Lions, Tigers & Orcs; Oh My

The Adventure

Feature Image Source: Ralph Horsley

As orcs descend on the party, we continue our quest in Nightstone. If you are currently running Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead. You can also catch up on the previous DM Matt adventures here.

The Adventure

With Ren and Sari facing off alone against a horde of orcs rushing into the city, Vola and Theren decided it best to stop the flow of people crossing the rope to the keep. Theren found suitable hiding places for the remaining villagers stuck outside the keep as Vola “assisted” Larken back over to their side of the keep’s moat (assisted meaning pulled really hard on the rope rocketing him across as he held on and jumped). As they started rushing to the gate, Vola noticed a hole in one of the outer walls; caused by the giant attack. She felt that left the city open to an attack dangerously close to the keep. Vola and Theren broke off from the advance to the main gate to secure the breached wall. Their intuitions paid off as Theren saw splashes coming from the water outside the hole in the wall.
Larken, Cassius, and Morack joined the fight just in time as the orcs started pouring across the bridge leading into the main gate. Cassius brought in some extra help by summoning a lion and tiger companion to fight by their side. He obviously was not just some helpless duke as we originally thought.

Props are due to our DM Matt at this point as two separate battles ensued. He handled it seamlessly.


It became obvious that the gate could not be raised in time to stop the orcs, so Ren misty stepped down from the gate tower. She thunder waved to push some of the orcs back from the main gate and managed to eliminate 4 of them right away. Seeing Ren pushing the orcs back, Sari came down from the second gate tower and wild shaped into an elk. She started pushing her way through the orcs, and Ren jumped on her back to ride along for mounted combat.


source: Entropy



Three orcs emerged from the water as Theren and Vola came up to the breach in the wall, and Vola spotted four more on the other side of the shore. She yelled out in orcish that the leader of the raiding party wanted them all to regroup at the main gate now. I rolled a spectacularly awful persuasion check though, so the group of orcs were in no way buying what this half-orc girl was selling.
Seeing they did not believe her and wanting to hold off from fighting, Vola asked in orcish their clan name. I made yet another awful persuasion roll, so one of the orcs made a smart-ass comment, “the clan that is taking this city”. Vola decided that was enough with the pleasantries and threw a javelin at the smart-ass orc. Unable to shake the feeling she should not be killing fellow orcs, she threw wide and missed the orc completely. The orc however had no reservations attacking her and immediately threw his own javelin hitting Vola square in the shoulder. Theren retaliated and cast flaming sphere, completely immolating that orc.


source: Gamasutra


Cassius held back from the main fight, took aim with his bow, and eliminated an orc right away with his shot. Sari also continued to push through the orcs as Ren shot firebolts from her back. Seeing Cassius and Ren taking down orcs so easily, the orc leader snarled and let out a loud battle cry to bolster his raiders. Gaining advantage on their attacks, the orc raiders began fighting back the party making some headway through the gates.

Larken recognized this tactic after a nicely rolled arcana check and cast bless to give the group a little extra help countering the raiders savage attacks. Cassius immediately took advantage of the blessing, cutting down another orc with an arrow. Seeing the leader fairly untouched, he recalled his pets and shot a vine arrow that entangled the leader in strong ropy vines. Unfortunately the orc leader was extremely strong, so he broke that grapple almost instantly.
Despite slipping the grasp of the vines, the leader gained little ground as he watched Sari trample and kill yet another one of his orcs. Ren also dealt another blow, hopping off Sari’s back and casting another thunder wave that finished off another orc fighter. As she turned from her latest kill though, Ren felt a creeping command enter her mind, telling her to walk off the bridge into the water. She resisted this magical instruction though and began looking for the source of the spell. She spotted an orc healer near the leader and hurled a firebolt his way.

The orc leader was quickly growing angry watching his forces laid to waste. He charged up to Sari and unloaded rage filled attacks. Landing each attack without a miss, he dealt massive damage causing Sariel to lose her elk form. She found herself standing face to face with a snarling, angry orc leader with no beast form to protect her.


source: Scrolls of Lore


Vola tried one last time to stop the advance telling them to halt for the daughter of the Laughingmaw clan (her estranged father’s clan name). My shitty rolls continued to flow and the orcs’ attack did stop in the slightest. Theren was not suffering from bad roll syndrome however and nat 20’d on an eldritch blast, blowing one of the orcs to bits.
Realizing that reasoning was just not going to work, Vola launched another javelin at the oncoming orcs. I must have been cursed because yet AGAIN my roll robbed me of any chance of success and the javelin was batted away by the advancing foe.


source: FunnyJunk

Thankfully after some dice banishing, a favorable roll landed and Vola finally hit with a sword strike. Full of rage from her failure to fight when she knew she should not be holding back, Vola enacted divine smite, cutting down the orc attacker with holy radiance. Seeing their fellow raiders fall and realizing the wall breach no longer offered easy entry, two of the orcs turned back, running to rejoin the main force at the gates.


