In a defiled shrine at the Moonshield Narrows there’s a plot brewing. If it succeeds, demonic hordes will be home free, free to stream in and rule the world. The party is doing maximum counterplotting, but they need help. Screw up your courage in #66 and pit yourself against alchemist Amish and his dangerous concoctions. He’s a charlatan and only in it for the excitement, but don’t be fooled. He’s dangerous. And beware Mogtail and Bestrian, dangerous women in love with dark powers. Maybe worst of all? You’ll face spider goblins. Opposable thumbs give you an edge, you say? Try facing goblins with six of them! You might be thinking the world you live in is dark, but now get acquainted with dark. #66 is dark- the Moonshield Narrows seeded and warded with Merosakkan Stones. Nothing pretty here. This is about slamming the gates of hell.
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The locals called it the Medusa Sanctuary, but that was always sort of a colloquialism. If you capture medusas and dissect them and lock them up, is that sanctuary? Well, maybe not. If you bundle them all up and send them off to their own homeland, is that freeing them? That’s an improvement Aaron Alfast thinks and says a resounding “yes” to giving them their own flag. But the real decider is going to be Amoriliath, the Medusa Queen. She may have to square off against a mage controlled double, but put your faith in her. She wants to be free and she wants her daughters to be free. She’s powerful and the do-gooders are on her side. But what about you? Can sentient beings be monsters? Pick a side. Just mind your eyes. Bring a mirror. Maybe a back-up.
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So Beautiful! You could live here forever. That’s what Ansel Mardain thought when the Elf King sent him to explore the Lowmoon Valley. Here, where the Moonshield River widens and slows, large expansive fields of grass grow tall as two dwarves and stretch from one steep canyon wall to the other. And the mushrooms! Buttery, rich – mushrooms everywhere. Enough to keep you alive forever. !Not! These are puppet-making, Broshly Mushrooms, intent, cunning, conniving. They will trap you. They will sift their tiny mycelium spores down upon your cheeks and into your knuckle bones and you too will become a glorious hill of magnificent mushrooms, buttery and rich. It’s the dark tide that corrupted these mushrooms. If you play it right, you might survive. But, stay together, and – don’t trust the natives.
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Wow! You might not have heard of such a thing, but now there’s a map of the future. It’s right here, issue #63, at the Woodsman’s Inn. Maps of the past – histories – they’re all very well, but now prescient, unaligned folks are tracing the history of the future. It makes sense. Stuff happens one place and astral reverberations shake up everything happening next and ongoing, ad infinitum. If the Godslayer got born here, you think you can even spend one night and not get shook up? Pick up the dice. They’ll be heavy. It’ll take courage, maybe even a rabbit warrior to mend this world where cause and effect don’t even work anymore. Leave if you like. But do you dare?
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If you find moontears in those brave new floating mines, just act natural. Don’t let on, don’t tell anyone. Just harvest them. Moontears are worth more to you-yourself-alone, than being the good guy and sharing the wealth. Just keep it secret. Use them yourself if there’s danger ahead, or send them home to sell and make yourself rich. Risking your life on those cloud runners, you deserve a bit more than the measly wages the company pays. And moontears can slow your fall, you know. You could spread a little on, sneak away. Drop down, drop out. Jenny Bluesky might help you. She doesn’t have a lily-white past herself, you know. But that guy in the shop? Phineas what’s-his-name at Shopland? Don’t expect any help from him. He’s all crisped up from an early life of hard knocks, and he’s just a “yes man” now. But take my word for it. You find some moontears? Check out your options. You’ll have some.
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Ashiba, Master Druid, throws off his body when it gets old and takes a new one. It’s always worked for him and he’s brandished his power at the Gate for centuries. But now the other nature spirits have had enough of him. Sure, they’ve always known he’s an imposter, but he’s supposed to be doing it for them and not get co-opted by the very creatures he’s pretending to be. Just take it as a clue. Nothing is what it seems. That glorious Gate, so shiny, so white, so sparkling? The elephants? The little girls tripping up and down the steps? It makes a great display. But the Oglish-ka have their own cycles and seasons and they’re geared up to make some interference. Can you stop them? Will you help them? Play it anyway you like. But be warned. Watch out.
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Old Kings and despots, a queen or two as well, they all call the King’s Club home. Dorrian Wells, a crafty charmer, welcomes all that ilk – people just like himself. After all, he sat upon another’s throne unsuspected a year or more and when he got discovered, where else was he to go? He found a lot of subscribers to the place he calls the King’s Club, a place set up to meet the special needs of those just like himself. What better a place to hide than one where no one wants to fight on any pretext? Nothing more important than the market. This is coffee country, the place where the absolute best coffee in the world grows. Business comes first. Don’t interfere with the market
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Xisto is a young rock, cognizant and canny. It’s a dream of his to get some understanding going between the rocks and the barbarians and the dwarven types. He’s even gotten an earth elemental to translate his slow rock language so the faster races can understand. But the weather’s a complication for sure. It’s always wild at the Moonshield, but now Augustus thinks he can profit from making it even worse. He’s filled up the Giant’s Flask with as much raw energy as he can and, watch out! It looks like a wonderland of horrors in there. The stones are worried, standing at the ready with their dead Grazaka ancestors. Ready for war. Xisto wants peace, but he’s going to have to fight for it. And oh, boy, here it comes, the dark tide, early, thanks to Augustus. Darker than ever. Stronger. Get ready! Suit up! Play the game now or find cover quick!
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Musicians make good spies. They travel. They hobnob with the nobility and they’ve got minds trained to read code. Everyone thinks the Grand Conservatory in the Elf King’s old kingdom is just a beautiful music school, but unbeknownst to most, the school supports itself selling information. Sife’s an undercover cop at the school trying to pass as one of the kids. She came looking for information about Justine Belidnine from #55 who Sife thinks stole her king’s jewels. But now Sife’s distracted. She’s not as young as she hopes she looks and the music school is far more complicated than she ever dreamed. Besides, she loves that parasitic instrument that makes her sound so great. So Sife’s on a tightrope. She’s dancing between a plague of fast aging and an explosion of parasites. She might just self-destruct.
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Hold on! Vision adjustment! Moonshield Falls is a nice piece of real estate, but training an army here? Those Rebirth of Shiel people just don’t get it. Moonshield Falls is where it all began! The Sun and the Moon duked it out for control of the world right here where the falls are now and, at the same time, in the most inadvertent of fashions, left their progeny, Shamu Nanna, behind. Shamu Nanna’s a little hard to describe as he’s a hybrid of metal and tendrils and vines. The God Slayer did a number on him too with an extra dose of super sentience. But you’ll recognize him when you see him. He’ll be the one teaching the teachers. For you, personally? The big thing about Shamu Nanna is that he’s his own source of divine magic, and if you check him out, you can plug right in. Join the cause, maybe? Fight those Elf King lovers! Yeah!
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