• Dan Cole

Finding the Path

Days late and dollars short. The last entry was skipped due to creative differences with the writer… by which I mean I just wasn’t feeling up to writing anything. Not sick, just not creative or expressive. Today’s entry comes a little late just due to forgetfulness! There hadn’t been much news around here, but there’s a bit today!

First up, in Nerd News, Final Fantasy XVI was announced a couple days ago at PAX with a trailer. I was excited to see this, because I’ve been a huge fan of Final Fantasy since I got my hands on FFVI when I was a kid. I felt the trailer was a little lackluster. Super cool cinematics, as usual, the summons look great, with Titan, Shiva, Phoenix, and Ifrit shown. Looks like they’ll be a big focus of the story as well, Phoenix and Ifrit are even the title image, which means they’re very important (like the meteor for 7 and the crystal for 9). Other than that I felt a bit let down. I’m glad it was in a more fantastical setting instead of futuristic like they have been for quite a while. But we saw one playable character, who looks like he could be substituted with Noctis from XV, slight teleporting and all. They did show about 4 seconds of gameplay, which looks like a carbon copy of XV so far. What I was really disappointed about this trailer was that every one of the characters we saw were white humans. Where are my ‘monstrous’ races? Or hell, even people with different skin tones? Why are video game creators so scared to have BIPOC characters? FFXV was awful in that regard, an all white, all human cast. The gameplay was decent, but come on, it’s 2020, have a little diversity at least! I’ll reserve further judgement until we see more, it was the first trailer, so of course little was shown.

In Network news, things are moving along! All of the shows are going strong, and Lost Omens, our Pathfinder 2nd Edition Actual Play is ramping up, we’re playing through one more short adventure before diving into the campaign proper. We hope to have that going for free by November. As of now, our ‘test’ episodes can be heard if you’re a member at Dani is doing a great job as GM, and it’s nice to be a player, I don’t get to do that often. Tonight I’m playing Fronk the orc Monk, a throwback to my first ever D&D character. For the campaign, I’ll be Brennen the ratfolk Investigator. I wanted to try something very different. We're also doing a short spooky Halloween adventure that Tim is running. I'm building a dwarf sorcerer for that, I don't ever do spell casters, but I'm getting excited looking through all the possible spells to cast!

Check out the snazzy new logo for the pod:

This Monday, September 21st, at 6 or 6:30 EST is also our first stream of Marvel: Crisis Protocol on Twitch! (professionalcasualnetwork). I’m really pumped for this. Big Chuck and I will be taking on Tim in the Thanos Ultimate Encounter, where the Mad Titan has all the Infinity Gems! Scary stuff. I’m playing with the new Defenders: Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Drax, and Black Widow. I don’t expect us to win, but we’ll give Tim a game, I’m sure. I believe that will be available later on YouTube if you miss the stream.

No book review today, it’s taking longer to get through City of Bones than I expected. Obviously I'll go into more detail soon, but I’m just having a hard time getting through it.

For fiction today, I have some more #100days100words! More of the history of Andora and Ronan’s struggles.

Other than that, that’s all I’ve got for now. Stay classy, stay safe!

47: 9/11/20- “War and Peace 9”

Amandil rushed out of the elf compound, Ronan hot on his heels. The speed of the elf was greater, and the distance between the two increased. Ronan grit his teeth in frustration. After everything Amandil had put them through Ronan was not going to let him get away. He dug deep and found reserves of energy and sprinted faster than he ever had before. Branches clawed at his face, roots threatened his feet, but Ronan ran true.

It was still not enough, Amandil gained. Ronan cried out in fury and nearly lost his footing when he saw his breath was creating waves of heat distortion in the air before him. He felt his body warm and began to sweat profusely. Ronan took a deep breath, stopped and steadied his feet and unleashed a torrent of fire from his mouth.

48: 9/13/20- “War and Peace 10”

An inferno of Blessed fire erupted from Ronan's mouth, quickly engulfing Amandil. The elf Prince was thrown to the ground, allowing Ronan and Gideon to catch up. "Seems this will end here after all," Amandil said, clenching his teeth. His Sprites Blessed sword sang as he spun it through the air. Gideon and Ronan nodded to each other and brandished their weapons. Ronan's katana burned brightly with orange fire, Gideon's spear glowed white. The three fighters stood motionless, guessing what could be coming next. With a flurry of motion, the three clashed again. Their blades rang out against each other. Soft grunts of effort were the only other sounds. The three stepped back from each other, all breathing heavily. Amandil glared at the two, and collapsed to the ground.

49: 9/14/20- “War and Peace 11”

Ronan and Gideon stood over Amandil's still form, their heavy breath clouding in the crisp autumn air. Gideon prodded the elf with the butt of his spear, but took it away quickly when a scream rent the air. The two sprinted back to the fortress to find Thea sobbing over the form of Hamish, their dwarf friend. Firenz stood nearby, his tail between his legs.

"Does he live?" Ronan asked, gently putting a hand on Thea's shoulder. She nodded.

"It was the ogre, he lives now, but not for long."

The melee had ended, the elves dead or surrendered. Beo and the other Lupine worked to round up survivors and heal the wounded. Rosebud lay curled against Bubalus, neither breathing. Ronan surveyed the scene, taking in all of the death, wondering if it was all worth it.

50: 9/15/20- “War and Peace 12”

Following the liberation of the Primals, Ronan and friends began their search for a cure for Hamish's Ogroidism. The search was difficult and took them all around the world of Andora. During this time, the Void War raged on, forgotten about by five mighty warriors. The Goblin King, Skorn, heard they were on their own and also abandoned the war efforts, his desire for personal glory greater than his instructions. Skorn had heard of this group, and knew to destroy them would to reap accolades from the Void. He set the elf general, Magdalena in charge of the armies of the Void and began tracking the five. They crossed the globe, clashing a number of times. All the while Hamish slowly changed.

51: 9/17/20- “War and Peace 13”

Eventually, the group was dragged back into the Void War and quickly asserted their dominance. They had become a powerful fighting force, traversing the world, and wherever they went, the tides of the war changed. The Goblin King took notice, and targeted the group time after time. Always Ronan and his friends escaped, but time and effort wore on. Finally, on the eve of disaster, the quartet faced off against the Goblin King at the top of his horrible citadel, through a veritable army of orcs. The five hewed through the demons with consummate ease, until Ronan faced off against the Greater Demon himself. Believing himself to be a destined warrior, Ronan thought to lay low Skorn himself.

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