Feeling the burn from Ren’s firebolt, the orc cleric shook a bag and slammed it against his chest. A red glow imitated from his chest filling him with magical healing. Sari saw this but had little time to act on it as orcs had started to surround her to support their leader. She casted thunder wave in hopes of clearing away the threat. A massive wave of damage blasted out from her and as my DM said “killed the hell out of an orc” next to her. Unfortunately the hardy leader was not taken down by the wave and unleashed another round of painful attacks on Sariel. She was starting to look really rough and in dire need of help.

Morack up to this point had not joined the fight. Seeing Sari in such a bad state, he ran to her aid, raised his axe, and immediately missed striking the leader. Thanks for the help there Morack. Unlike his fellow dwarf Morack, Larken landed solid blow one right after the other and summarily destroyed the orc healer with his spiritual weapon (a ethereal representation of the scales of Kelemvor).  Adding a little extra insult, Larken yelled out to the dying orc, “Gruumish is a stupid face and Kelemvor is stronger”. Well worded mocking there Larken.


Only two orcs remained as the others had ran back to the main gate. One of them yelled out to Vola, “Why you stand against Earskeers!?”. Before she could respond, Theren cut the orc down with an eldrich blast. As the final orc rushed in towards Vola she finished the fight taking him out with a searing smite.


Morack did manage to take the orc leader’s attention off Sariel, but that unfortunately left him to get waylaid by the leader. Morack tried to retaliate but missed on his attacks again. Come’on Morack. Dwarves are supposed to be hardy fighters! Bolstered by his overwhelming of this dwarven town leader, the orc boss let out another battle cry to rally his remaining troops.
Sari did not want this to lead to an upper-hand, so she focused a poison spray on the leader, leaving him badly hurt. Larken saw the leader looking rough and decided to finish him off by cutting him in half with his spiritual weapon. He left him with the parting words, “Gruumush sucks Kelemvaor’s balls; enjoy hell!”. So descriptive Larken.
Seeing their leader fall, the reaming three orcs turned back to the forest in retreat.

The battle was over and the town saved, but Vola could not help feeling down about having to kill the orcs. Though they were not part of her father’s tribe, the guilt still gnawed at her. She headed back to the keep with the group to help the villagers back over the moat. Once they started moving the townsfolk back to the main village, Vola realized that two guards were hiding in the keep the whole time rather than helping fight. That really pissed Vola off. She did not want to fight the orcs, but she did it and these cowards hid instead of doing their duty to the town. She picked up a rock and chucked it at one of the guards. OF COURSE after a battle full of misses, I nat 20’ed on throwing a damn rock at the guard. Insult to injury, my DM described the rock as sailing right through the helmet slit and hitting the coward square in the eye.

The party retired to the closest inn for a well deserved drink and a much needed rest. What are the giants up to, and will the group find out what these raiding parties are doing with the Nightstone?

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Super Sweets and Giant’s Strength

Feast Feature / The Adventure

Our giant quest continues, so if you are currently running Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead. You can also catch up on the previous DM Matt adventures here.

Feast Feature

This week was a crazy busy one, so I decided to visit one of my local favorites for some sweet treats for the group. There is a bakery in the DFW called Sugar Bee Sweets.

A friend that I used to work with opened this bakery, and she creates the most stunning cakes and absolutely delicious treats. She has made two custom cakes for me, and both were equally creative and tasty.

We had a cake made for my niece’s 16th birthday that she loved.


The cake we had made for my dad’s 60th birthday was incredible. While I was growing up, my dad was a firefighter; and some of my fondest memories are of playing on the firetrucks at the station. They recreated my dad’s captain helmet perfectly as a birthday cake. This was a truly special piece for my family.

They also have a shop front with many take home goodies to choose from, so you can stop in for a sweet-tooth fix. I grabbed a variety of cupcakes and cake-balls for everyone to try. I am a sucker for anything red velvet, and everything is better with sprinkles on it.


If you are in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and need a custom cake or some treats for a get-together, Sugar Bee Sweets is your go to place. You won’t be disappointed.

Our party’s favorite druid player, Raven, also made some very special cupcakes of her own. Beast companion Jake had a birthday to celebrate, so Raven made these awesome pupcakes for maximum doggie enjoyment.


