Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress [Part 4]

Howl of Oblivion by Iron Seer
** Howl of Oblivion Campaign Page **

The party recuperates, though the caravan guards around the auto-yurts report lots of activity near the camp.  Jackals had been heard all through the night.  In the morning, the party is ready to move out at first light.  Fasha informs them that water is running low, and soon they will have to depart to Yecha.

The party finds the entrance to the tomb re-covered, and inside they are attacked from two directions nearly as soon as they step foot inside.  A pack of kobold-trained jackals attack along with their kobold packmasters.  The combat is savage, and a short sleep spell by Anverth sees all the jackals sleeping peacefully as the remaining kobolds retreat.  Peacefully, until Khaine cuts off their heads.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress -  The Jackalpit
"Hmm...helpless dogs.  What to do with all these helpless animals?  Hm.  Hmmmm..."

The party heads deeper into the complex, and begin to hear what sounds like an unintelligible beratement.  The group finds a hobgoblin yelling at an skeleton, and approach cautiously.  The hobgoblin gestures to the skeleton, who signals his pack of skeletal jackals to spring forward and attack.

Iris then beheads the hobgoblin in a single stroke, claiming his shinging and singing scimitar for her own.  Walkul then turns the remaining skeletons, including the Houndmaster - all of whom are not destroyed in the rout flee to the south.  Meanwhile, the party pillages the hobgoblin's stuff (who was evidently named Mung Yung) and find several interesting items - such as a magic scroll.

The party also finds an alcove littered with the bodies of dead adventurers and crawling with giant centipedes.  When the party steps inside, several skeletons of small animals animate and crawl to attack alongside the massive arthopods.  Walkul invokes the power of Pelor and turns them back while the party cleans up the centipedes.  A gleaming suit of mail is found on one of the long-dead bodies, which Walkul intends to restore.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress -  Critical Hit!
Next on One-Hit Wonders:  Mung Yung the Hob

In the last room, the party finds a bunch of furtive kobolds just kinda chillaxin', eating dinner made of what looks like jackal.  Anverth converses with them, and the old one agrees to tell them where they think the treasure is if the party will just leave.  In the corner of the kobold water-hole, the party finds all the skeletons huddled in a corner.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress -  Kobold Waterhole
Believe it or not, those red tokens are only mildly hostile.

Evidently, that corner is where the jewels most likely are, according to the kobolds.  So the party begins to attack the skeletal houndmaster, but the old kobold speaks up.  She asks Anverth to tell the rest of the party to leave the skeleton be, who is beloved by the kobolds.  In return she will shoo them away.

After the skeletons are moved up the walkway, Borz discovers the hidden stone plate to an alcove, some 4 feet high and 3 feet off the ground.  Using Walkul as a step-ladder, the dwarf pries the stone free and pulls the alcove door free, exposing and damaging an ancient stone trap in the process.

Inside, they find a stone mannequin, upon which rests the complete regalia of A'ta Sevaaya.  The party leaves the tomb and joins again with Fasha outside.  Though the party briefly considers holding onto the regalia, they honor their bargain and turn it over to Fasha.  The trip was quite profitable - the magic alone worth more than the regalia.  After talking it over with Fasha, the party agrees to accept another job.  

Fasha began to tell them the tale of another sorceress...this one still very much alive...

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition Ruins [Desert Edition]

Games Workshop 3rd Edition Ruins [Desert Edition]

In the far days of yore, there was the Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition Box Set.  Many of my buddies wound up getting that box, so our club generated lots of these ruins around the year 2000 and 2001.  We didn't really have a club back then, just my living room.  So, all the terrain from all those sets were donated to our budding terrain collection.

Games Workshop 3rd Edition Ruins [Desert Edition]

These ruins are various ages, but the oldest are 20+ and this is the third or fourth time I've revisited this particular set.  I got my first set in '98 when 3rd Edition dropped, and I continued to acquire new ones from various sources over the next decade.

