Scions in the Heat

Other posts on Scion and Leander.  Last recap.

The team emerged from Agwe's realm into a voudoun shop in San Francisco.  The shop was mostly empty, which was odd as it was during the day, but it was quickly clear that that wasn't the only oddity.  Outside the sky was alight with a bright orange glow.  As the Scions stepped into the street, they discovered that through that bright orange sky flew enormous Stymphalian birds, chased by Valkyries on Valkyrie Horses.  It was a pretty clear sign that even in the short time the team had been in Atlantis, things had gone from bad to worse.  Leander, having formed a connection to the shield of El Cid in the  sunken city, found that it had emerged for him and carried it at the ready.  William carried the prone form of Pele.

After a quick discussion of our options for getting to Hawaii, we settled on sailing there and headed towards the wharves.  Along the way, we encountered the forces of Muspelheim fought by the soldiers of the gods.  Myrmidons, Einherjar, and Spartoi pushed the fire giants through the streets of San Francisco.  The human citizens were not in evidence.  When we reached the wharves, we finally found signs of human life.  There were huge media gatherings all along the waterfront... Facing down gods carefully crafting stories which would convince the mortals that all of this was not as supernatural as it seemed.  Among them could be see Hermes and Baldur.  Further back, in what appeared to be a military area, Ares stalked and Athena issued orders.

As the Scions scanned the scene, they spied an old pirate ship docked at the far end of a pier.  As we gazed at it, a skeletal crewman of the ship pointed to us and beckoned us on.  Needing a ship and feeling this was a likely connection, we hurried on.  As we reached it, the skeletal crew introduced themselves and explained that they had been sent on to help us reach Hawaii.  Around this time, Leander slipped on the sunglasses he'd been carrying since taking them off the Titansworn Scion of Ganesha.  He was rewarded with health readouts and pantheon information about his teammates and the others he could see.  After a little more conversation, the team set out.

As they discussed the state of Hawaii while sailing, the team realized that they needed something to protect them from the intense heat of Muspelheim enveloping the islands.  They recalled that they had the essences of the fire hounds from when they were still on the mountains near Lha-mo's monastery.  They debated what god they could trust to ask for help in creating such a defense and eventually, they settled on asking Athena.  Leander spoke to her through the shield and she chewed him out for not having prepared the trinkets earlier.  She did, however, send several owl messengers with the defenses the team needed.

And moments after that, the ship was rocked by the force of a great whirlpool.  Worse, the whirlpool displayed  a great deal of health on Leander's new heads-up-display.  It was Charybdis, attacking the boat after apparently having sided with the Titans.  The glasses reminded Leander that Charybdis was part of his own pantheon, as well, a goddess transformed into a beast.  The ship's crew and the Scions fought to escape the pull of Charybdis, with Leander suggesting that they might have to wait until the former goddess belched up the water she'd taken in if they were caught, but ultimately they were swallowed despite their attempts.

Within Charybdis, they discovered a graveyard of swallowed ships, including a US Navy battleship, clearly recently swallowed.  The pirate ship sailed toward it and the Scions called out to its crew.  The crew answered but quickly retreated after voicing fears of "the things in here."  Which, on cue, seemed to summon the beasts.  They looked like a horrific cross between infants, goblins, and lampreys, which was a clear sign of why the battleship crew was afraid.  They leapt aboard the ship and the skeleton crew retreated within the ship.  William put Pele down and Leander stood guard over her.  Lha-mo flexed her mighty claws and the Scions set to work.  William smashed one of the lamprey-goblin-men into the deck and off the ship.

Brock fired into the advancing pack and picked off another of them.  Lha-mo shredded and froze one of the beasts.  Which was fortunate as we discovered they had acid blood.  William pushed into the group, grappling and then strangling one after another.  Leander stayed on the defense, giving direction to his teammates and the battle ended swiftly and decisively.  The Scions crossed to the battleship, looking for the crew in the hopes that one of them might be able to help them arm the ballistic missiles they'd captured when they'd fought the kraken.

When they knocked and proved that they weren't lamprey-men, the discovered that the crew had been wittled down to only a handful of members and the technician who could have likely armed the missiles had been gravely injured.  The Scions descended to the bunks on the ship.  Rivkah helped him by placing her "brass" knuckles on him and having him punch her.  He healed, though was left with horrific scars.  After a few disoriented moments, he agreed to help us and we set out towards the deck of the ship and the pilfered missiles.

But there were worse things in the belly of Charybdis.  The fire giants had arrived and were circling the missiles.  The crewman darted to the missile and William put Pele near him.  Once more, Leander took up the guard.   William, for his part, moved in and grappled one of the lead giants.  It would later turn out to be not the best decision.

Lha-mo waded into the fray with her icy claws, scoring heavy hits to the giants she faced.  Rivkah hurled mighty blows and the giants were hard pressed to advance on Leander or those he defended.  Brock fought the fire with the sun, wittily telling the giants it was "lights out."  The giants were slowly isolated and defeated.  Leander charged one and struck it with his spear, but his blow was shrugged off.  The giant decided to move in for the kill, but Lha-mo froze his head and the battle was won.  The missile was armed and hurled by Rivkah at the far end of Charybdis' body.

Its explosion blew the goddess-monster open, allowing an escape for the Scions, skeleton crew, and Navy crewmen.  And an immense swarm of Charybdis' brood, all tagged by the glasses as of the Dodekatheon bloodline, now that it had scanned them more frequently.  It would have to be a fight for another day, though, as the Scions had to press on to Hawaii.