They were a hit with Jake and Ellie for sure, and I took home a doggie bag (pun intended) for my doggos. They were pretty enthusiastic about them as well.

Everyone loves a good cupcake!

The Adventure

We had settled the last of Daggford’s mysteries in our previous session, or so we thought. As we all took a breather at the local inn, Sari had stepped outside to read her newly acquired book on gnomish (Gnomish for Dummies if you will). She noticed a golden hawk flying toward the main keep and saw a note fall from it as it passed. She was able to find the note and read it. It was from the new duke of the city Cassius, and it was addressed to his fiancé (the one we had to tell her granddad died in our caravan). It told her of an attack on the city he was currently in called Nightstone. He asked her to send supplies for the assaulted city and hire an escort for the supply caravan.
When Sari told everyone of what she had found, we made our way back to the keep to deliver the lost message. Now, one thing I left out about the last adventure was that Ren was concerned about giving her name at the keep when we delivered the bad news about the deceased grandfather, so she gave a fake name. She said her name was Larken, and Vola of course decided then her name would be Ren. Oy vey. When we showed up with the entire group and Ren was addressed as Larken, of course hi-jinks ensued as the real Larken started giving Ren-larkin shit about how she must be a great cleric. When put on the spot Melany (who plays Ren) brilliantly played along and even invented a whole new deity then and there when asked about her cleric abilities. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure Wizards of the Coast will be please to hear about the brand new goddess Sho-mama. Praise be unto Sho-mama.


source: Immp – Deviant Art


We volunteered to escort the supplies to Nightstone and bring Cassius back safe. We made it about halfway there and noticed large figures in the distance on the road. We had a suspicion by the sheer large size that a giant was in our way, but to make absolute sure of what we were dealing with, Theren cast invisibility on himself and scouted ahead. As he made his way up the road, he spotted one hill giant, two ogres, and two bugbears all chowing down on animal carcasses.

Looking at the mini for the hill giant, I realized something. Look at this guy. Remind you of anyone familiar?


sources: Pic Click ; Raybot Customs

Marvel’s The Blob ran away to become a hill giant in D&D

After managing to get a stealthy look at our large foes, Theren returned to the group to report on what we were up against. First he decided to have a little fun and gooses Vola. Luckily she did not cry out and alert the giant and his friends, but she did freak out and backhand Theren while swinging wildly at her unseen foe.

Vola and Larken decided to distract the group of baddies and approach in the open while the others stealthed in from the sides. No big deal right? Just stroll up to a MASSIVE giant while he has a snack and say hello. Vola squared off with one of the ogres right away, and he landed some pretty hefty hits on her. She retorted with a nat 20 hit that had searing smite on it and added some divine smite for good measure. All of that paired with her innate ability as a half orc, savage attack, dealt a hefty blow on it’s own. Also the searing smite set him on fire. Not too shabby right? No no, he was still looking fine after all that. Vola is used to taking things out with a round like that, so it shook her a little having the ogre absorb that much damage and stay standing. She decided this was going to be a tough fight and took a cloud giant’s strength potion that Larken had given her. That was when our DM said “your strength is raised to 27 for 1 hour”. WHAT?! Imagine a 6’5″ half orc on steroids running around. I freaking loved it!



We took advantage of this boost and most of us ganged up on the hill giant. If an ogre can take hits without being phased, you can bet that hill giant is going to absorb a ton of damage. Realizing we were out to get him, the giant took off as the ogres kept us where we were. He got 110 ft away from us, and we all figured that he was going to get away. No way buddy! Larken jumped in and scored the killing blow with a long shot guiding bolt.

Unfortunately while this triumphant scene was unfolding, Sari was being attacked by the two bugbears, and they managed to knock her unconscious. In a series of unfortunate events style move, as Larken is running to heal Sari, Vola killed an ogre too close by causing it to fall square on Larken. He failed his dex save and was pinned by the ogre. He had to waste his next turn getting out from under the corpse. In that time, Sari failed two death saves and was being dragged away by one of the bugbears. Larken saved the day again though and used channel divinity: preserve life to heal her while the rest of us took out the bugbears.