Games Workshop 3rd Edition Ruins [Desert Edition]

Admittedly, these ruin sections are not the finest examples of the terrain-maker's art, but they have certainly acquired character over the decades.  To that end, I find I can forgive their cosmetic shortcomings - many of these were done long before we ever even knew how to use much of the material we were trying to use.

Games Workshop 3rd Edition Ruins [Desert Edition]
"Enemy interceptor inbound!"

Many of us tend to neglect the terrain portion of the hobby for years, and these ruins are quite nostalgic for me.  They make up the mainstay of two of my tables, and much of it could honestly use a little more TLC.

Games Workshop 3rd Edition Ruins [Desert Edition]
"Go for the eyes!"

While my craft has certainly advanced over all this time, I probably won't ever have to 'start' over with these - but I can't say that for my other set of ruins.  Those are going to require some actual work to make presentable again - but again, like these...I probably won't start completely over.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

3D Printing the Hobby

Democracy is the reinterpretation of the power of ourselves.
Inspirobot knows about IP law.
A little over a year ago, I got my first 3D printer - an Anycubic Photon.  

It's taken that long for me to get used to it, and start getting great results.  Now mind you, this wasn't a constant process.  I've been very busy this year.  

After navigating through thousands of objects (I have a very minimal background in 3D development) I finally began to grasp how things are done, how to get good prints, how to calibrate the resin and all that stuff.  I might talk about my initial failings and how I overcame them, but today I want to talk about using the 3D printer in our hobbies.

I've been reading a lot of articles with opinions on this.  Some people think it's unethical to print models to represent game models.  Some people think it's illegal.  All of those people are wrong.

While I agree with almost all the points in that post, there's are some things that have really been bothering me.  Also, like I mentioned - I'm finally getting reliable results from the machine.  So, I decided to introduce the 3D printer to the blog and address these concerns here, and sort of clearly delimit my intent and practices.  

First of all, let's talk about the laws regarding IP Infringement.  There are different kinds of infringement and it's important that we differentiate.  I won't talk about any specific countries' laws because we the hobbyists are literally all over the world.  

Yet we can talk in general - and generally, it is illegal to sell a thing that has been copied.  This is known as copyright infringement.  In regards to a 3D printer, it would be directly copying a model and then offering it for sale.  However the method you accomplish this, this is the only 'copyright infringement' that can actually occur here.  If you're just printing it for yourself, however - well, that's not any infringement.  Whether you used photogrammetry or downloaded an .stl, no crime has been committed.

Trademark infringement is the other kind of IP infringement, and this is trickier.  Again, if you're not offering the item for sale then you are protected.  This is why you'll see a lot of similar models without any trademarked iconography or slogans.  You can create and sell an object of similar design without any sort of worry as long as you don't violate anyone's trademark - which is very easy not to do.

So that's pretty much it as far as the law goes.  You can do a lot of reading about it but this is what it ultimately boils down to in most cases.  The body of law still applies to us as hobbyists.  You can see, in almost every case, we are legally able to print anything we want to...if we are actually able to do that.

We've established now that it is perfectly lawful for us to use the 3D printer to do whatever we want for our own games.

I do not believe at all that there is any sort of ethical concern involved, ESPECIALLY AS FAR AS WARGAMING GOES.

I hear current day fanboys talk about 3D printing as if it's a sin and I want to slap them.  They weren't here in the days of deodorant tanks and converted WWII jams.  It makes me sick.  They think the galaxy is so small a place that every ork trukk looks the same.

This hobby is supposed to be creative.  Yet the cult-like mindset of so many fans of the hobby means that we are doomed to see the exact same set of 'official' models every single game.  This mentality is only a by-product of some larger companies co-opting the hobby and putting artificial restrictions on what we do in order to encourage spending on their specific product.  Commercially, this makes sense for shows/tournaments devoted to that specific game line by the company or it's partners.

I can agree.  I'll bring official Warmachine models when I hit the official Warmachine shows.  Lord knows that no matter what, I'll be able to bring official models to official shows.  For myself, the last time I was at an 'official' tournament in my area was 2003.  I missed the Privateer Press Gang when it was here, but that ended a few years back.  

