Pathfinder: The Fishing Village Saga – The Final Chapter

Yes, we spent 5 sessions dealing with a goddamn fishing village…

Brian – Me – Dwarven Sorcerer
Yu – Craig – Half-Orc Monk
Maldon – David – Human Rogue
Andreas – Fernando – Elven fighter

The goblins had made their first strike, shaking the whole village awake.  Andreas did a top job of waking up Ulrich and his mistress (Yelling ‘FIRE’ then standing in the doorway).  Those leaving their homes were greeted with the unfolding scene: Ulrich’s house/the village hall was now fully ablaze and a group of zombies were shuffling their way into the village.

This led us to coming up with a new wintery song:
“Well the zombies are frightful, but the fire….is also frightful,
but since we’ve nowhere to go, Flurry of Blows, Flurry of Blows, Flurry of Blows”

Our brave party took the zombies head on, except for Brian who took pot shots from a distance and missed a lot.  We almost stopped all of the zombies from threatening the villagers, but after a tug of war with one of the hut’s doors, one broke in and started mauling the lusty bench [sic].  After dealing with his own undead concerns, Maldron headed in the direction the zombies had come from, but his limited vision in the dark meant he could only just make out a couple of hobgoblin figures and the sound of a large wheeled contraption (a catapult?)

He returned to find the rest of the party moping up the remains of the final zombie, but the lusty bench lay bleeding out on the doorstep.  In one quick swoop, he took the mysterious amulet, uttered the incantation and grasped her throat, sucking out her soul.  This left him with some minor buffs, but an awful lot of explaining to do…

Maldron was ordered our of the village immediately, with the intention of the rest of us following, but Brian took this opportunity to maybe get a bit of information.  Threatening Ulrich with the prospect of Maldron coming back in the dead of night to get the information, he demanded that Ulrich revealed why he had had suspicions of us, the amulet and had previously had no interest in us going after the goblins.  Before being turfed out, we didn’t really receive any real answers to these, apart from the fact that Ulrich might have been in the same situation as us at one time. We could even go so far to guess that he was in the party that took down one of the lady’s first captors (the one of the four statues that was destroyed)

Back in the forest, without a proper nights rest and rather pissed off at Maldron, the party started putting some distance between themselves and the village before setting up camp.  However, they hadn’t gotten far before spotting yet another group of goblins in the forest.  With goblins as yet unaware of the our presence and wanting to avoid a fight, we hid our sledge and all climbed up trees.  The sledge hiding wasn’t fantastic, however and the goblins pretty much stumbled over it on entering the area.

“Leave ye sledge be, or get your asses kicked”, or words to those effect, Maldron yelled from his tree-top hiding spot.  The goblins laughed, even if he wasn’t the only one they’d have to beat, the sledge gave them more than enough impetus to fight.  So the rain of death began….

Brian, having re-centered his aim, headshotted one of the little ones straight off the bat.  Yu hit a larger one with a shuriken, but with little effect. What did have an effect was him jumping down from the tree and hammering it home with a double-crit punch, hitting that point in a goblin’s body where the whole thing just explodes into a fine dust.  Unfazed by his now non-existent buddy’s death, the other hobgoblin swiped Yu into a tree, leaving him unconcious and bleeding out.  This was not enough to secure his safety, however, as the rest of the party quickly subdued him.

Now we have a subject to torture for information, suggested Maldron…

Pathfinder : The Fishing Village Saga Pt 2

Brian – Me – Dwarven Sorcerer
Yu – Craig – Half-Orc Monk
Maldon – David – Human Rogue
Andreas – Fernando – Elven fighter

With the goblin village surrounded, we set our plan in motion.  Brian summoned a ghostly figure as a distraction, although this did not have the intended effect, as instead of leading a goblin or two away, it alerted them that something was up.  Next, Andreas missed the goblin dog and gave his own position away, with the goblin dog quickly barreling towards him.  Keen to set something right, Brian hit the first goblin directly in the head with a crossbow bolt.  Yu and Maldron quickly stormed in to take two more goblins out, while the fourth began to flee.