With the fight over, we took a look around to see what could be salvaged. Larken actually found a live pig in the hill giant’s bag. A LIVE PIG. He promptly named him porkchop. When we arrived in Nightstone, Larken donated porkchop to the town supplies as an extra bit of sustenance. As we searched for Cassius, we saw the city was destroyed by large boulders. We came upon Cassius with the town leader Morak. They told us a castle floating on clouds came overhead as giants threw boulders onto the city. The giants came down into the city and stole the Nightstone, a large black stone that the city was built around and named after. No one knew why they came to the city for the nightstone, but as we contemplated this, battle cries could be heard beyond the gates. A band of orcs were approaching to take advantage of the vulnerable city.
We began moving the townsfolk to the city center to the safety of the keep. Unfortunately there was a moat around the keep, and the bridge had been destroyed in the giant attack, so we had to find another way to get the people across. Volta threw Larken across the moat so we could tie the rope of climbing to the other side.


source: Pintrest

He could not find anything strong enough to tie the rope to, so Vola held one side as he held the other; and Theren began guiding people across the rope. As this effort was being coordinated, we realized the city gates were wide open. Crap! Sari and Ren ran to the front gate and climbed the two towers with the gate’s chain wheels. They tried to turn the wheels but failed their strength checks. Twice. The two strongest party members were busy holding a rope with villagers on it, so they could not help. The orcs began crossing the bridge to the gates, so Ren and Sari starting throwing spells at them to try and halt their advance. Did I mention there were about 15 orcs coming at the gates? No? Yeah there were 15 orcs running up on the city, and in true cliffhanger fashion, that was where we left the session. Nothing like some suspense to drive you through the week right?

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Belkers

Feast Feature / The Adventure

We met to continue our quest to bring down some troublesome giants, so if you are currently running Pathfinder Society – Year of the Serpent or Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead. You can also catch up on the previous DM Matt adventures here.

Feast Feature

No matter how much I absolutely love to cook for my friends, there are going to be days I just don’t have the time to prepare a feast. I decided on those occasions that I would take some time to just talk about something I love. I may talk about my favorite cooking utensil, new ingredients I am now obsessed with, a favorite eatery that I think everyone just has to know about, or maybe a treat I think no one should live without. This week the group ventured out for a little convention fun and comic book shop adventures. Once we found all of the games and dice we could not live without, we headed to our next session.

I decided that since I could not cook this time around, we had to have some ice cream. Being a typical Texan, I will only buy Blue Bell ice cream. I was raised with Blue Bell, and like many fellow southerners, I consider it the go to brand. My old stand by is Dutch Chocolate. It is a classic flavor that never gets old. I had to pass it over though because a new flavor was just put out by Blue Bell, and luck would have it that it was in stock when we stopped to grab the cold treats.


source: kxan

Blue Bell Ice Cream – Ice Cream Cone Flavor

This right here is officially my new favorite. The new flavor combines a vanilla ice cream base with bits of dark chocolate covered cone pieces, chopped peanuts, and a fudge swirled in with the bits. It is like taking a drumstick and crunching it up in vanilla ice cream. I won’t drone on about it (seriously though I could because it is yummy), but it is phenomenal. If you have not tried it yet, I highly recommend it.

The Adventure

I entered the world of D&D as an adult, so I missed out on this massive creative world as a kid. That is why I love seeing kids playing board games and getting into D&D. Future adventurer Jade is lucky to be born into this crazy world of geekery.


Lemmie is an awesome geeky mama

I love that my niece and nephew are now adventurers in training. They have always loved playing games at our house and going to the comic shop with us, so when they expressed interest in playing D&D, I was the happiest auntie in the world. Our awesome DM let my nephew Riley sit in and help him with this session.


Don’t let that cute face fool you. He is planning our party’s demise as we speak.

Being a “junior DM” tickled Riley to death. He had the opportunity to see a game in action and take a peak into the DM world. I have a lot to teach him though on the side of not being a murder DM. He wanted to throw every monster he could at us. Look at these happy people. They have no idea a miniature doom-bringer is sitting among them.

Oh and if you squint real hard, you can see my niece in there too. She had a blast going with us to the comic shop and playing board games, but she reached her teenage social limit before the game started and had to retreat to snapchat and facebook.

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A wild Kaitlyn appears!

In our last session, we had finished the tasks for Palhuna (not a bad guy after all) and gained the Monadistic Archive for Wulessa. We headed back to the library to present her with our prize in exchange for more knowledge on giants in the area. She was extremely excited to investigate the archive and asked us to assist her right away in a ritual to open the it. We were a little leery of what going to be inside, but curiosity got the best of us.  The ritual completed and it seemed like nothing happened, but of course that is not how D&D works. Wulessa immediately turned into hag and filled the room with a fog.

source: Forgotten Realms Wiki

Wulessa? You feeling ok?