We don't get much in what you'd call 'official support' out here.  Instead it just appears as a endless treadmill of pointless rule changes and adjustments.  Stop and think about it.  There's only one big-name company for which 3D printing seems to be an issue.  The 900lb gorilla.  Gorilla Watson.  Certainly the amount of DCMA's they are constantly issuing would seem to indicate it's a problem.

You can only speculate as to why that may be. 

I feel any lingering question of ethics is completely irrelevant here.  

You'll buy what you want and make / build / print the rest.  By playing the game at all you are actually adding value to the product - we can't play the game by ourselves after all.  The larger the player pool, the more value the game has for everyone.  No matter what, you're feeding into the hobby here.  Even if your entire army is 3D printed.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress [Part 3]

Howl of Oblivion by Iron Seer
** Howl of Oblivion Campaign Page **

The party continues to explore the north section of the tomb.  A good portion of the outer walls are crumbling and make dangerous exploring, but our heroes avoid any trouble.  They take their time searching for traps, secret doors and where vandals smashed stonework decorations...

The party comes upon the central marker of the tomb, realizing that the ancient sorceress' name was A'ta Sevaaya...and the body wasn't buried at the marker and may not even still be in the complex.  This is a common way to deter grave robbers...but also are ancient runic spell-wards.  Walkul and Iris watched in horror as such a ward cursed Borz as they examined the central monument.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Blursed Dwarf

As the party explored east of the central monument, a foul smell began to waft down the unexplored corridors.  Anverth quickly recognized the nasty scent as kobold slop, and the party pushed into a small section of intersecting corridors.  Not long after they discovered the resting places of the little creatures, they were swarmed with the little monsters.  

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Useless Crit on a Kobold
Critical Hit!

Khaine tries to block kobolds attacking from south corridor, but is hurt by flashing kobold blades and eventually pushed back toward the intersection.  At the same time, another group of tiny dog-men swarm appear from the north and attack Iris and Borz.  Iris was wounded and brought down by kobold knives, but Anverth and Kelil pushed into the kobold chambers and were able to get rid of the creatures swarming her.  Walkul takes a moment to heal her, and suggest the use of healing potions for the others.

Wounded but not out, the party resolves to continue forward...but a few of the kobolds managed to flee away down the winding corridors of the tomb complex.  The party can hear strange noises all around as they know the creatures have ran to tell their friends.  The advance brings the party back to the central stairs, but it's not until the barking of what sounds like a pack of dogs is heard coming from the southern chambers do they decide to retreat to the auto-yurts.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Part 3 XP Log
Encounter XP awarded so far for Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress [Part 1-3]

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Desert Hills

Desert Hills

Well, I've been 'restoring' terrain.  You know.  Terrain that's ten to twenty years old.  It's nice to find objects in those bins that doesn't need to be fixed.

Desert Hills

Truth is I'm not very good at terrain making.  I never have been.  That's why I ended up with things like the following when I was younger...

Desert Hills

...and I just kinda keep 'em.

Desert Hills Assassinate the Ogre
Go to great lengths to get the perfect shot.

These hills were at one point green, having been made that way by a manufacturer.  I didn't like how the flocking was falling out of the glue on them, so I pulled all the flock off (very easy, btw) and gave 'em the Iron Seer hill treatment.

Desert Hills Firing Squad
Wait for the white silhouettes, then hose 'em.

Meaning I covered them in watered down PVA, spray painted them and gave them a basic flocking.  They've held up good for the last however many years...I'm going to say about a decade.  Looking at this small collection, I decided it didn't need anything but a better container.

Desert Hills Clan Elementals Flanked
Remember:  Hills may be bigger depending on the scale you set them at.

