Spiced Chops and Tossing Gricks

The Feast / The Adventure / The Recipe

The group are working their way through the Wave Echo Cave, so if you are currently running the D&D Starter Set, beware possible spoilers ahead. You can also catch up on the previous Chef DM adventures here.

The Feast

The rustic WoW feast went so well last session, I wanted to dive right back in to another World of WarCraft Official Cookbook recipe. I was feeling like something with a kick, so I went with Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops.

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Now for those who have never played WoW, Dirge Quickcleave is a goblin butcher in Gadgetzan.

Dirge
Source: Wowhead

I’m no goblin, but I tried to live up to his ingredient standards. The recipe called for lamb as the protein. You know, because there are not too many chimaerok’s flying about here on earth.

Chimaerok

Source: WoWWiki

Yeeeeaaaah. Don’t think these are hanging out nearby

I decided to change out the lamb for a thick cut pork chop in the end. I have never been a huge fan of lamb. The taste is just not my favorite. I am sure the lamb works perfect with the recipe, but if you do want to try it with pork, it works very well. The spices compliment the pork chop nicely.

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Have I mentioned how much I love mixing spices?

The chops came out nice and tender with a good kick. Spiced, but not burn your face off hot. Dirge had the right idea with this recipe.

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The side dishes that my adventures brought this week were particularly amazing. Shannon brought a super delicious and refreshing cold tortellini salad. Visually pretty and very tasty.  Ross and Delphine brought an extremely tasty roasted squash and root vegetables. Simple dish, but man is it one of my favorites.

Last but absolutely not least, Delphine continues to dazzle with adventure themed treats. In celebration of the group’s encounter (and besting of) Nezznar the Black Spider, Dephine brought these little gems.

Look at them! One, the cracker, cheese, and olive combo was delicious, and two, SPIDER TREATS! I love this stuff. I can’t get enough of themed foods that also work well together taste wise. Brilliant!

All in all, a great meal with even better company.

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The Adventure

In the last session, the group found their way to the drow figure who had orchestrated the take over of the Wave Echo Cave from the Rockseeker brothers. As we ended the session, they had found Nundro Rockseeker alive.

After resting and regaining their strength, the group spoke more with Nundro. They told him that his brother Gundren was alive in Phandalin, and unfortunately they found Tharden dead at the cave entrance. After hearing that news, Nundro noticed that Varel was wearing his brother’s boots and took great offense to it. An argument ensued, and they could not convince Nundro to stay with them. Mordecai escorted him safely to the entrance of the cave and rejoined the group at Dumathoin’s temple.

The group pressed on to try and find the Forge of Spells. They headed back to the crevass where they fought the doppelganger and bugbears. They decided to go through the tunnel that seemed to lead to the source of the loud booming wave sounds. Mung climbed up the ledge leading to the tunnel first and had Mordecai throw a rope up for him to secure. Mung failed his dex check and missed catching the rope, so Mordecai decided to make a lasso and throw it around Mung. Having the rope secured to himself, Mung decided that would work just fine for everyone to climb up. A few very lucky strength checks later, everyone was now up on the ledge leading to the booming waves.

The tunnel lead to a massive cavern filled with water that produced large crashing waves. A thin ledge outlined the cavern, and the waves would swell and hit the edge of the walkway every few minutes. The dark water continued out of the back of the cavern beyond the group’s vision. Mordecai took two rocks that Varel had cast light on and threw them into the water below. Expecting something to spring out of the water, they watched closely as…nothing happened. The waves came in and pull the rocks out to a larger cavern. Convinced there was something more to this cavern than loud noises (there wasn’t), Kava turned into a reef shark and swam through the water to investigate further. Again she found nothing to the water. The bottom was smooth and nothing appeared to be there as the current was too strong for anything to stay in water very long.

shark

HEY GUYS! NOTHING DOWN HERE!!