We take care of the hag but quickly realize we are not in Kansas anymore. The door is no longer a door. It has merged with the wall and offers no way out. The windows in the room won’t open as well. We were stuck in a room that looked like Wulessa’s study but had no clear exit. Larken was looking around for a possible exit and realized there was something weird about this place. The curtains in the room billowed as if a breeze was coming through the window, but that was not possible since the windows were tightly shut. He studies on this fact for a minute and POOF disappears. WHAT?! Larken disappeared! Everyone panic!
As we all freak out and try to figure out what the hell is going on, Larken suddenly appears in a bedroom all alone.


Hello? Guys?

As Larken looked around this new room, we all start to notice the same weird moving curtains with no wind. One by one, we start to POOF out of the fake study into what looks like a child’s room. Vola spots dolls in the corner and immediately starts playing with them. Wulessa appears in a mirror as we all look around the room. She tells us that is appears the Archive is accessing her memories. This room we are in is her childhood bedroom. Vola on a whim asks Wulessa what her favorite book was as a child. Do not ask me why I thought to ask that. I honestly have no clue because Vola is not a massive reader. Though she would likely enjoy a kids book. When Vola located the book, she looked at it confused and showed it to Wulessa. It should be a child’s fairy tale, but the inside of the book is filled with complicated formulas and seems to be more like a calculus book. As Vola was saying this is an odd book for a child to like, POOF she disappears. Not again!

Vola appeared in a strange checkered room with a swirling void to the side of the room. The room itself was strange as it was covered in these luminescent blue and black checkerboard tiles, but having part of the room fall off into a complete void had Vola more than a little confused. She spit in the void to see if it would float away. Oddly enough it seemed to land as if there was an unseen floor in the void. Very carefully she stepped out from the room and found she could walk around in the void on this invisible floor. She noticed some strange crystal like figure in the middle of the void, so she started walking toward it. She noticed as she walked forward, she made no progress at all. The figure maintained the same distance from her no matter how far she walked.
At this point, the other members of the group started to figure out that by noticing what was not right in the memory (wind where there is none, the wrong book in the room), they were able to move on to the next area. As Ren appeared in the new checkered room, Vola started acting like she was floating away in the void. She passed a respectable deception check and made Ren believe she was “floating away”. She of course blew that performance by laughing the second Ren started freaking out. More people started to appear in the room, so Vola walked back from the void to try something a little more productive.

As they looked around this odd room, one of the tiles changed to a picture of an eye and then shifted to a question mark. We guessed that whatever was taking note of Wulessa’s memories must be trying to “speak” to them. We start asking questions like “where are we”, “what are you”, “what do you want”. It shifted between a set of scales and a chain breaking and then reforming. We had no idea what it was trying to tell us, so we proceeded down the only passage we could see.
We entered a room that was a balcony overlooking a room below with a large angel statue opposite the balcony. There were walkways to make way to the statue without falling into the room below. As we made our way on to the walkways, Wulessa’s face appears on the statue. She told us this place is another memory of hers. She and fellow adventurers came here seeking a golden idol. She warns the group that this place is dangerous. Two of her fellow adventurers died here, and we should get out quickly. She then told us to “take this” and a rope appeared before Theren. We now had the Rope of Climbing to help us get to the room below. We did not have much time to figure this out though as two shadowy creatures appeared in the upper area of the room with us. These nasty little creatures where Belkers, and they started moving in to attack us all on the narrow elevated walkways.


source: Legacy of Fire

Nooooooo thank you!

We immediately started to nope the hell out of that part of the room. We did not want to fight these guys, so we tried to find a way out of the room below. Before jumping down with the rest of us, Ren checked the angel statue Wulessa’s face had appeared on, and she found a false compartment holding a glass idol. She joined us below quickly though as the belkers began to close in on her. The only way out of the room was a massive, thick glass door that looked like it should have ropes or chains to raise the door, but of course there were no chains in sight. The group started attacking the door, but it was massive and strong. Very little progress was being made and the belkers where closing in on them. Getting aggrivated, Vola used thunderous smite and blew the door apart. The belkers vanished and the way seemed cleared, but the group found they still could not leave. Oh right. Weird memory rooms. What is out of place? Ren remembered that they idol that Wulessa spoke of what gold, and the idol she found was glass. Bingo! The group POOFED into the next area.