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Birthwell of Teyyaun

Iron Seer presents Planet Teyyaun

The Galactic Civil War, 3 BBY

Rebel scout companies have been hard at work finding new places to use as military installations across the galaxy.  In the Core, the work is clandestine and limited to very small scales.  The Outer Rim is where many contemporary Alliance bases are hidden, nestled amongst the obscure backwaters.  When major naval capabilities started to amass, many Alliance commanders had to move into deep space to keep those capabilities secret.

It took a great deal of time, but eventually some Alliance leaders decided that the threat of discovery by the Empire was too great to move naval assets into areas of the Core.  The Outer Rim became the only choice for such maneuvers, and even then, Imperial sweeps still had to be anticipated and avoided.  This latter problem prompted some Alliance commanders to look for places even further afield for safer mustering points.

Far on the Western Fringe of the Outer Rim, beyond all civilized systems, lies a section of space bordering the gulf of the Unknown Regions.  Known as Wild Space, this wispy slice of the galaxy is where exploration and colonization have begun - but not much is known of these reaches.  Not all systems here have been charted, and the ones that have been are few and far between.

It was in these desolate reaches that Alliance Rangers found Teyyaun.  Far from Imperial concerns and protected both by general obscurity and hidden under a massive magnetic stellar anomaly called the Birthwell, Teyyaun would be a proving ground for Alliance forces.  The only hurdle would be winning over the populace. 


"Settled" in 146 BBY by pirates and smugglers, the idyllic world of Teyyaun has developed in peace for almost that long.  At some point, the pirates and their families and hangers-on truly settled in permanently - they had made enough wealth from the galaxy at large to live comfortably on Teyyaun's main continent of Raus.  It is still largely unexplored, with the inhabitants keeping to what passes for 'major' urban developments.  

Since the rise of the Empire, folk of Teyyaun have taken even more precautions about drawing attention to their world.  Many have reprised the role of their ancestors and began raiding areas all around Teyyaun, in the Unknown Reaches as well as the Outer Rim, but still keep the location of their home a closely guarded secret.  The arrival of the Alliance is grossly alarming to the general populace of this world - but there is much uninhabited area on the surface.

The people of Teyyaun are mostly human and duro, but there are many peoples represented amongst the small populace.  They are organized into service guilds, some of which specialize in secretive off-world journeys to secure various supplies and materials from the wider galaxy.  Some of the 'neo-privateers' claim their gangs are also legitimate service guilds...and some folk accept this.

While greatly troubling to them, the arrival of the Alliance has signaled to some Guildmasters that the inevitable has come.  It would only be a matter of time before the Empire arrived at Teyyaun, and their way of life would be forever disrupted.  Many advocated for joining the Alliance outright, but the sentiment was not unanimous.  Some pressured for the forcible expulsion of Alliance forces, and received a swell of popular support.

In Teboraun, many Guildmasters supported the Alliance cause.  The inhabitants there were sympathetic, and neo-privateers offered up their vessels and manpower.  This base of support amongst the populace was the foothold the Alliance needed, and began to move equipment to new bases on the planet's surface and major moon.  From the orbitals at Uyyaun and major bases on the surface of Teyyaun they would be able to create an actual fleet from the ragtag group of ships they called Battlegroup Tarquinas.

Yet, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The people of Moban City saw the Alliance forces as an invasion, and accused the guilds that supported them of collaboration in a coup that would destroy Teyyaun's independence and isolation.  It also happened that many more of the neo-privateer guilds there were the rather rough sort who lacked real legitimacy but still had real blasters.

Fighting began almost immediately between the guilds and the Alliance.  The Alliance elected to reduce the conflict by moving to a remote section of the south polar zones.  It was here they made another astonishing discovery...

The ice-going mobile settlement of Arkfast treads the rents of the ice sheets where the continents of Kelenth and Uatu are pulling away from each other.  There, in the fast-fjords and ice-floes where the continents grind one another apart, a strange resource had been discovered - khyber.  It was said the Empire would be ruthless in their pursuit of this crystal, and this revelation steeled every side's resolve.