While taking so long to investigate the area, they started to hear movement and odd clicking sounds. They recolonized the sound from a previous fight as gricks. Waundering monsters man. You gotta keep moving. The group ran around the ledge to the other side of the cavern, unable to see the gricks around them due to their innate stone camouflage ability. As they made their way around the cavern a grick dropped down behind Mordecai mid way, and another grick dropped down behind Mung and the others at the furthest end of the cavern. Varel and Sky decided to give some distance to the grick behind Mung, but unfortunately another grick landed behind Sky as they moved away. Seeing Varel and Sky in trouble, Mung shield bashed the grick he was fighting sending it flying into water. It managed to climb back up on it’s turn, but Mung shield bashed it right back into the water.

shield_bash

source: Deviant Art

Stay down!

As Kava finished off the grick fighting Mordecai with a moonbeam, she noticed the one Mung had knocked into the water and immediately obliterated it with the moonbeam as well. Mordecai heard noises coming from where they had entered the cavern, so Varel created an illusion of Sky to distract the grick. It worked, and the grick dropped to attack the fake Sky. Mordecai and Kava easily dispatched the last grick. They quickly moved on before more monsters could find their way to the cavern.

As they moved on to the next area, they found the tunnel was becoming more well maintained and structured. They had entered the smelting room via the dried up water duct that would normally turn the water wheel. Before they had much time to take in the sights, eight zombies immediately starting moving their way (guys, never forget to stealth). Worse than the zombies though, they heard a cackling coming from across the room as they watched a flameskull entered the room. These don’t look like much, just a standard human size skull floating in green fire, but oh boy are they bad news.

flameskull

source: aidedd.org

Seriously, these are damage dealers

You can take down a flame skull pretty easily. You just never want it to go before you in initiative. Too bad the flameskull rolled nat 20 initiative (yikes). Ok. The worst attack it has is a fire ball, so as long as you are not all grouped together in a water duct where it can hit you all in one go… crap! It threw a fire ball at them all causing 38 fire damage (reduced to half if you make your save). Mung failed his save taking the full damage. Everyone else made it and took the half. For level 4 characters, that is a hefty amount of damage to take. Not to mention you have 8 zombies making their way towards you.
The group focused on flameskull as it was obviously very dangerous. Mung however was hurting pretty bad, so he pulled quite the hail mary. He used his channel divinity to turn the unholy. This made over half of the zombies flee from him at all times. This was crucial and bought the group time to keep focus on taking out the flame skull.

As 3 zombies shambled away completely due to the turn the unholy spell, the group dispatched the other zombies, and Mordecai landed the killing blow, bashing the flameskull into bits. Kava worried something as powerful as the flameskull would come back and did a history check to see if she had ever seen how to deal with a creature like this. She remembered reading it had to be disposed of properly or it would regenerate in time, but she could not remember how exactly to do it. They decided it would be best to go back to the barricaded room for some rest and recovery time, and when they came back through, they would avoid the smelting room with their not so friendly regenerated skull enemy.

They continue to make progress, slowly but surely. They still have a long way to go though as this place just seems to get bigger and bigger.

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Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Recipe: Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops

This week’s recipe is part of the World of WarCraft Official Cookbook. I highly suggest adding this book to your collection. I won’t be sharing the step by step recipe for this week in order to be fair and not take away from the sales of the WoW cookbook. Please support the author of this book and pick up a copy*. If you enjoy cooking, you won’t regret this purchase.

Also available at:

*I am not an affiliate, paid sponsor, or official spokesperson for Blizzard or any selling companies of the World of WarCraft Official Cookbook.

Dragon Puzzles

The Adventure

Feature Image Source: Hack Slash Master

Life gets incredibly busy, and it gets harder and harder to fit your whole non-work life into each week. The group that I am a character player in decided to move our sessions to after work on Wednesdays. It is great because we now have standing time every week that we can play, and weekend plans do not get in the way of our sessions.
Unfortunately that leaves me with no time to cook before we play. We will still have grand adventures to share, but Wednesday sessions won’t always have the grand feast.

We also decided to switch back and forth from our adventure with Matt DMing and a new adventure with Justin DMing, so we have twice the stories; AND I get to make another character!!! As we dive into this new adventure, if you are currently running the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, beware possible spoilers ahead.