At this point, four hobgoblins (bigger goblins) turned up.  The largest wore the garb of what might be a leader, one had a net and spear and the two others were more like your run of the mill hobgoblins.  These last two came charging into our battle, with a frantic mix of punches, stabs and acid to meet them.  Andreas was kind enough to join in too, after almost being mauled to death single-handedly by the goblin dog.  Maldron was knocked unconcious and started bleeding out, but we quickly finished off the last attacking hobgoblin and stabilised him.  When we turned around, the escaping little goblin, the leader-looking one and the net carrying hobgoblin had all vanished.

After regrouping, we began to make our way back to the fishing village.  With everyone but Brian having been injured, we decided to have another go at working out the purpose of the amulet we had found.  Andreas, covered in goblin dog teeth marks, took it and read the inscription, feeling power surge through him but with nowhere for it to go.  Brian suggested touching Maldron as he might be able to heal other people, but this had no visible effect.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, however, this caused Maldron to have to fight for his life once more, to avoid being sucked towards the light.  He succeeded, but with a little bit less luck, we might well have lost a party member from this little experiment.

Once back at the fishing village, Brian announced (and slightly overexagerated) our triumps to Ulrich, the village elder.  He thanked us and said we could stay as long as we required to recover.  Over the next few days, while the others recovered, Brian learn how to catch Bunyips (the seal/shark thingys) and improved his card tricks.   Meanwhile, while in recovery, Maldron was following his suspicions that Ulrich might know more about the world than he was letting on and showed him the amulet.  Ulrich continued to claim ignorance, although warned of dangerous things in the world, of which the amulet might be one of.  After a couple of days, a bit of scouting around the village indicated there had been no goblin activity  and we we prepared to stay one final night at the village before heading to the giant’s foot.

Brian thanked Ulrich for his hospitality and offered for the party to split the village watches between them for the night.  Ulrich agreed and Brian took up first watch.  An uneventful period occurred before his handover to Andreas and Maldron, although Maldron wasn’t planning on his watch being quite so quiet.  Wanting information from Ulrich, he snuck into the village elder’s house to shake it out of him in the dead of night. He had only just got past the front door when an almighty crash shook the building, leaving a hole in the side of a building and the house caught fire

The goblins were retaliating…

Pathfinder: The Fishing Village Saga Pt 1

Brian – Me – Dwarven Sorcerer
Yu – Craig – Half-Orc Monk
Maldon – David – Human Rogue
Andreas – Fernando – Elven fighter

After Andreas and Yu sheepishly returned from their jaunt through the woods, Maldron had the good grace to wake up as well.  Completely oblivious of the damage we’d dealt him, he just thought that he’d had a nap.  We carried on around the lake and quickly came across a ring, surrounded by rocks with what appeared to be dried blood in a rough circle around it.  Shortly thereafter, we spotted a small village just a bit further along.

Not knowing what to expect (we’d mostly met goblins so far), Brian and Yu agreed to go ahead, introduce ourselves and see what’s up, with Maldron and Andreas sneaking about nearby to help if anything went down.  Brian and Yu approached, looking friendly and greeting the villagers, who looked like they hadn’t seen anyone from outside of the village for a while.  The village elder was called (Ulrich) and we asked if they were friendly and if they had anything to trade.  Ulrich seemed suspicious and, although not outwardly hostile, seemed to indicate that he wanted as little do with us as possible.

Maldron took this opportunity to show himself, shouting from a nearby rooftop.  This clearly flustered Ulrich and made him even more suspicious of us.  Maldron explained our situation and that we were courageously off to defeat giant on the mountain to free the lady and rid the land of evil (or something).  He laughed, quickly coming to the conclusion that we weren’t of any danger and jokingly wished us luck, offering to let us stay the night at the village if needs be, which we took up.

Naturally, we did some probing as to why he had been so cautious, with Ulrich muttering something along the lines of “not wanting to lose any more people”, but not wanting to go any more into it and didn’t want any help, it not being our business and all.  We set up camp in the common room and turned in for the night.