With agents in every settlement and the orbital platforms on Uyyaun, the Alliance prepares to do what it must as Battlegroup Tarquinas begins to arrive.  With the fate of the galaxy in question, the guilds of Teyyaun that insist on sabotaging the battle against the Empire cannot be allowed to continue offensive operations targeting Rebellion assets.  The Alliance Navy will convene at Teyyaun.  To that end, the neo-privateers must be pacified...

Sunday, November 22, 2020

D&D Miniatures Portal

Dungeons & Dragons might not come up much these days as a full-scale wargame, but there's going to be quite a bit of it on this site.

From Battlesystem to the Miniatures Handbook, through to Attack Wing and straight up home-brew tomfoolery, D&D has always provided a sort of baseline for miniatures.

In general, the entries for D&D here on the Iron Seer blog will not be RPG focused.  Rather, they will be focused on the spectacle of the miniatures contest itself.  For RPG-related material, check out the RAWRPG section of the site.

The dungeon is just as much a warzone as many of the other locales we'll visit together.  Time to start looking at it that way!

Last Entry: 09/23/18

Friday, November 20, 2020

Howl of Oblivion: Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress [Part 2]

Howl of Oblivion presented by Iron Seer
** Howl of Oblivion Campaign Page **

The party decides to be aggressive and continue north into the temple complex.  They immediately encounter several skeletons in what appears to be a storage area for such things. Eyeing up the rotted up chests on the other side of the room, Walkul decides it's time for heroism and runs into the middle of the room, calling upon Pelor to banish the evil within.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Turn Skeletons!

It's has about half the effect he would have liked, turning five of the nine skeletons.  They remain in place, but four others spring forward with rusty sabers...

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Hits

Things get real very quickly.  Khaine returns to the commotion from the tomb area, and takes advantage of the party members in combat with the skeletons to get close to Walkul.  

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Move Silent

Anverth also goes down, but Borz and Khaine bandage their wounds as Iris and Kelil finish off the un-turned un-dead.  The party collects the fallen after stabilizing them and leave the dungeon to return to Fasha's auto-yurt camp to heal up. 

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Convalescence

Several days pass.  The others all heal and are ready for action about the time Walkul regains consciousness.  A few prayers to Pelor and the party is ready to go, and only a few days of downtime had passed.  Fasha changes all gems brought from the dungeon to coinage for the party.

The party returns to the skeleton storage area, loathe to venture deeper with potential enemies behind them.  Walkul blesses the party, and they rush in to finish the skeletons that were turned in the first encounter.  Hilarity ensues as the skeletons prove serious mastery of the martial arts.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Miss 1
Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Miss 2
Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Miss 3

Eventually the last of the undead is put down after a grim and desperate battle.  Now more wary, the party prepares to press deeper into the tomb complex.  Who knows what lies within...?

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Skeleton Storage
"So this is where they keep all the dead bodies?  No?  Just a few?  Ok."

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Battlefield in a Box: Badlands

Battlefield-in-a-Box Badlands Star Wars Miniatures

Here we've got two selections from Gale Force 9's Battlefield in a Box line.  We've had these for a long time now, and they were featured on the old club blog - but it's time to start fixing up the gallery section here.  Also I really like these - I forgot how much I liked this line.  

Battlefield-in-a-Box Badlands D&D / Pathfinder Miniatures

Best thing about Battlefield in a Box is that you don't really have to do anything to them and they are battle ready.  The pieces are heavy and solid, and in the several years I've had them they don't really seem prone to chipping.  In particular we have two sets here, the Badlands Plateau and the Badlands Bluff.  There are two other sets in this series and now I intend to finally complete the entire set with Badlands Tors and Badlands Pillars.

Battlefield-in-a-Box Badlands Mechwarrior: Dark Age

Obviously there's a lot of cool stuff in the line, especially for 15mm games - Flames of War in particular.  Of course these pieces aren't scale specifics, so they can be placed on a variety of tables and still fit right in.  In these pics I've got them set up on my Tablewar Cave Floor, and it's probably the best match for them - but they look good on any table you want to set them up on.  To fit with a greener theme, just add some flock and static grass.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Howl of Oblivion: Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress

Howl of Oblivion by Iron Seer
** Howl of Oblivion Campaign Page **

The party splits ways with some of it's members, but meet new folk eager to adventure in Yecha.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Anverth
Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Kelil

The PC's spend a few days with Fasha Daouda'shi, who eventually entices the group to a venture he had been working on for quite some time...