The Adventure

This week we are joining a campaign that our group was running before viking husband and I joined the Wednesday club, so Justin worked in a bit of a home-brew one shot to introduce our characters to the on going adventure.

Just like our other ‘new to the blog’ campaigns, I will give everyone a little intro to our adventuring party.

Beast Shape Master
Moxie
Wood Elf Druid
played by Raven
Damage Dealing Healer
Meg
Half Elf Cleric
played by Melany
Fearless Mimic
fff’tang
Kenku Ranger
played by Matt
kenku_ranger
Source: RPG.net
Caution to the Wind Caster
Belwar
Deep Gnome Sorcerer
played by John
deepgnobe_sorcerer
Source: Pinterest
Trap Tripping Caster
Erabor
Dragonborn Wizard
played by Johnny
Trying to Stay Zen Monk
Dax
Aarakocra Monk
played by ME!
Killer of Snarf (ask Matt)
Justin Harvey
Male Human Dungeon Master
played by Justin
dm
Source: wikiHow
“Helping” Hand?

As the group camped (minus Dax and Belwar), Moxie was on watch and noticed strange golden flutters in the distance. She pointed them out to Meg when she took next watch, but neither were sure what the flutters were. The next morning they saw the flutters again, but this time they were surrounding a figure in the distance; and this figure beckoned them all to follow. Cautiously, they followed the figure around a path to the bottom of a cliff face. Getting a closer look, they saw it was an older human man with golden canaries surrounding him.
This mysterious figure offered to help the group. He said they needed to be ready for the task ahead of them. They were are not yet prepared for what the dragon cultists were summoning. It would be an evil that they could not handle, and they must be tested to know if they are ready. A doorway appeared in the cliff face, and he simply motioned to it. Meg tried to get a quick, closer look at the old man before they entered, and she noticed his eyes were reflective. Not sure what that meant, she turned to the group to tell them what she saw and looked back to see he had vanished.

poof

Source: sunyjcc.edu

Curiosity piqued, they all decided to go into the mystery door and see what the old man meant by being tested. They were met inside with a double door that had a dragon head symbol on it. Proceeding on, as soon as they opened the doors, a room beyond lit up revealing 4 kobolds standing in front of 2 figures blindfolded, gagged, and chained to the wall. The group made quick work of the kobolds and noticed each one disappeared as they were killed. Curiouser and curiouser.
With the threat addressed, the group release an aarakocra and deep gnome from their bonds. They both were unsure how they got in this room, and awoke as captives to the kobold. They seemed honest and did not appear to pose any threat, so they joined the others in trying to figure out where they were. Dax and Belwar joined the team! As the group looked around the room, the saw a large round dais in the center with what looked to be colored reliefs for dragon head statues. The colors of the dais matched four doors on the outside of the room; white, black, blue, and green. There was also a large red door, but it did not have a matching indent in the dais. The red door was also locked while the others were not.

As the group contemplated which way to go, fff’tang decided to move things along and went through the black door. Though suddenly having the decision made of where to start, the group proceeded on with caution. As they stealthed into the room, they found two sleeping ogres in a cavern with acid pools. Quite and careful everyone. Quiet and careful. Dax and Belwar took up the ready close to one of the orges, and Belwar decided he would disguise self to look like an ogre. Well a “baby ogre” as he is a 3 foot tall deep gnome and disguise self can’t make someone that small look like a huge ogre. Dax shaking her head at Belwar, took up post on ledge 30 feet up, so she could watch his back in the very likely event the ogre does not buy his disguise.

sleeping_ogre

Source: Stringthink sketch blog

As they investigated the area more, they saw there were three different chests on each side of the cavern. fff’tang approached a chest closest to the entrance and found it was empty. Wanting to get a look in the other chests, but also wanting to be ready should the ogres wake up, the group split up across the cavern as fff’tang and Erabor approached the other two chests. Erabor made his way up a natural bridge above one of the acid pools to check the furthest chest. He opened it to find a black dragon head statue, but he did not check for traps and triggered an acid spray from the column next to him. When he cried out in surprise, one of the ogres woke up from the sound. Erabor immediately tried to cast sleep on the ogre, but not surprisingly (they had a huge health pool), it resisted the effects.