On Brian’s watch however, one of the village’s young ladies quietly spoke to him about losing other villagers to goblin attacks, including Ulrich’s wife.  Brian passed watch onto Maldon, informing him of this development, who started his watch outside and soon saw some humanoid figures just outside the range of the village, away from anywhere the villagers would need to go, although not causing any trouble at this point.  Come morning, he passed this information back to Brian, who had decided enough was enough.

Brian stormed over to Ulrich’s house (/village hall) and beat the door down early in the morning and started yelling at Ulrich for being a bad village eldar, letting his villagers fear for their lives and not request any help in the matter.  He demanded to know where the camp might be and that they were going to solve this issue.  Yu was unhappy about this and wanted to offer an alternative suggestion of allowing any villagers to travel to the giant’s foot if they wanted, but no-one took him up on the offer.  Determined to try and rid the village of the goblins instead, the party set off into the woods and started tracking where the goblin camp might be, happening across it after about a 2 hour trek.

The goblin’s camp appeared to contains 4 reasonably scrawny goblins, some sort of goblin dog, a campfire and some racks of dried meet.  We were slightly outnumbered, but would have the element of surprise, so we needed to come up with a plan…

(This session was quite short as we lost a lot of time making “lusty bench” [sic] jokes after one of our GM’s models for the village was a little more alluring than expected)

Pathfinder: The Story So Far

So, I wanted to keep posting what happened in pathfinder session here, but I’m now something like 6 behind, so I’ll take a couple of posts to catch up (probably 2 sessions per post).

So, reminder:
Brian – Me – Dwarven Sorcerer
Yu – Craig – Half-Orc Monk
Maldon – David – Human Rogue
Andreas – Fernando – Elven fighter

So after the events of the cave of riddles (Maldron got stabby, Andreas was being awkward, we took too long to work out a riddle), we returned to the surface and the little hut, knocked Maldron out and roped him to the sled (David wasn’t able to make the session).

We stayed at the hut overnight and took turns keeping watch, but didn’t see anything special.  We set out the next day with the aim of reaching a settlement at the bottom of a mountain called the giant’s foot.

In the morning, we returned to progressing through the forest and after going around in circles for a bit (Andreas was leading us, but we got lost), we reached the edge of a large lake, where we could see the giant’s foot on the other side.  It looked to be about a day’s trek around the lake (we didn’t have a boat and soon found that probably wouldn’t have been the best of ideas anyway)

We had just started our lakeside trek when something jumped out of the lake and let out a tremendous roar.  Some sort of half-shark, half seal had lept from the water and perched itself on the edge of the land.  While it was a mild distraction, it didn’t really faze any of us, this had been a weird place and we’d started to get used to the weird creatures.

A little further along a large boulder suddenly attacked us.  This came as a bit of a surprise until we realised it was actually a large crab.  As a weakened party (Maldron still unconscious on the sled), this guy looked like he might be tough, but after a touch of mage armor, Yu was all but invincible to it and, with help from acid (and none from Andreas, who was less invincible to the crab), punched it straight through the face.

Crabmeat seemed like a great idea for dinner, so we set about lashing it to the sled as well.  However, at this moment another half-shark, half-seal leapt from the water with another giant roar.  Again, Brian was unfazed, if a little miffed by the constant disturbances, but he turned around to find Andreas and Yu fleeing into the forest screaming.  Keen not to lost his dinner, Brian started dragging the dead crab up the beach, although was being gained on by the monstrosity.  In a bid to distract it, Brian reached through the hole where it’s face had been and yanked out a hunk of meat, throwing it as an offering.  The seal-shark wolfed it down and semi-reluctantly turned around and headed back to the sea.  Brian that took a seat and waiting for the others to stop running away and to return.

Then we leveled up, ding!