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Fasha's Deal

After a short discussion about the ethics of grave-robbing, the party was in, and prepared to head into the Yecha Hills with Fasha and his auto-yurts.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Journey to Yecha XP

Soon, they were at the base of the hills where the tomb was rumored to be.  After a short search, the party finds the supposed entrance fairly easily.  Inside is a much bigger area than expected, and the stonework seems to absorb echoes.  Borz is wary of traps as well, for the workmanship seems to suggest them everywhere.  

Khaine discovers a headstone in what is presumably the actual tomb area.  After a few frights dealing with the minor magical wards, he lights both braziers and says a prayer to A'ta Savaaya, the Ancient Sorceress.  He then pees on it.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Critical Turn!

Further into the tomb complex, the party makes new friends.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Skeletons Dealt With

They smoke the skeleton guards pretty quickly, but Walkul started to take some punishment during the battle.  He had a spell disrupted by the rushing skeletons, but the party came rushing to his aid.

Lost Jewels of the Ancient Sorceress - Critical Hit!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Old Units & Warhammer Legends

Inspirobot thinks you can do better with all that money.
So, recently Games Workshop dropped a huge chonk of stuff onto Warhammer Legends.  In addition, a large swath of stuff was removed from Forge World's Imperial Armor books.  Like, 200 units.  FROM THE GAME.

You likely already know what I'm talking about.  You guys remember when they used to claim continued support for any army they ever sold?  Huh?  You remember that?

I'm not going to go into detail on what I think about this move, but as far as generally-accepted practices go I would say it isn't one and shouldn't be.  It's so silly I've decided that I hardly even care - not because it doesn't affect me, but because I'm numb to the pain.  Therein lies the strength.

I find I'm just not really interested in a lot of stuff that GW is doing these days.  Sorta, but not really.  Rules design and coherence has been sketchy since 2012 and everything needs constant collation and updating.  I mean, I love Warhammer - but this constant points changing has got to stop.  In 8th and 9th we'll probably skip right to power levels across all modes over the ridiculous new points system.  I'm not really a competitive gamer anymore.  I'll deal with it in that setting, but in our increasingly more casual games it's a disservice to listen to the metamongrels who constantly force this.

While I'm not declaring that this is an Oldhammer exclusive blog...I'm probably steadily leaning that way as time goes on.  I like a diversity of rulesets, so it's unlikely that I sit with simply ONE version of a ruleset I own six or more completely different versions of already.  We'll use, create and convert any rules or models we want to make our games interesting - you know, how they used to encourage us to do.

Just like with D&D there are so many old editions that actually provide valid ways to play.  So many things that have been lost in the current version of the game.  I have toyed with the idea of attempting to bring every rule and unit from my vast collection of tomes into one work, a sort of 'ultimate' edition, if you will...but that way lies madness.  I mean, vehicle design rules, Legion of the Damned - pretty much everything that the current IP stands on the head of to even be a thing.

It's obvious GW doesn't really care HOW we play the game, and I don't really care what they think anyway.  They can't make up their minds as there are too many goons out there trying to break the rules.  The current rulesets do have their own cool things, don't get me wrong.  I like it, in a way.  I can always use the models for whatever I want.  Any model - in any edition.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Howl of Oblivion: The Crossroads / Ancient & Wicked

Howl of Oblivion, an AD&D 2e Campaign
** Howl of Oblivion Campaign Page **

The Crossroads

The party decides to press on to Yecha in the vain hope of catching El-Bakir.  The journey takes eleven days, and they run out of food not far from their destination.  During the journey, the party begins to have even more respect for the Tevarsi hunters.