The group stayed as hidden as possible, and luckily the ogre did not see them. Assuming his other slumbering friend must have woke him up, had kicked him awake; and they both began bickering back and forth. Belwar tried to shocking grasp the closest ogre but the spell missed, and the ogre saw him standing by his foot. Luckily ogres are not known for their intelligence, and it did seem to think Belwar was some sort of little ogre; but thinking that, he tried to pick him up. Unfortunately with disguise self, you only appear to be larger, and the ogre’s hand passed through the top portion of the illusion. It immediately started freaking out when this happened.

Everyone sprang into action at that point and started attacking the ogres. Unfortunately for our level 2 characters, the ogres were taking little to no damage. Sometimes you have to know when to run, and this was one of those times. Thankfully everyone was able to slip away from the ogres and run back to the main room. As the group ran back in, the ogres did not seem to follow. fff’tang took the statue and placed it in the black indentation of the dais. The black door closed and locked as the dragon head sank into place with a click.

That was where we ended the session. Clearly we were in for more interesting encounters behind the other colored doors.

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Rustic WoW and Shifty Drow

The Feast / The Adventure / The Recipe

The group continued deeper into the Wave Echo Cave, so if you are currently running the D&D Starter Set, beware possible spoilers ahead. You can also catch up on the previous Chef DM adventures here.

The Feast

If you can’t tell, I live in a world of absolutely geekery. I especially geek out over my favorite video games. Just to name a few; I carry a triforce embossed billfold, have silent hill nurses art on my wall, and love my Super Mario Bob-omb tattoo on my wrist. Video game culture is a huge part of my life, and I am happy to bring that into my cooking as well.

I am now the proud owner of the World of WarCraft Official Cookbook.

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FOR THE HORDE!

I love this cookbook! It is extremely well written, gives WoW players a wonderful sense of nostalgia, and all of the recipes I have made so far are absolutely delicious. I consider this cookbook a must buy for all cooks. Even if you are not a gamer, the recipes are fantastic.

My first foray into the WoW cookbook was the Forest Strider Drumsticks.

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This is an apprentice level recipe, so it is a great starter to get in some practice with the WoW cooking style before you jump into the harder to execute recipes. It is classic, rustic and will leave the whole house smelling so good.

Now, since there are not too many of these guys running around in our world:

forest_strider

Source: Warcraft Mounts

The recipe calls for turkey legs as your protein. Unfortunately, I could not find uncooked turkey legs at my local stores, so I had to substitute chicken legs. If you want to cook with the called for turkey legs, make sure to plan ahead and order from your grocer. Otherwise you may have to wait for them to be in “season” around the holidays.  The chicken works well with the recipe, so don’t worry if you have to use them in place of the turkey drumsticks.

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These turned out so tasty, that this has become one of my go to recipes for chicken drumsticks now, and the baste and spices used in this recipe smell so good. I love a good mixture of spices for rubs.

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Pretty pretty spices

My adventurers volunteered to cover the sides for this week, so I searched through the book for some nice rustic bread options. Now, I am still dipping my toes in the waters of great bread making, so I went again with an apprentice level recipe in the bread section of the cookbook. I decided to try out the Cornmeal Biscuit recipe.

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These are easy to make and match the nice rustic taste of the Forest Strider Drumsticks. Plus, I love any recipe that you can really get your hands into the mixing. There is something about mixing things by hand that I have always liked. Maybe it is a carry over from when I was a kid and just loved squishing play-doh in my hands.

Yes, you should be playing with you food

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According to most southerners, you can never go wrong with any kind of biscuit. I will admit the first try on these were a little harder than I wanted, but the taste was very good. I added a little more buttermilk in the next batch and cut the cooking time down a hair. My oven tends to heat faster than called for in a recipe though.

Add in the delicious sides (black beans & rice, corn on the cob, and mushy peas) from the adventuring party:

And you have one proper rustic feast.

