but this,” he said pointing, “is where I believe the crystal is. This, here, is where the command centre is, gesturing to a room on the 225th floor.”

A couple of guards stared at Ubi confused, but Ubi looks back authoritatively and they awkwardly averted their gaze. “T’ fuckin’ pansies look scared. S’almost asiv yr’ their commander,” Geoff accused, eying Ubi with suspicion. A couple of the guards looked agitated.

“Have some damn respect,” Alicath shouted at Geoff, slapping him hard, across the face. The guards look at each other and visibly relax in the assumption that we are on official business.

Alicath turned to face Ubi questioningly and cast zone of truth. He asked what Ubi’s plans were. Ubi explained that he really was there to somehow destroy the ship. He said he had never seen anything like the magical modifications that had been made. Alicath asked if, once Ubi left if we would ever see him again. Ubi’s face was solemn as he said that in all likelihood we would not. It was a suicide mission, but he felt that he had to try. Alicath, upset, hugged Ubi.

A couple of guards raised their eyebrows, thinking to themselves that management’s really had taken a turn for the worst lately. Ubi slapped Alicath, telling him he should know better.

Ubi disiplines Alicath
Ubi disciplines Alicath

The guards, again satisfied, went back about their business. Ubi gave Alicath an apologetic look and wished us good fortune. With this, Ubi departed, stepping onto the rising platforms and rising out of sight.

I suggested splitting up so we could try the jail and the command centre to look for our king. Eddie however disagreed and said we stand more of a chance if we go together to the command centre, as Ubi said. Alicath and Geoff agreed with Eddie, and we too jumped onto the rising platforms.

Floor after floor went by, 119, 120, 121. At 225, we stepped off and into the corridor. There was something different about our surroundings, it was much more stylised than the sterile metal aesthetic below. A pair of ornate metal doors lay ahead but in front of them stood two hulking Giff guards in elaborate armour. “Who goes there?” asked one of the guards. There was a long pause. Eddie cautiously let his hand fall to his sword. One of the guards stepped forward menacingly. Alicath glanced nervously at Geoff, silently charming the closer of the two guards. I took the initiative and stepped forward, angrily glaring eye-to-eye, too close for the charmed guard’s comfort.

“I think you’ll find that’s above your pay grade,” I said coldly. The guard shifted uncomfortably, and the other guard glowered at him for acting so rudely.

You can't handle this
‘That information is above your pay grade’

“My apologies Ma’am,” he said. “Right you are Ma’am, and apologies again,” he said as he held the door open, wincing in embarrassment.

Beyond was a large pair of frosted glass doors, which Alicath walked up to. He attempted to ascertain what lay beyond but stumbled and knocked into them, leaving them swinging.

A deep Giff voice booms from the room beyond,

“ENTER!”

Written by Chloe Wakefield

Artwork by Jess Butcher – www.friendlyurchin.com

Edited by Aaron Surnaym

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