Along the way, they encounter an old medicine man known throughout the Tevarsi and Zyrjan Roams.  His name is Dar Dagbat, and he happened to have a Tevarsi apprentice named Keshik who knew Jaan Dhar.  The party easily hunted down a gazelle to trade Dar Dagbat for his healing potions.  While the party was camping there, Dar Dagbat had a vision of unclear import, only stating 'they are coming'.  As a result, Keshik joined the party.

A little worse for wear, they eventually arrive at the city of the Tiger Nomads.

Ancient & Wicked

...is what most nomads think of civilization.  The players have arrived in Yecha.  However, they will find their long absence from the Tevarsi Roam has had some unintended consequences.

Fantasy Grounds:  AD&D 2e Ancient & Wicked - Walkul's Cart

Yecha is not a big city, nor is it what you'd call modern.  It does have the amenities of a larger city than what the players may be used to in the setting so far.  However, it is sinister in many ways.

Unable to find any leads on either El-Bakir or followers of Iuz, the party befriends Fasha Daouda'shi at the night market.  He is a caravaner who regularly visits Yecha, and Khaine begins to feel out a possible business relationship involving freight hauling toward Greyhawk.  Saffron would likely make a good export, as well as wild rennet and other Baklunish spices.

As Borz and Walkul explore the city, they become aware of a seedy underbelly to Yecha but cannot find the fulcrum for the 'night life'.  Initially stumped, Keshik has heard stories of Yecha's 'House of Night'. After he relates much of what he had heard involving the den of iniquity, the party renews the search for it.  After Borz speaks with Fasha the next day, he spots someone watching them intently from the periphery of the bazaar.

The watcher beckons the rogues over, and lets them know her master summons them to the House of Night.  The party gathers and follows the agent, a young girl named Khai Djin, to the house of ill-repute in the center of the city.

The House of Night is a larger building in Yecha, a fabled House of Ill-Repute.  It is part opium den, part brothel, part gambling hall.  It is ran by one Rai Suli, a immigrant to Yecha from Ket, who came to the city of the Tiger Nomads eager to use his fortune and strike out on his own.  However, he is well known in Yecha and considered an upstanding citizen.  He informally operates a sort of 'thieves' guild' and has several informants all throughout the city, but the Ilkhan gives him little issue.  Rai Suli has grown quite comfortable on his k'tallah crops and in the decades he has been in the city his power and influence have quietly grown.  

Rai Suli welcomes the party to the House of Night, and begins to speak of Tep El-Bakir.  The party mentions the letter from El-Bakir to Iuz, and Suli is very interested and asks to take the letter away.  He is gone for some time, bidding the party to enjoy the amenities of the House of Night.

Fantasy Grounds:  AD&D 2e Ancient & Wicked - House of Night

In that time, Bari Bur, the Tevarsi Captain, enters the House of Night.  He is surprised to see the party and fills them in on what happened after they struck for Yecha.  The Tevarsi thought them dead, and the party's long absence from the roam has had some unintended consequences.

Fantasy Grounds: Ancient & Wicked - Rai Suli as Sean Connery

Unchallenged, Amir Bahra of the Wolf Nomads took command of the 200+ strong army on the Tevarsi Roam.  Unable to counter the force, the Zyrjans and Tevarsi withdraw and allow the army to move south into a pass in the Yatils.  The Zyrjans, eager to attack and unknowing of the size of the enemy force, prematurely attacked their gathering at the crossroads of Nu'Rek.  This results in the solid defeat of the Zyrjans, and the Tevarsi decide to move the entire encampment away from the army ahead of season.  

The players are assumed dead by Amir Iruz, who sends Bari to Yecha to speak of this account to the Chakyik Viziers.

Soon after this, Rai Suli emerges from his chambers and declares he has arranged a meeting with the Ilkhan's prime vizier, Ekbiya-Baklun Lyzandhan.  The party meets the vizier at his villa the next day, and are surprised to learn their services are no longer needed.  The army must be met with an army, and if the so-called 'enemy' move too far into the Yatils they will not be pursued.  The party is given a chance to join the provisional army to scout enemy movements to the Tiger border, but decline.

