[ D&D ] TFYP: Session Three

This is the adventuring journal of Timoura Silverstrings, Bard and Harper, as we make our way through the sixth season of the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League: Tales From the Yawning Portal.  Reading beyond this point may result in spoilers if you are playing or plan to play through this adventure.


After resting in Meepo’s lair, the party decided it was time to go and collect Erxidar.  However, we found the room infested with hobgoblins. We dealt with them handily, but one tried to bolt.  Awsht caught up with it and ended its days.  It fell into the pit we narrowly avoided on our way in. Two small goblin skeletons lay there, victims of their own trap, perhaps? Conkin went down into the pit to investigate, finding a few items of interest, but also another rat!  These small ones must look tasty. It didn’t last long after biting the druid. 


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[ D&D ] TFYP: Day Two

This is the adventuring journal of Timoura Silverstrings, Bard and Harper, as we make our way through the sixth season of the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League: Tales From the Yawning Portal.  Reading beyond this point may result in spoilers if you are playing or plan to play through this adventure.


Erxidar, as it happens, was accidentally struck by the poisoned dart that Awsht triggered on the door. We realized this when the wizard fell asleep right in the middle of the room! Fortunately, we’d just emptied out a nice, cozy room to stow her in!   


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[ Books ] Test of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, Vol. 3)


Cover Art by Larry Elmore

The final book in this trilogy, Test of the Twins, came and went pretty swiftly.  I actually managed to finish it before I got around to writing a blog post for it.  I usually try to do one at the half-way mark, then another at the end.  Instead you’re going to get it all at once!

As always, if you’re new to the series, here is your obligatory warning to turn back now for this is the Point of No Return — and potential spoilers! Continue reading

[ Books ] War of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, Vol. 2)


Artwork by Larry Elmore

So here we are, back again, as I finish up with War of the Twins!  The Army of Fistandantilus has reached the mountain fastness of the dwarven home of Thorbardin, but it’s no easy battle for either side as intrigue and betrayal runs amok!

As always with these discussions on books, if you’d rather read it for yourself first and avoid any potential spoilers, please turn back now!

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[ Books ] War of the Twins (Dragonlance, Legends Vol. 2)


Cover Art by Larry Elmore

We return to the world of Krynn, but are now in a different time than we left our heroes in Time of the Twins.  They’ve moved ahead some one-hundred years after the Cataclysm and stand on the precipice of the Dwarfgate Wars.

At this point in time, if you’ve only read Chronicles and this far in Legends, the Dwarfgate Wars likely don’t mean anything to you.  There’s a fair bit of lore-dropping in Dragonlance that later gets back-filled by other books in the franchise.  Suffice to say, you’re supposed to feel that the Dwarfgate Wars are a Pretty Important Event when it comes to the timeline.

As always, here is my convenient spoiler warning — don’t read past this point if you’re still enjoying the series on your own!

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Siege of Arey: Two


Within the palace walls, everything felt close, almost stifling.  It felt as every eye watched, critical of her every move; as if her life were now under close scrutiny and the world waited for a single mistake to be made.  It made it difficult to know who to trust, but there were stalwarts here, men and women loyal to the Empire that would not be so easily turned by the Whiteblood.  There were also those who were suspect.

Lord Cyto Kine was the current Minister of War, but long had he opposed Alane’s rule, oftentimes undermining her authority during council sessions or circumventing her plans.  His machinations were always subtle, but Alane was wise enough to the ways of her own court that she knew.  Once, she might have drawn him up on charges of conspiracy, but the Whiteblood that served as her guard had turned against her, leaving her near-defenseless in a den of lions.  She could not afford to show any weakness.  Not now.

As if the very thought of him conjured the man, the hulking shadow of the Lord fell over Alane as she passed through the doorway into her audience chamber.  It was empty at this time of night, bereft of the many courtiers that flit and fluttered, trying to catch the eye or attention of the Empire.  There was no one, then, to see as Lord Cyto reached out to take hold of Alane’s arm as she passed him, jerking it back hard to force the Empress to stop. A sickening thread of hatred and anger rippled through Alane, but it was only a passing look of irritation that crossed her features.

“Unhand me, Minister.”  She said with deliberate care.  “The hour is late and I am weary.”

“Oh, a thousand apologies, Your Majesty, I only wanted to make sure that you were all right after seeing that frightful display outside.  How it must wound you, Ma’am, to see our beloved city brought so low.”

“It would wound me more if the Empire were actually guilty of the upsets that the Whiteblood give us claim to, but we cannot blame the people for being lost and confused when our own Imperial Guard have turned against us.  Still, the foul roots of this tree will be excavated eventually and the offenders dealt with.  We have no fear of that.”  Alane extricated her arm from Lord Cyto’s grip with a twist of her wrist, then stepping out of his immediate range lest he catch her again.

“How brave you are, Ma’am,” he said, looking past her to the empty room beyond.  “For someone so alone.”

She inclined her chin with pride.  “We are not alone as one might think.  Have faith, Lord Cyto.  There are those loyal to us still.”  With that, she took herself across the audience hall and beyond into her private chambers.

Lord Cyto watched her go, his eyes narrowing a fraction.  “Not for long…” he murmured darkly to himself.  “Not for long.”


Siege of Arey: One


Gelid winds of winter’s whimpered like the ghosts of autumn’s fallen leaves. Snow had not yet fallen, but the grey monotone of the skies portended that it would be soon enough. Perhaps it would be enough to break the siege and bring the people to sense. Yet, even as the thought crossed her mind, Empress Alane knew it would bring no peace. Common folk had no concept of the art of war, but in this they had the advantage still.

Her palace towered over the city of Arey, but it was surrounded by those who considered themselves her enemies. Lies perpetuated by the Whiteblood, a band of insurrectionists hell-bent on overthrowing Imperial rule and “healing” the realm of its ills.  Once valiant defenders of the Empire, the Whiteblood turned against the crown, seeing enemies where there were none.  It was the Baron Cyto Kines that incited the Whiteblood against her sovereignty, spreading lies about the increase of taxes and the oppression of the merchant class.  He spoke in the streets about the decadence of the Imperial Palace and how the sovereignty had grown fat and complacent.

Truth be told, there was no conspiracy and no increase in taxes.  Reality of the matter was simple: the merchant class increased the prices of their wares, making it difficult for the lower classes to buy and sell goods, but when questioned they claimed it was higher taxes that resulted in the price increase.  Alane had attempted negotiations with the Merchant Princes a number of times, but they always refused.  Yet, rather than learn the truth for themselves, the common folk were all to ready to believe that their Empress and the Empire had failed them.

Alane drew the furred collar of her winter cloak higher up around her neck as she stepped out onto a balcony that overlooked the city.  In the distance, she could see the amber glow of flames as a section of the city burned.  Smoke curled up like sickly fingers of cold corpses, carrying with it the sounds of looting and malcontent. The winter would be a hard one for everyone.  They would be fortunate to survive.

Her eyes drifted away from the city, away from her failures as the steward of its welfare, and instead gazed skyward at the heavens. The Empire taught no religion, wanting no idols and gods to be placed above them in worth.  We are one body, she recalled it being said in one of her old governance lessons, One people.  We either stand together in faith with each other or we fail as a nation, disparate as a people.

There was no immunity from the disease that ate away at the very heart of her city and her people.  Like something terrible and chronic, it festered; lingering onward into a miasma of pain and abandoned hope.

“No,” she finally whispered aloud, her eyes once more returning to the burning parts of the city.  “I will not give up.  I’ll never give up.  There must always be hope.”

She turned to go back inside. “Even if it is only mine.”