We found ourselves in another checker room, and the eye appeared on the walls again. We asked again what it wanted. It showed us a picture of Wulessa on a scroll, and then the scroll rolling up and being put away. Larken drew a picture of Wulessa on to a scroll he had and presented it to the eye to see how literal it was being. It showed red X and then a picture of rats being swept out with a broom. I guess this unseen figure was growing tired of us and wanted us to get out. Believe me, we were trying to do just that. After not making headway yet again with the eye character, we POOFED into a new room. This time we were in Palhuna’s shop. You know, the guy that was absolutely a bad guy but not really. Palhuna enters the room, but he is not quite right. He looked like Palhuna, but did not speak and seemed to flicker in place even. The fake Palhuna produced a golden key and gestured to a door. This was the way out, and he had to key to leaving. He looked to Ren, held out the key, and put his hand out for her to give him something. She then realized she was holding a scroll, and on this scroll is a drawing of Wulessa. It was almost as if he was saying “give me Wulessa and you can leave”. Giving him the scroll was the group’s way of saying they would not fight him on taking Wulessa’s mind into the archive.
There was no way we were just going to let the archive take her. We were convinced this would kill her. Larken rolled a magnificent slide of hand check and switched the scroll Ren was holding for the one he drew earlier. Maybe we could trick him into letting us out without giving up Wulessa. Fake Palhuna tapped his foot impenitently and shook his head no. I guess you can’t trick someone that controls the entire reality of where you are currently. Damn.

There is no way we are going to give Wulessa up without knowing if she would be safe, and we tell the fake Palhuna no. He did NOT like that answer. We were pushed back to the checker room with the massive void. We see a large figure coming out of the void towards us. You know how I mentioned earlier that Riley was the “junior DM” for this session. Well Matt let him pick a monster for us to fight. He picked this big guy.


This big iron golem had a ton of damage immunities. Melee fighters like myself are pretty much useless against this guy. Thanks Riley! After some adjustment of tactics, we were able to take the golem down; much to Riley’s dismay. Seriously this kid wanted his monster to win.
Seeing that his golem did not defeat us, the archivist himself decided to be rid of us himself. The crystal figure in the middle of the void started moving our direction quickly. Before we knew it, we had this crazy looking beast to deal with.


source: Pathfinder Society – Year of the Serpent cover

We managed to defeat the archivist, and Ink got the killing blow, stabbing up through the bottom of the creature and shattering him in a million crystalline pieces. We returned to the real world, and Wulessa was alive and well-ish. She seemed terribly exhausted from the ordeal, but she was very grateful to be alive. She gave Theren the actual Rope of Climbing from her adventuring days as a thank you and told us to return once she has rested to receive the info we were seeking. That was where we ended the session. Riley had a blast even though his monster died. I leave you now with the cutest picture of future adventurer Jade and adventurer in training Riley.


Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Dragon Eggs and Gambled Years

The Feast / The Adventure / The Recipe

While I love DMing, I do get to kick back and enjoy being an adventurer as well. The group I play with as a character met to continue our quest investigating increasing giant activity. If you are currently running Pathfinder Society – Year of the Serpent or Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead.

The Feast

This week I wanted to take one of my favorite baked goods and put a little D&D spin on it. I love making cake balls because they are fairly easy and really versatile on the variety you can make. My old stand by, and viking husband’s favorite, is strawberry cream cheese cake balls with a dark chocolate shell.
The latest story-line for Critical Role has left me with dragons on the brain; especially red dragon eggs, so I decided to take my cake ball recipe and tailor it to a dragon egg theme. The recipe can be found below.
Like all cake balls, you first have to make a delicious cake (in this case a Pillsbury Funfetti cake) and absolutely destroy it so you can roll it up into bite size spheres.

Well not quite spheres this time around since I was going for the egg shape. If you have never made cake balls, you take a freshly made cake, mush it into bits, add icing to give it some sticky/solidness, and roll them up to your desired shape/size. Now don’t obsess over the shape too much to start. You will put these in the fridge for a bit to stiffen up some, so you can finish out shaping them before you coat them in the chocolate.
I wanted to get some extra texture with the shells on these, so I took some red sugar sprinkles and mixed in them in with the melting chocolate.

It took so much will power to not just eat this with a spoon.

It gave the chocolate a nice shimmer and extra crunch. I did not want to go for a perfect smooth egg look. In my mind, a red dragon egg would be housed in a hot lava filled cavern. I wanted to go for a cooled lava texture as if the eggs were coated in lava to give them a hard protective shell and be encased in the heat. I made sure my chocolate was a little thicker to get that caked on look and then added a touch more red sprinkles just to give the eggs some extra shine. I absolutely love how they turned out!


Seriously, I took a bajillion pictures of them.

Most importantly, they tasted great too. I love it when a baking project turns out. Believe me plenty of them absolutely do not. Cake balls though are normally the more cooperative variety of  baking endeavors.

Speaking of tasty baked noms, Justin and Raven broke out some of the best Oreo truffles I have ever had.


Sweet, rich, and absolutely to die for. Not to mention they were a great pairing with the dragon eggs.

Best friends forever.

Since I took the baking route this time around, the rest of the group brought the savory goods. Raven provided a game night favorite.