Fasha Daouda'shi offers the characters a chance to adventure, listing some tall tales and implying the existence of treasure maps, however some of the party are unsure how (or even if) they should continue.  Many feel the call to return home to the Tevarsi, rather than seek adventure with Fasha or pursue whatever vengeance Rai Suli had in mind.

Fantasy Grounds: Ancient & Wicked - Fasha's Tall Tales
The date is Moonday, 3rd Planting, 585 C.Y.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Star Wars Portal

Iron Seer's Star Wars
Despite everything you may think to the contrary, Star Wars is still the most consistently popular tag on any of Iron Seer's sites.  I know, right?  I still dig Star Wars even if I got more Imperial than First Order on my table.  So, as we move into 2021 it's probably a good idea to get all this sorted, especially if we want to reference it later.

Speaking of references, this post will be updated as new Star Wars posts hit.  I still have so many unopened ships I want to devalue by opening.  I also plan to make a great many more 'pew-pew' noises.

Last Entry: 05/16/21

More to come!

Reverse Format 5/16/21

Friday, October 30, 2020

Traveller: Research and Rescue [Part 3]

The following are GameDoc's session notes for the last session of our exploration of the ziggurats...

Fantasy Grounds Traveller - No Smash Mouth
** Welcome, Traveller... **

After stuffing another shootout with the strange humanoid soldiers, the Travellers continue their exploration of the alien ruin and discover one last survivor of the previous scientific exposition, a man named Aldred Giles.

Giles tells them that they were ambushed while unloading their equipment. Half the team were killed. He and the research assistant that the Travellers previously encountered were held here while the other survivors were taken away (where he doesn’t know). 

Giles and his colleague were made to attempt to sort out the dormant computer banks but all they managed to to was turn the power on by randomly pushing buttons. He really has no idea how anything works. At some point, they did “something” that caused the lights to go out for a moment. The Travellers deduce it was the gravitic pulse that downed their transport. 

He was also able to deduce that his captors were some sort of organic automaton with only rudimentary intelligence. They could only seem to operate within a narrow range of operating parameters.
Fantasy Grounds Traveller - Ziggurat Underground
This looks like a good spot to leave.

Using the Artefact Module, Hernando learns that this facility is powered by tapping the planet core but that the exact science behind this is unclear. It served as a defense station for the now long-extinct civilization that one inhabited the planet.

Having explored the ruins and discovered the fate of the missing research team, the Travellers decide its time to head home. Giles directs them to a working lift that emerges at the top of the second ziggurat, directly across from the one they entered through. Unfortunately, the plaza between them is patrolled by more of the automatons. 

Fantasy Grounds Traveller - Exfiltration
Protip:  Always know where the proverbial back door is.

J.C., having repaired their vehicle, slowly circles around through the forest and hovers at the back of the ziggurat. But with an injured Giles in tow, they Travellers aren’t able to be stealth enough to avoid notice. Amadeus drops a pair of frag greases on the advancing automatons to cover their escape and they all safely board the transport.

Back in the city of Serson, the Kingfisher is within a few days of full repair. Baroness Edda is grateful for the return of the surviving researcher and curious to know the nature of the automatons who assaulted the expedition. Hernando performs a study on the creatures DNA only to make a horrific discovery - it’s genetic code has been derived from human DNA. Once again, the Travellers are confronted with a type of unknown, advanced science.

More questions remain: If their enemies are barely-intelligent automatons, who created them and sent them to the ruins? What were they after? Where did the human DNA come from? Who will ultimately control the gravitic alien tech?

Fantasy Grounds Traveller - Real Doctor
Of course I can provide credentials.

Meanwhile, J.C. remains highly suspicious of the Baroness and wants to steer clear of getting drawn back into the politics of the nobility. When the Kingfisher is repaired, he and Riley are determined to head back to space.