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Ashley Flowers

Tabletop RPG's

Dearborn Newsletter – 5/12/18

Well hello! Might we share some stories with you? These are the most recent happenings of Dearborn Company- a group of local adventurers.

Mystery in Nightstone

A band of Dearborn recruits were sent out bearing gifts for Lady Rose of NightStone. A dozen double edged battle axes, one side for felling trees, and the other for felling foes, served as the offering. It was hoped that the guild could establish trade, and a much needed lumbermill to the small settlement in exchange for a continued presence of the guild’s support and protection.

However, when the party arrived, they discovered that the village was in utter ruin. Large boulders had crashed into nearly all the buildings. The townsfolk fled in terror, while a band of goblins moved in to ransack what remained. Lady Rose was crushed in the initial attack, and the party was unable to save her.

A Black Fang spy by the name of Kerra attempted to overthrow the party and take claim of the village. A recon group of the opposing guild attacked the party in full force but was overwhelmed and repelled by the Dearborn initiates. Kerra, however, escaped with her life to the nearby forest.

With the threat dealt with and the town in ruin, the party made haste back to the guild. Reinforcements were needed to secure the village, and even more were requested to search for the missing villagers.

Just how the village was destroyed, and who was responsible remains unknown. The village itself remains weakened and vulnerable while it’s people are scattered, and its leader lies dead.

 

Castles in the Sky

Early in the morning the entire guild house was awakened by a loud crash. Sir Cadman Idenson’s, the guild’s master at arms, morning swim was interrupted by a ship’s anchor crashing through the skylight and cracking the bottom of the pool. Sir Cadman quickly assembled a team to investigate the anchor and its chain that was leading up into the clouds. With the help of potions of climbing, the team made their way up the chain. Only temporarily detained by a flock of blood hawks.

At the top of the chain was a floating stone home of a giant hidden in the clouds. Investigating the home, they were attacked by the giant’s house cat, a displacer beast. After a hard-fought victory, they discovered a woman in a cage in the giant’s kitchen. As they helped her escape, she explained that her name was Princess Atala Khalid of Calimshan. Her ship was en route to Neverwinter when the giant attacked, robbed, and captured her and her guards. Over the last couple weeks, the giant ate the others and she was the last one left.

Before the team could escape, the giant returned. Instead of running, the team set an ambush for the giant. At first the giant did not take them seriously, but very quickly it found them to be more trouble than what it was expecting. Before it could mount a serious counter offensive, the team managed to slay the giant. The skull of the giant is now on display in the guild trophy room.

The team rode the anchor down to the ground, surprising some local villagers. As a reward, Princess Atala knighted the brave adventurers and offered to repair the damage to the pool. She was very impressed with the Dearborn Company and looks forward to working with us in the future.

 

 

Looking for adventure? Come join Dearborn Company every other Saturday evening at The Village Geek, located in downtown Manhattan, Kansas!

Visit our website at to see our event schedule and discover more about our community!

Tabletop RPG's

Dearborn Newsletter – 4/28/18

Sticks & Stones

Ziferon, a prosperous mage from Neverwinter, came to hire the Dearborn Company to investigate a magical tinkerer who had taken up residence in an old mine shaft far to the east. There were also rumors that this inventor had come into possession of a magical artefact, a crown, for which the mage was willing to pay handsomely.

Once at the entrance of the mines, the adventures were greeted by floating, wooden death machines, which proved to be unsuccessful deterrents. Eventually the party came to a split path, one leading down a long, dark conveyor belt, the other through two heavy stone doors. Despite splitting the party between them, and alerting the enemies by crashing wooden planks on the floor, the party managed to clear the room and reconnect before the machines had the chance to move. Then the party faced their greatest foe, two small mining drones which seemed to duck and dodge every attack, but who eventually fell under the crushing force of only a few blows.

After a short rest and the discovery of the entrance to an old dwarven structure, the party was met by a towering, four-armed, poison spewing stone titan which, due to the party’s quick thinking and even quicker reflexes, died seconds after its activation. Nearby, in a hidden room, was the tinkerer, who by this time stood little chance. The party then retrieved the crown and, unnecessarily, the tinkerer’s head, returning to Dearborn for their reward.

Thrag’s Well

A peaceful spring day was interrupted for several members of the Guild by a local orcish farmer Thrag Bludstompr whose family was in immediate danger. While digging a new well, he and his farmhand had discovered a network of caverns occupied by some unseen creatures which attacked them.  Unfortunately, Turi the farmhand fell to the creatures.