Pigs in a blanket, YEAH! Easy, delicious, bite-size, and a staple for gaming. My mom would make this little treats for our game nights, so I was probably more excited than normal when she brought these out.
Now I know pizza is pizza and there is a million and one types and brands, but the pizza Lemmie brought to cook was down right delicious. I like pizza just like 99.9% of the rest of the world, but finding a brand you can cook at home that tastes fantastic can be difficult.


This right here, Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen, yea ma’am. Great take and bake that you can get from Aldi. Just like I said last week, don’t be afraid to buy things frozen because you really can find something that tastes homemade.

Time to chow down and prepare for our next adventure.

Lemmie’s little future adventurer Jade was saving her energy for the battles to come.


And beast companion Jake was on standby for any treats that could be sent his way.

I love this little guy. I try to steal him every time we come over.

The Adventure

Just like last week, I will give everyone a little intro to our adventuring party.

The “Nature-loving” Druid
Sariel Oakenheel
Female Elf Druid
played by Raven
Source: Deviant Art
The “Giant Expert” Rouge
Iniko Tealeaf
Female Halfling Rouge
played by Lemmie
Source: we are Rogue
The “Cautious” Warlock
Theren Evenwood
Male Half-elf Warlock
played by Justin
Source: Deviant Art
The “Death-watcher” Cleric
Larken Ironwood
Male Dwarf Cleric
played by John
Source: rpg setting
The “Mysterious” Sorcerer
Renata Valkaria
Female Tiefling Sorcerer
played by Melany
The “Missing” Barbarian
Viclannan Ironhouse
Male Dwarf Barbarian
played by Johnny
Source: Deviant Art
The “Joy-filled” Paladin
Vola Helder
Female Half-orc Paladin
played by ME!
Source: wikia
The “Killer of all you love” DM
Matt Abernathy
Male Human Dungeon Master
played by Matt
Source: wikiHow
Don’t book a judge by his lover

We had made our way to Daggerford in our previous session and needed more information about the increase in giant activity in the area. After meeting our newest member Ink, and making a deal with a seriously shady individual, we were out fulfilling the requests for “Mr McShadyassguy”. He had asked us to trade some goods with a band of gnolls for him, clear some entity out of a mask, and procure a mirror by way of gambling…with years. Seriously this guys is SOOOO shady. We had all pretty much decided he needed to go after we finished up these tasks. We could not let him keep conducting such shady deeds in town.
We started the session after we had dealt with the gnolls previously and discovered the cargo he was trading for were baby white lions. Unfortunately a low perception roll on the crates did not show they had what appeared to be breathing holes. Larken tossed one of the boxes to open it, and well yeah the baby lion inside did not survive. Sari was so very upset about that one. Thankfully after realizing what was inside, we stopped Larken from breaking the other box in the same manner. That baby lion, while freaked out, was quite alive. We decided to go ahead and clear out the mask. Our cleric Larken activated the mask, and a bunch of nasty little Magmin popped out. Not knowing what we would face, we tired to talk to the first one that popped out. It just took off towards some bushes hell bent to catch them on fire. Great, little pyromaniacs.

So in grand adventurer fashion, we proceeded to lay into the little trouble makers, hoping to make short work of them. Too bad they had the unfortunate side effect of exploding when you kill them. Man that splash damage was a bitch. Despite that unpleasant surprise, we were able to finish the lot of them off without massive loss.
Now we had to decide what to do “Mr CreepyMcCreeperson”. Do we give him the baby lions and mask, or do we take him out? I mean come on!? Who trades for rare baby lions with shady gnolls and has a mask that contains exploding fire creatures? Bad guys, that’s who. We needed to make some stops before we dealt with this “totally a bad guy”, so the group split up and finished out some to-dos.
Ren and my character Vola met with the future wife of the city’s new duke to deliver the unfortunate news that her grandfather had passed. Fun stuff right? While we dealt with that grim task, Sari took some time to comfort the baby lion. She loves all things nature and animal, so she had him all fed, comforted, and named by the time we came back. Larken had waited by the town market with the trade goods owed to “absolutely a bad guy”. A random passerby stopped thinking Larken was selling said goods at the market. Well of course he was. Knowing we were not going to be dealing with “I swear he is really a bad guy” much longer, Larken began selling the goods. He even set up an area where we could give blessing from his god Kelemvor…Lord of the Dead. A mom stopped and asked him to set her mischievous son straight, so Larken proceeded to tell the young boy about the city of the dead and all the horrors that await the faithless and bad little boys. The little boy ran away crying, and the mother, very satisfied, dropped silver in Larken’s donation box.
While Larken made a quick sliver off the people of Daggerford, Ink and Theren returned to the town library to see what they could find on the giants in the region, and Ren and I asked around for some information on possible wild life reserves for the baby lion. We asked a town guard about what one might do with wild life they came upon, and he told us of an oddball townsfolk that had a sister that ran a wild life reserve. That oddball townsfolk turned out to be “HE’S A BAD GUY DAMN IT!”. Of course. OF COURSE! Apparently despite his creepiness, that guy is some sort of philanthropist and was likely saving the lions from the gnolls. The mask could only be used to trap fire based creatures, so he was clearing it out to possibly catch more. ARGH! Come on!

