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.

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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.