Club100 Rnd 2 – Rye House (Was wet)

Coming up to last Sunday, I was acutely aware of the forecast.  Rain the previous night, but due to be clear and sunny until about 11am when some heavy showers might kick in.  This meant that while qualifying might be dry, the races would be wet, something I’m not too used to dealing with in the club100s after an almost entirely dry year last year.

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I had two 15 minute sessions of practice in the morning, on a track that was drying from the night before.  The first was mostly dry, yet puddles changed the lines around some corners.  My times weren’t amazing, but were sensible and I stayed out of trouble.  The second session was completely dry and I could start to really get the lap times down.  By the end of the session, I was only 10th fastest, but this turned out to be only 0.3 seconds behind the leader in an oddly close practice session.

As predicated, the track was still dry when we came to qualifying.  I was out in the first group, although a very light drizzle put me on edge and told me I’d need to set a fast lap as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, I got stuck in all heaps of traffic for the first couple of laps.  After navigating some slower people, with similarly paced drivers still around me, I backed off a bit to give myself a couple of seconds gap.  This did the trick and was half a second faster than anything else I set the session.  Being called for weigh-in at the end told me it was good and a quick jog to the timing screens told me I was top!

The next session just got underway when the torrential rain started.  No-one had set a time, so the “differing sessions” rule would be applied, with my session lining up on the right and the second session lining up on the left of the grid.  The plus side of this meant that I had pole, yay!  The downside was everyone in the second session had a taste of the wet conditions and would likely start of a little stronger in the races.

Given my lack of experience in the wet recently, I was focused on damage control: not spinning.  The first race ended up being on a track that was in the process of drying and there were already a few dry patches.  Care would still be required though.  As pole-man pace-setter at the start, I dropped the hammer as late as possible so that I would’ve have to guess the braking point into the first corner too much.  The inside line was slippery though and second place ran around the outside of me.  He had the jump leading up to the infield hairpin but went wide and I retook the place (I was very strong at the infield hairpin all day, not sure what it was).  A bit more dicing gave him the inside going into the last corner, but I turned on a dry patch on the outside of the corner and shot past down the straight.  My pace wasn’t enough though and repeated mistakes in complex Nouvelle left me losing places until I dropped to 4th.  A quick look behind told me I wasn’t in any danger of dropping any further, but I didn’t have enough pace to challenge and bring any positions back.

A 4th place finish meant a 4th place start for race 2 (under last years rules, I would’ve been 5th, so I had pretty good pace compared to the field as a whole).  The race started in the midst of the end of another shower, making the track a lot wetter.  I still felt pretty comfortable, but was aware I’d need to be careful not to spin.

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Me in the #8 kart in my shiny (but slightly hidden) new racesuit

The start was a little scrapier, briefly dropping to 8th on the first corner, but my strong performance at the hairpin madeup for it.  The little battle I was involved in got pretty intense and the top 3 quickly broke away.  A battle I had with two others was quickly joined by a fourth when they got the jump on all of us up the inside of stadium.  Finally working my way past the previous two battlees, I started putting pressure on the guy who’d snuck past us.  I was faster into Pylon and the infield hairpin and got alongside a couple of times, but their strength at the final corner always let them pull away.  While frustrating, I kept the kart pointing in the right direction until the end and finished a respectable 5th, which made up for being completely covered in rain water and grit.

A 4th and 5th goes some way to recovering from the poor day at Buckmore, but I’ll need to keep the momentum going to Lydd and hopefully to Whilton (which was a weak track for me last year).  My exclusion from Buckmore’s first race means I’m only 22nd in the championship, but that score will be dropped by the end of the season and the results so far are competitive enough to be running towards the top (aside from the championship leader with 4 wins, the top results are quite spread out).  Lydd is in 3 weeks and marks the beginning of my month of chaos, so the waiting being anew…

The full (official) race report can be found on the club100 site here:

Tom Golding Does It Again, Ahead Of Hale & Theodorou. But What About The Weather?

Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding

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I had this idea a couple of weeks back after making the bread and butter pudding from the bake off calendar (I used baguette and it had blueberries in, was lovely). I realised yesterday that hot cross buns weren’t going to be in the shops for much longer…

Basically, it’s a normal bread and butter pudding, but with hot cross buns for the bread part and a bit of mixed spice to compliment.  I’m really happy with how it came out, lovely and warming.  Toni doesn’t like mince pies, but she immediately said this was better than the previous bread and butter pudding, so that’s score two for getting her to eat foods she doesn’t normally like (Score 1 being the Mince Lies)

 

Recipe

  • Requires a deep (ish) 1l pie dish/ baking dish and a roasting dish you can place it in
  • Pack of hot cross buns (6 small ones worked for me)
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 200 ml milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Tear the buns into small pieces (about 1.5cm) and fill the baking dish with them.  They should pretty much fill it, but not overflow.  Eat any excess.
  2. Put the remaining ingredients into a wide-topped jug (we’re talking 700ml + here, and don’t try and risk it, jugs have a spout and can catch you off guard).  Whisk them together with a fork for about two minutes until well combined and slightly frothy.
  3. Pour the cream mixture evenly over the hot cross buns chunks.
  4. Push each chunk of hot cross bun under the surface of the cream mixture to make sure they’re nicely moistened
  5. Leave to soak for two hours
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  7. Half fill a roasting dish with water and place the baking dish into in and then both in the oven for 1 hour
  8. Take the roasting out of the oven and the baking dish out of the roasting dish (and onto somewhere heatproof).  Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes then dust with icing sugar and serve (or enjoy cold later on)

Enjoy! I’d really like to hear if anyone else tries this and likes it🙂

Formula One Post

So, the new F1 season started in spectacular fashion yesterday, although it’s left me with a couple of things to think about

Qualifying

Qualifying didn’t really work, obviously.  There was probably a similar amount of action in total, but it was all shifted to the start of the session, leaving the empty track when the chequered flag fell.  This can happen quite easily with the old qualifying in certain circumstances, e.g. incoming rain, but there was definitely the impression that this would probably be the case for all of the sessions.

Part of this might just be down to how teams decided to play it and might’ve ended up being different in later sessions, but they made the right decision to get rid of it because it would have upset a lot of people having a few more sessions like that..

It’s a format I could well see working though, with a few tweaks:

1) Do it all in one big session.  I’m not sure why they felt the need to keep it in three sessions in this new format.  One long session would mean those likely to finish at the front can actually save tyres for when they need to do their runs and it will keep a constant level of pressure on everyone trying to stay out of the drop zone.  The track does speed up, so most people would go for another run

2) 10 minutes before the first elimination.  There wasn’t another time for the bottom drivers to get a second run in and I think that was a huge shame.

3) Stop it when you get to top 5.  The system falls down a bit again towards the end, as all of the top runners will do a run when number 4 or 5 will be eliminated and then be done with it.  5 is a sensible number to have a final shoot-out with.  Maybe even have it one-lap/formula e style, with each driver going out in turn, although I know the one-lap qualifying style went out of fashion in the 00s a bit…

Race

I’ve said so much about qualifying, I don’t feel like I should say too much about the race now, so just a couple of quick things.

Ferrari had a very promising start.  More starts like that and we could have a lot of good races this season

The wreckage of Alonso’s crash looks far far worse than the crash itself.

Ferrari threw away a victory for Vettel and I don’t know anyone who thought they were making the correct decision, even at the time.

Mille Fail

So last weekend (the same weekend as the karting, I have a backlog of posts to make that I keep forgetting to make), I attempted to use up the rest of the puff pastry from Toni’s birthday to make Mille Feuille.

The recipe I followed was this one: http://www.ricardocuisine.com/recipes/3142-mille-feuille-

The picture of the best slice:
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(This is mid-slide)

So, I learned three things

  1. After cooking the pastry, the slice in the middle will probably be the thickest, put this on the bottom, not in the middle.
  2. The best way is to make it in one batch, so 3 layers of puff pastry, all of the filling and then cut it later.  However, when cutting it, try and slice sideways rather than down, otherwise you lose all of your filling.
  3. If you do cut the pastry first, make sure it has time to cool, otherwise it will melt the custard and cream and slide straight off.