But wait! We still had to deal with the last task. He wanted a magic mirror from this woman who was doing research on how to harness time. The only way to get the mirror was to gamble 20 years of your life to her research. Now that is some bad guy like stuff there, right? At this point future adventurer Jade was awake and completely enthralled in this quest.

Little known fact, vikings have natural baby soothing abilities.

The members of the group with longer life spans stepped up to gamble the years. The game was called 20 bones, and you could bet years to add a D20 to your roll. For each D20 that you rolled higher than her, you got your bet year for that die and one of her years back. For each D20 lower than the one she rolled, you lose your year to her and she keeps hers. She had 20 years in the pot, and the 20 years from our group was split between Sari, Larken, and Ink. Well, despite their best effort, and ton of slight of hand checks, our group lost all 20 of our years. Luckily the price of the mirror was simply to play, but we had hoped to not have 20 years sucked out of our friends. And when I say sucked out, that was exactly how she did it. They were hooked up to a crazy magic and science based machine that sucked the years from a tube shoved down your throat. Ouch.
So through the weirdest game possible, we had this mysterious mirror to give to “I’m still not convinced he is not a bad guy”. When we give him the baby lion, he tells us it was in fact a gift for his niece to take to the wild life reserve his sister has. That mask? He had told us about an abandon warehouse far outside of town where we could clear out the mask. Oh yeah, that was probably a better idea than the edge of town and fairly thoughtful to others’ safety. Yeah well that mirror, surely that is something evil. Kinda. Apparently the mirror can be used to trap people in it, AH HA, but he was trying to get the mirror to rescue an adventurer that had been trapped inside. Oh, so he really is a good guy. DAMN IT!

So here we were about to take out a guy we thought was evil, and he turns out to be some creepy version of Mother Teresa. Crap. Vola was trying to glean a pearl of wisdom learned from this almost debacle, and unfortunately she is not the most intelligent of the group; so the lesson we are left from all this is to “never book a judge by his lover”.

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Recipe: Red Dragon Cake Balls

  • 1 box cake mix (I used funfetti mix to give extra texture)
  • 1 16 oz. container of icing (I used cream cheese icing)
  • oil (for cake mix – see box for amounts)
  • eggs (for cake mix – see box for amounts)
  • 2-3 bags of melting wafers (I used ghirardelli melting dark chocolate)
  • red sugar sprinkles

Prepare the cake as instructed on the box. Once the cake is ready, set it aside and allow it to cool completely. If you try to make the cake balls while the cake is still warm, they will not keep their shape.
Take the cooled cake and crumble it up in a large mixing bowl. Add roughly half of the icing to the crumbled cake and mix together. You want the texture to be soft but firm enough to shape into balls. If the mix is still too crumbly, add more icing a tablespoon at a time until it is a good shaping texture. If you put in too much icing, it may be too mushy to shape, so add slowly and test often.
Once the mix is right, shape into roughly egg size/shape balls. Don’t worry about the shape being perfect at this stage. You will be able to shape them more before you add the chocolate shells. Place them on a plate or cookie sheet as you go and transfer them to the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
Once the cake balls have stiffened in the refrigerator, melt your chocolate wafers by the instructions on the bag. For the dragon egg texture, you want the chocolate to be a little thick. Add the red sugar sprinkles to the melted chocolate. Just sprinkle in enough to give the chocolate a little texture, but not too much so the chocolate becomes too clumpy.
Take each egg and roll in the chocolate mix. Be messy with it because you are not going for perfect. You want that rough rolled on look. If you did want perfect smooth eggs, place all of the eggs on baking racks and pour the chocolate evenly over them. As you coat the eggs, sprinkle your red sugar sprinkles over the tops to give them the extra shimmer. Place them on baking racks (or the same plate/cookie sheet if you do not have racks), and transfer them back into the refrigerator to harden completely. You will notice the chocolate hardens quickly even before you put them in the refrigerator, so it should only take 30 minutes to an hour before they are fully set.