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The Adventure

In the last session, the group made their way into the depths of the Wave Echo Cave. The labyrinth of tunnels left them with little sense of what direction to go, so after they had rested in a partially barricaded room, they had to decide where to go next. Did they remove the barricade and see what the hobgoblins were keeping out of the room, or did that move on further north?

They decided to move back into the cavern with the still water and proceed north. Mordecai scouted ahead up the stairs and heard voices again. They were still working to clear away debris in the area and were still unaware of the group’s presence. He heard one giving orders while a second voice just repeated the orders and two or more grumbling voices possibly doing all the work. They decided to split up and have Mordecai and Kava go beast form and come in through the narrow water way while the rest of the group snuck in from the stairs.
As the converged on the area, they could see a drow barking orders into a large crevasse while a bugbear stood to the side of him repeating the orders, acting like a second in command. The group got the drop on the drow and bugbear while two more bugbears looked up from the crevasse in shock. The fighting moved closer and closer to the crevasse edge, but surprisingly no one was pushed over. There were a few close calls though. Once the drow was taken down though, they saw it was another doppelganger in disguise. This being the second one they had encountered, they were beginning to wonder if there were any actual drow involved in this.

At this point they could either circle back west, or they could cross the crevasse and enter one of two large tunnels. The crashing wave noises were noticeably louder in one of the tunnels leading east across the crevasse. They ultimately decided to go back to the west to see if they missed anything. As they came around the bend of the tunnel, they saw two large doors with the crest of Dumathoin. Mordecai of course realized this instantly and knelt down to pay homage to the dwarf god’s temple. He tried to stealth and open the door slowly, but with a low roll, the door squeaked as he opened it. He heard someone from within start walking to the door to investigate. Mordecai cut down the curious bugbear fairly easily as soon as it peeked out the door, and the group busted in ready for a fight.
When the group rushed through the door, they saw only one very confused bugbear behind a large desk. There were also 6 pillars (3 on each side of the room) leading to a large statue of Duamthoin at the end of the room. While Mordecai and Mung went straight for the very confused bugbear, Varel, Kava and Sky all fanned out across the room in case there were any hiding enemies. They were correct to assume that because as they crossed by the pillars, 4 giant spiders descended from the pillars and started attacking the group.

deathjump-spider

Source: Fractured Realms

That is one big NOPE

Kava transformed into a giant spider as well, so she would be immune to their poison bite. Unfortunately, right as she transformed, Varel used the spell suggestion to tell one of the spiders to “kill all of the other spiders you see in this room”. It complied and immediately turned to attack Kava in spider form. Whoops.

While this was all happening, Sky was keeping her distance, shooting the spiders as they came down the pillars. She felt something grab her and was grappled by unseen creature. Something sharp pressed against her neck, and she heard a whisper to “cooperate and be quiet; or die”. Poor Sky always gets grabbed by bad guys!
Varel rolled an ok perception and noticed Sky was acting somewhat weird by the way she was standing so stiff, but he could not see anyone or anything around her to cause total alarm. However, in the next round, Sky was drug into the corner and all of the spiders suddenly disengage and form a semi-circle between Sky and her comrades. No denying now that something was up, so Varel tried greasing the ground to make the unseen assailant fall. Unfortunately the creature was just out of the effected area, but Sky slipped and fell out of the creature’s grasp. Not quite the intended effect, but hey that worked…kinda.

Mung made is way over to help Sky, but as soon as he entered the corner with her and the unseen creature, an orb of impenetrable darkness engulfed everyone in that corner. Mung even tried to light up his mace with divine energy, but nothing could penetrate the darkness. Varel, being a well trained wizard, knew that invisibility and darkness are both concentration spells, so whatever had Sky grappled had to now be visible. He held a shocking grasp spell until an enemy creature emerged from the darkness. He was right too. Shortly after he readied the spell, a drow wizard came running out of the orb of darkness. Mung, Kava, and Mordecai had most of the corner blocked off as they fought the rest of the spiders, so the drow headed straight to Varel with his waiting spell. Unfortunately for Varel, the drow saved against the spell, so the damage was reduced and we did not suffer the full effect. The drow still had an action as well, so he grabbed Varel’s shoulder and said “My turn” and cast suggestion on Varel. He failed the save, so when the drow said “stay right here and let me pass”, Varel had to comply as Nezznar moved past him into the hallway leading out of the temple.

nezznar-the-black-spider

Source: Rogue Watson

Nezznar – The Black Spider

That’s right folks. They went straight to the final boss of the area. This place is massive and has a ton of tunnels and passages to take; endless possibilities, and they pretty much make a straight beeline to “the end game”.

