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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book review: Spellstorm, by Ed Greenwood

Spellstorm is an Ed Greenwood novel where the creator of the Forgotten Realms himself gets to enjoy sitting down with some of his most beloved characters and craft tales from his own, older, lore. The main character is Elminster, of course, but Greenwood brings out several archmages and locks them up in an old mansion, where they conspire and act out a story that almost reminds me of Agatha Christie's “And then there were none”. As such, the new installment in the Elminster saga differs quite a lot from the previous adventures and is a welcome addition to the Realms library.

The cover of the novel Spellstorm by Ed Greenwood
I was quite late to Greenwood's literature, apart from RPG components, as the first novel I read by him was The Herald, the finishing part of the Sundering series. In that book, Greenwood describes the huge changes to the way magic works and feels in the now healed world. The magical confusion continues in Spellstorm, when the owner of the previous mentioned mansion claims that he has found the Lost Spell (I gather that this is a piece of old Realms lore), but that a magical Spellstorm has appeared, surrounding said estate. The storm threatens to rinse the mind of any wizard who enters it, but, of course, the cunning archmages find ways to get inside, only to be greeted by Elminster himself. The grand old wizard of the Forgotten Realms acts as a butler and adviser to the mansion lord and, since magic behaves wildly inside the Spellstorm, the archmages will have to convince the lord and Elminster who should have the rights to the Lost Spell. At least until they start murdering each other and the high fantasy novel turns into a mystery novel. Elminster's old retinue turns up, of course, and helps him on his new quest to find the murderer inside the mansion.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

OotA: Ep. 3: Welcome to the Darklake

Last time, we left our two friends and their throng of NPC buddies right in the middle of the Oozing Temple dungeon. They had just decided to head into the main chamber after having discovered the water source that was slowly filling the dungeon.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

OotA: Ep. 2: The Oozing Temple

Last week, me and my small current group found ourselves behind our coffee mugs yet again, ready to pick up our DnD action where we left it, two weeks ago. The group were in serious trouble, as two rivalling bands of demons had crashed the prison escape scene and started a minor air combat inside the large cave.

Jimjar, Deep Gnome Gambler
The drow captors were suddenly too busy to mind their prisoners, so the rather large group of prisoners decided to act, in the belief that this was the signal from the friendly drow who had let them out of their cage. They jumped down the waterfall and found themselves submerged in ice cold water. Soon afterward, a terrible shout echoed in their minds: ”Flesh for the Faceless Lord!”. It came from an Ooze, while it suddenly attacked Jimjar the scoundrel, by the shoreline.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

OotA: Ep. 1: Prisoners of the Drow

Deep Gnome Rogue
Between life, work and, recently, parenting, I've had to pause our main campaign, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, as I don't have the time to travel to my old and trusted RPG group. However, last thursday, me and two of my more local friends got together for some coffee, applecake and the latest DnD campaign. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Miniature Moment: Elementals and Cultists (part two)

To continue my painting challenge and stay true to my promise, I started work on the rest of the elementals and their cultists. There were only two elements left, and since we always double up on our painting services here on Sword Coast Junkie, there wasn't much choice this time. 

On to the minis!
 
A halfling rogue plays with fire deep inside the temple.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book review: Exile, by R.A. Salvatore

Let's continue our journey through the Underdark with the second part of the Legend of Drizzt series, Exile. This is the book that inspired Chris Perkins while he was writing Out of the Abyss, this season's large DnD campaign. In the foreword, he writes that the book reminds him of Alice in Wonderland. I, too, thought of Alice's adventures while reading Exile, but the read hardly inspired me. Frankly, I found this book quite dull.

My main problem with the story is that Drizzt wanders around the Underdark and things just happen to him. He's hunted by the drow (and a zombie version of his father) and while that may be incentive enough for anyone to move on, it just doesn't make for an interesting novel story. Salvatore throws in lots of encounters, and like Alice in Wonderland, each encounter seems to exist in a vacuum.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Miniature Moment: Elementals and Cultists (part one)

This summer I picked up a copy of Temple of Elemental Evil: the Board Game. It's a part in DnD:s Adventure System games and, so, it contained a lot of miniatures. I figured that even if the board game was bad (I hadn't played the series before) I could use the minis in my DnD campaigns and other adventures.

While reading Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (read the book review here), I got the urge to paint the Earth Elemental, after its appearance in the book. Before long I had also painted the Earth Cultists and carried on to the Air Elemental and cultists. It is now my ambition to paint every miniature in the box since it really makes the game come to life. DnD:s monster gallery wouldn't be the same if they were all the same green color, right?

Earth Elemental and Cultists