Once there, they raced to the volcano and descended.  As they scanned for defenses, three became readily apparent one at a time.  Reggie, still corrupted, descended from the sky.  Down one wall came climbing the Spawn of Arachnae.  And through another wall emerged the mud golem.  The fight was on.


Dice Addict: Fate Dice

I've said before that I've got a dice addiction.  I like to have tons of options of dice when I game so that I can choose dice that fit my character, my mood, or the events of the game.  I'm also highly likely to abandon dice I feel are rolling worse than I'd like (which is, of course, silly statistically, but who cares).  So when Evil Hat launched a Fate Dice Kickstarter, I was on board pretty much immediately.  Fate/Fudge dice are kind of hard to come by and in even more difficult in terms of finding both a weight and a style I like.  It's pretty much "solid colors" or "too light."

Or at least it was.

Left to right: Atomic Robo, Centurion, Fate Core, and Winter Knight.
I knew this before I ever got them, but the Fate Dice are gorgeous.  I told a friend when I first got them (which was yesterday) that they're probably the best looking dice I own.  I'm sticking with that statement.  The themed color sets, coupled with all the work by  Evil Hat moving the molds so that gate marks wouldn't show, and the sheer variety of colors and styles makes these dice a step above and beyond the average set of dice.  A lot of love and work went into these dice and it really shows.

Out of the box! Atomic Robo, still my favorite!
Even better, to me, is the fact that this is only round one of the Fate Dice I will receive.  These first four sets include my two favorites (Atomic Robo and Dresden's Winter Knight), but there are still some really awesome color combinations coming, especially the Eldritch set.  So now to talk a bit about each set.

The Winter Knight set!
The Winter Knight set is awesome for its contrast.  The pictures just don't do justice to that orange fire die.  It really looks like fire and it works so well in opposition to the navy and silver die.  The translucent die sparkles and provides a nice balance between the two.  I'm fairly certain I'll reach for the navy and orange dice on a fairly regular basis.

Fate Core in the house!
The purple die from the Fate core set is really the marquee die for me here.  It has a lot more shine than can be seen in this picture and it's such a different color from anything else I own or is really out there.  The blue and green dice also let a lot of light through without looking washed out, which is really an achievement which makes me like these translucent dice a lot more than most of the translucent dice I've owned.
Centurions beyond Dicepocalypse!
I have a serious soft spot for the Centurion dice.  That gold is such a soft but bold color.  These dice theme well together, perhaps better than any of the other sets.  I think I'd be hard pressed to not use them together on a regular basis, because they just fit together so well.

For SCIENCE!  Atomic Robo!
The Atomic Robo dice are, by far, my favorite of all the Fate Dice sets, not only in this round of shipping but in the whole announced series.  Silver and blue together on a die, especially with the  blue being the highlight is a pretty direct way to my heart.  And a teal die on top of that is amazing.  Not to mention the green which pretty much screams "use me for science-y or arcane characters!"  This is easily going to be my go-to set.  If I had been pressed to only get one box, which I am thankful I wasn't, this would have been it.

Obligatory mountain'o'dice pic.
I want to say thanks again to Fred Hicks, Chris Hanrahan, and everyone else at Evil Hat for having run this campaign and deciding to fill the need for more good looking, well-weighted Fate/Fudge dice.  While some of my friends tease me about not needing this many dice (what do they know!), it makes me really, truly pleased to have the options to customize my dice to my characters and change them when the mood takes me.  I think the Fate community is pretty darn lucky to be involved with a company that's so responsive to our interests, needs, and artistic demands.



Adah-kah sat silently above the vast basin which had once been a great pool of water.  The hood of his cloak, so often worn up to hide his features in shadow, was thrown back and his legs dangled over the edge. Below, other Nekhanj milled about, regaining their strength and agility after years in stasis.  Many of them were nude, having entered stasis that way and not yet having gathered clothes.  The nudity didn’t bother him so much, he knew what the anatomy of his race was and he’d had years to practice an understanding of separating sexual urges from his moment-to-moment motivations.

Still, he was disquieted.  For a decade and a half he’d been alone.  His race a mystery and illusion, Adah-kah himself the only representative most of the people he’d met had known.  He felt more brotherhood for the other members of Ioun’s religion than for the Nekhanj around him.  I’m not sure what I imagined.  Did I think I’d be connected to them?

The luminescence above the cavern twinkled and flickered, almost like near stars.  Adah-kah stared out into the dusky light.  Did they think they’d be connected to me?

It was an uncomfortable thought.  Like his companions, he was generally thought to be the last of his race.  And in proving that untrue, Metkin had named him “chosen” and “waited for.”  He was a key figure to a race he’d never known.  Their culture had very little to do with his.  And does it have any semblance to what Nekhanj culture had been before?  These warriors who trained over and over to fight an enemy they’d never seen?  Who are, as a rule, little older than me?  What will they do when the fight is won?

Glancing down at his hands, Adah-kah sighed.  Will they look to me to lead?  Am I ready to surrender my studies now that I’ve found their goal, the people who I’d searched for?  And if they turn once more to conquest?

Below, some of the Nekhanj saluted him and moved to climb out of the basin. I would be forced to fight them.  The world has suffered enough war.  It’s time for peace, even if it cannot last.  Regardless of all else, that I know.

Resolve returned, he sat once more in silence, meditating on the questions he’d confronted himself with.  He sat there until someone came to retrieve him.