Quickly following Thrag to his home that he shared with his human wife and half-orc daughter, the guild members found that it was infested with gigantic, mutated bugs. The guild members heroically exterminated the vermin both above and then below the surface. Regretfully, while fending off a large swarm of the creatures, Ashov the dwarven bard was bitten by a giant centipede and quickly succumbed to its venom.

The rest of the members soldiered on, defeating the remaining monsters, including a humongous farmhand eating worm. During their exploration, they not only discovered a source of water for Thrag’s farm, but also a long abandoned dwarven quartz mine.

 

The Desolate Mine

Dearborn Company has acquired an abandoned mine to source ore for their forge and smithing shop. While overseeing the cleanup of the mine, guild leader Firiniel discovered the mine had been overrun with goblins.

A team was quickly dispatched from the guild hall, but not before they arranged for a medical wagon to follow to care for any wounded miners. Arriving at the mine with little trouble, (dire wolves are no match for mages) the team coordinated to clear the goblins from the main entrance while Firiniel took a couple miners to scout for a back entrance to prevent a goblin retreat. While clearing goblins is normally an easy task, the team was surprised to find several goblin acolytes in the lower levels of the mine. Fortunately, Firiniel brought reinforcements and the goblins were cleared in no time.

The mine has been cleaned up and the miners are busy at work.

 

To join the adventures of the Dearborn Company, come to The Village Geek in Manhattan, KS every other Saturday at 5:30pm.

See our event calendar here

Tabletop RPG's

Dearborn Company Newsletter – 4/14/18

Kobolds in the Kitchen

Leading up to Neverwinter’s annual Food Fest extravaganza many members of the Dearborn company were hired on to bulk up the number of guards available for the event. Several of these part-time guards could participate, and take first prize, in the event’s competitions. Dearborn leader and co-founder Tsiya reported that several of the Dearborn guards noticed an abnormal number of Kobolds at the event, and followed them to the city sewers. “They discovered some sort of hideout,” said Tsiya, “and did what Dearborn do best: took care of the problem.” The leaders of Dearborn urge members to stay wary and report any further incidents that may be related to what happened at Food Fest.

 

Unwelcome Guests at The Forge

A Dwarven clerk named Fimbul, hailing from Neverwinter, discovered information in his late father’s papers about a forge operated by their family long ago. He brought the information to the Dearborn Company: in exchange for finding the forge and returning a long-lost heirloom axe, he offered the Company whatever else they found there.

The adventuring party, having accepted Fimbul’s commission, matched his sketch to a map of a river valley in the Sword Mountains then traveled through a portal in a sub-basement of the Guild Hall and landed at the valley’s mouth. They traveled to the forge, dealing handily with a group of wild boars on the way–and realized it was no simply smithy but a temple to Moradin with a forge at its heart.

And it was occupied by a tribe of Orcs.

After defeating two separate groups of orcs and their pet dire wolf, as well as finding their way safely past a pair of trapped hallways, the party came face-to-face with the furious Warlock who led the group. After a short but furious magical battle, the Dearborn Company emerged from the temple’s forge room with the axe. Fimbul was overjoyed to have the axe back in the hands of his family.

 

The Frog and the Sorcerer

In conjunction with the annual Neverwinter Food Fest there is an annual Knight Tourney. On the night preceding the Tourney the Dearborn Company was visited by a rather eloquent bullfrog. He stated he was Ishmael of Menzoberranzan, a knight of the lady Estelle VarEmerys. He had been cursed by a special device stolen from him by a sorcerer, whom he learned had been killing off winning knights of previous years. Ishmael asked that the group find the sorcerer and bring him to justice, as well as restore the crestfallen knight’s form. The Dearborn group entered one of their own as the noble knight’s stand in and fought their way to victory through jousting, melee, and ballad composition. In the end they won and sure enough were attacked by the Yuan Ti sorcerer and his elite squad of Grungs. In the end our mercenaries were victorious in besting the murderer and restoring the drow knight. A more chivalrous party has never been.

 

Beware of the Golden Bear

The local community outside of 100 Acre Forest had become overwhelmed by evil wizard Christopher Robin’s hallucinogenic ‘honey’ and recruited the Dearborn Company to stop him from expanding his drug empire to the entire Sword Coast. The party made their way to the giant oak headquarters and were greeted by Robin’s close friends and personal security detail: of a teleporting armored tiger, a timid but powerful pink boar, and an enormous gold bear with a deadly ‘bear hug’. They party made quick work of the muscle, going so far as to making bacon of the pig. Christopher Robin, left undefended, was no match for the party. With the leader overthrown, the party destroyed the magic core that was infusing the honey with the hallucinogens. Control of the facility was turned over to the gnomes who had been working for Christopher Robin. Thanks to the efforts of the Dearborn Company they wouldn’t be left jobless in this economy. The Honey distribution plant of the 100 Acre forest is now a completely legitimate operation and delivers jars weekly to the Dearborn Company as a token of their continued thanks.