It looks even less fancy because of the lack of chocolate marbling on it, but having reached this point, I decided it wasn’t going to add to the flavour and it wasn’t going to make it look any prettier.

On the flip side, it was very nice.  The puff pastry was still lovely and buttery and the custard was divine.  All together it was a wonderful mess, but that was also part of the problem.  But yeah, I’ve got things to learn for if I ever try again.

Round 1 Race Report: Buckmore V1

So, Sunday was my first return to karting for almost 3 months, at my best track in a championship where I feel I should now be getting podiums and might even be competitive for the championship, or so I thought.  While great fun overall during the day and excellent pace, events did not go my way in the slightest and I ended up with an exclusion and a 13th, which if the season improves how I hope, should be dropped the end of the year.

I had an hour test session in the early morning, starting at 10am.  Given the kart changes (different, more slippery tyres) and having not raced in 3 months, this seemed like a wise idea.  After a few laps timidly finding what the grip levels were, I picked things up and started gaining confidence on the new tyres, to the point where the lack of grip was actually helping me smoothly slide around corners.  A small shower in the middle of the session caused some worries, but it quickly dried up again and by the end of the session, I had set a 46.300.  This was enough for 2nd in the session, a third of a second ahead of anyone else.  1st was a further .16 seconds faster, but I later found out that this was the local driver in the elite class (although rocking 8kg of weight more than me).

The event proper starter at 2pm, which gave me a bit of a wait.  I tried to have a bit of a nap and watched some elite races, basically just milled around a bit.  I was in the first session of qualifying and it felt pretty good on track.  I got a smooth clean lap in shortly before the end, but had my final lap (which had felt similarly good) stuffed a bit by reaching a backmarker.  My earlier lap was a 47.003, a full second slower than the test session.  If anything, conditions should’ve been better than before, so this was a pretty big disappointment.  It was enough for 9th on the grid (pole was a 46.727, in the region of the next fastest people from the earlier testing).

Starting midfield has always been a struggle for me.  What tends to happen is I back of so as not to run into the guys in front, but then it gives the people behind excuse to shove me out wide and let tons of people through.  The first start wasn’t too bad, only a couple of places, but it was false started after an incident at hairpin two.  The second start was a lot worse for me. pushed wide into the first turn and dropping me to 16th place by halfway around the lap.  I had the pace (I went on to set the second best lap of the race), so I worked on getting the places back.  I got as far as making a move on 13th when the next guy up ahead made a cutback I wasn’t expecting.  I caught his rear corner and spun him out, which is an immediate exclusion.  Given the situation and having never gotten any sort of penalty for contact before, this seems a little extreme, but it’s just the way it goes sometimes.  The incident slowed me a little and I lost a couple of places again, although it didn’t matter now.  I finished 13th on the track, but reckon I probably could’ve just about made it back to 9th without the incident.

Mine was actually the only penalty given that race, which actually I find shocking given how bad some of the driving standards were in general.  Hopefully it will clean up a bit by the next race (probably a bit rich coming from me now though…)

Under the new rules, qualifying positions for the main final are finishing positions from the previous race (excluding penalties), so I was to start at the back in 24th.  Under last years rules, which were down to fastest laps in the previous race, I would’ve been 2nd and with any luck could’ve had a bit of return to form, but the situation was very different now.

In this situation, 12 minutes isn’t long enough.  I was consistently working out where people were weak and picking them off one by one, but it would typically take a lap or two each person.  In the little clean air I got, my pace was rapid.  On a now cooling, late afternoon track, I set the fastest lap of 46.567, a third of a second faster than the next best.  By the end of the race, I reached 15th on track, but a couple of people had fallen foul of similar misdeamenors as mine, putting me up to 13th.

 

The next round at Rye House is another good track for me, so I’m looking forward to a good result, but I’ve got a lot of work to do now, especially as I’ve lost one of rounds at my best track to some pretty poor results.