WaveEchoCave2

Seriously!? Area 19 is the final area

Luckily for Varel, Mordecai saw Nezznar cast the spell and leave the temple. He ran up to Varel and slapped him to end the effects of the spell. Seeing Varel had his whits back, Mordecai followed Nezznar out of the temple. Varel followed suit and misty stepped ahead of The Black Spider.

Seeing he was now surrounded and being a fairly practical sort, Nezznar surrendered and offered the group a deal. He told the group that he has no interest in the items of the cave. He only wishes to find the Forge of Spells and report back to his matron mother with his findings. If the group will leave him be, he will warn them of all dangers in the mines, not interfere with any treasures they take, and even assist clearing the mines. He assures them that there are great dangers here that they should not be walking into blindly. As a show of good faith he even goes so far to show a treasure to the group before they have even agreed to the accord. He stepped to the door and pointed out that the eyes of Dumathion’s statue are valuable emerald gems.
As the team considered the offer, Mordecai stepped up to Nezznar and extended his hand saying “let’s shake on this deal”. As Nezznar took his hand, Mordecai threw his cloak over the him reciting a phrase to activate the cloak’s magical ability. Mordecai had actually tried this before on the doppleganger in the Cragmaw Castle, but she had dodged away. Nezznar was not as lucky and did not succeed on his saving throw. The rest of the group watched as The Black Spider disappeared and the cloak fell flat to the ground.

The general reaction of the group was “What the hell Mordecai!”. He explained to them that the cloak is the method that he uses to deliver those he is contracted to find. It magically sends any person or item it is placed on (along with the magical phrase) to a cell in the El Ahimar base. This way Nezznar would be captured and could not eventually betray them. Drow don’t tend to make trustworthy allies. Mordecai used his magical connection to his El Ahimar contact to let them know he had delivered a drow that would be able to give them the information they required on the Wave Echo Cave. It is not the exact request from the contract to deliver Gundren, but it should still satisfy the terms. His contact let him know that he would see if the originator of the contract would take the drow info as substitue and would contact him back in a day after Nezznar had been questioned.

As it turned out, Mordecai made a good call on not fully trusting Nezznar. As everyone made there way back into the temple, Mordecai noticed the statue’s eyes are glass and not a precious emerald. He took one out of the socket and triggered a trap that caved in a false ceiling. This hurt everyone, distroyed a few items in the room, made a huge amount of noise, and killed Varel’s companion owl. Nezznar was likely hoping they would trigger the trap as he escaped back out of the temple. Tricksy drow.
The group feared the cave in would attract wandering monsters in the area, so they made their way into a room next to the temple. Low and behold, Nundro Rockseeker was tied up, alive, in this room. The group freed him from his binds and took a long rest in the room.

That was where we left off for the night. They cleared out the mastermind of the attacks on Phandalin, but they still have not found the Forge of Spells. Will they keep exploring the cave or just call it a day?

Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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Recipe: Forest Strider Drumsticks & Cornmeal Biscuits

This week’s recipes are all part of the World of WarCraft Official Cookbook. I highly suggest adding this book to your collection. I won’t be sharing the step by step recipes for this week in order to be fair and not take away from the sales of the WoW cookbook. Please support the author of this book and pick up a copy*. If you enjoy cooking, you won’t regret this purchase.

Also available at:

*I am not an affiliate, paid sponsor, or official spokesperson for Blizzard or any selling companies of the World of WarCraft Official Cookbook.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

prasie_the_sun

source: Immp – Deviant Art

PRAISE!

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?

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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!

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SO STRONG!!!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

belker

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.

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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.

archivist

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.

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Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!

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