 

 

Come be a part of Dearborn Company and our Open Campaign for Dungeons & Dragons every other Saturday evening at The Village Geek in downtown Manhattan, KS!

Magic the Gathering

Five Things I’ve Learned in my First Month of Magic

Five things I’ve learned in my first month of Magic

 

Prior to becoming a member of The Village Geek family I had never played Magic: the Gathering before. Of course I had heard of it and seen it played but it had always only been on the periphery of my nerd-dar. However, after playing through two hands with my blue-white demo deck I became absolutely smitten and now, just barely a month after learning, I can happily say that I am on my way to becoming a baby Planeswalker.

 

I am a very reason and order based person (despite being a Gryffindor). I like systems and no loose ends and MTG delivers on all of those fronts in an almost algebraic fashion: mana is spent, spells are cast, damage is dealt, and although some turns can become very complicated there is always resolution. It’s an ideal love story for people (like me) who love unraveling the mysteries of how and why systems work.

My affection for the game has not come without some level of frustration and a lot of getting my teeth kicked in by my coworkers and fellow Village Geeks. However, nothing teaches you faster and more completely than losing. Here are the five most important lessons I’ve learned since I started playing Magic:

1. More cards, more problems.

At my first Friday Night Magic I tried to play with a deck so large I’m embarrassed to even admit the number of cards I was playing with. Not only did I look silly trying to shuffle all of those cards, but I looked even more like an idiot by being completely unable to cast any effective spells because I couldn’t get the right combination of land/creatures/instants to make any moves. Silly me thought “Look at all these neat cards. I like them all. They are so pretty and do such cool things. I don’t want anyone to feel left out!” Because all of my cards have feelings and personalities, (duh), I was afraid of leaving anything out, but now I know that what’s worse than leaving a cool card out of my deck is having that card in your hand but being completely unable to cast it. Now I’m learning the joy of creating multiple decks that include cards that compliment each other and have specific tactics.

 

2. Mana curve is a real thing.

If you thought I was being too poetic about how much I’m in love with the mechanics of gameplay you’re going to be really annoyed by how much I enjoy calculating mana curve and cost distribution of cards in my deck. Once I learned that 60 cards is not just the minimum but should be pretty close to your goal maximum I had to learn how to build the deck with the appropriate associations of mana and spells. There’s also no point having a card that costs 8 mana to play if you can never draw and play enough land. This article was very helpful: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/beyond-basics/how-build-mana-curve-2017-05-18

You have to layout all of the cards you want to play and have an idea of how and when you want to be able to attack. Which brings me to number three:

 

3. Know thy self.

There are as many different ways to play Magic as there are players. Do you like crazy beasts or punching through everything or powering up a tribe or being able to control your opponent? I learned pretty quickly that I am definitely a control player. Give me more life, put my opponent’s creatures to sleep, stop the creatures from being able to attack, get rid of their lands, let me draw more cards. Which isn’t to say that I don’t also enjoy smashing stuff with dinosaurs or having a small army of mermaids, I just definitely know that I will always be the most excited by instants and enchantments that tangle up my opponent rather than brute-forcing depletion of their life points. Once you know what kind of player you are, you can build a deck that suits it and then distribute the cards and lands as necessary.

4. Accessorize.

Get card sleeves: in one game I had to mulligan three times because I wasn’t able to properly shuffle my cards. Sleeves make it sooooooooooo much easier and some of them are pretty and they protect your cards. Also, have some way of adding counters. Don’t make it harder on yourself than you have to. Even if it’s just random ephemera (like paperclips or beads or pencaps) have some way of keeping track of everything you’ve cast and any additional counters it has.

 

5. People are nice. The game is fun. Ask your questions.

I have yet to play someone who wouldn’t answer my questions. I’ve learned a lot by playing more experienced players who have curated really wonderful decks. Sure, those decks murdered mine, but I have always found that you learn infinitely more by losing than you do by winning. Magic has been around for decades. Take advantage of the millions of resources available online or from people who have more experience than you. GATHERING is half the name of the game and the community of players is definitely at least half of the experience. As much as I’m enjoying casting spells and planning decks and finding cards I want to play with, I am equally enjoying the people I’ve met and learning about their experience with Magic and what they like about the game.

 

Oh, and bonus #6 + #7: make sound effects when you cast spells and always let your opponent know when your turn is over.