Reflections

We last left our heroes in a dust covered study where they just crushed a mind-melting brain in a jar.  Kane noticed that the magical energies of the area shifted with the death of the brain.  Hesikiah started to sweat and giggle slightly.  The mirror with the trapped spirit inside commanded he smash it over the red hand on the floor.  With the death of the brain the spirit had no fear of being trapped once released.  As soon as the mirror was smashed the spell it had over Hesikiah was broken and the spirit rushed into the body of Princes Celeste.   She rose out from her grave under the red hand, thanked the heroes for keeping her safe and promised them a place of stature in her undead army.  She then rushed forward to help the heroes into the afterlife.  The heroes were very battle weary.  Kane carefully kept a safe distance while Sarge and Hesikiah kept her from the rest of the party.  Kava darted in and out managing to keep on his feet for the entire fight.  The princess used her horrific visage to cause fear in the hearts of the heroes but through sheer will they were able to stand their ground.  She blasted and blinded them with waves of necrotic energy.  Sarge was able to pin the princess.  Hesikiah finally put everything together and discovered that she was an agent of the sworn enemy of his god, Vecna!  He ran up to her, traced the symbol of Ioun on her chest and begged his god to remove this abomination from the world.  The Raven Queen was also eager to claim the soul who avoided the shadowfell for too long.  As the spirit of the princess left her body, the heroes saw a shadowy angel with wings of raven feathers grab the spirit and pull it into the next plane.

With the death of the princess they were able to study this dark library.  With the help of the local cleric they were able to determine that the princess has lured the brain (who was at one time an evil wizard) to her tower so she could steal his knowledge of dark rituals.  However, the brain was able to disrupt the princesses during one such ritual and trap her in the mirror.  Because she was so powerful she was able to have some of her undead minions move her to the safety of the upper levels.  Exhausted and completely drained both the brain and the mirror slept for hundreds of years.  They only recently awoke because the mage in the thieves’ guild stirred the dark energies of the area.  During their research they find mention of a dark monastery somewhere in the Whitestone Mountains.  They also find a crude map of path through the mountain.  No one in town seems to know about a monastery but they advise the heroes to travel to a dwarven marble quarry called Craigfoot Keep.  If anyone knows anything about monastery in the mountains the dwarves would.  After a few longs days of shopping the heroes make their way to Craigfoot Keep.

After a few days of hard travel the heroes reach the keep.  It is a simple yet strong stone keep with an active marble quarry behind it.  After meeting with a few of the keep’s residents the heroes had a vague idea of where to begin their search for the monastery.  They were also asked to take care of a gnoll problem, find a missing alchemist and take care of a dragon.  With their plates full the heroes’ set off looking for the mountain pass.

Not far from the keep the party encountered a Halfling and a Teifling who claimed they were attacked by bandits.  The bandits emerged from hiding a ways down the road.  As the party rushed forward to dispatch the bigands, the Tiefling and Halfling attacked their flanks.  Even with this disadvantage the heroes rallied and sent the thieves to the Shadowfell.

Traveling the mountains is always dangerous.  How will our heroes fair as they continue the journey.

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California Club Chicken Burger

I was inspired to make these things by a California club sandwich I had at a restaurant.  I know it is not a true club because I am not using turkey but the chicken really works here.  This is plenty for about 6-8 burgers.

6-8 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1lb bacon
1 lrg tomato
½ head of lettuce
6-8 slices of havarti cheese
6-8 Kiser buns
16 tbsp guacamole
mayonnaise
BBQ sauce
Start by putting a layer of tinfoil over the top rack of your BBQ.  Lay the bacon on the tinfoil.  Fire up your BBQ and let the bacon cook on med to med low heat for about 15-20 mins.  This is a good time to make your guacamole.  Check out this post for my homemade guac.  Be sure to keep checking the bacon every 5 mins or so.  You want it to be crispy but not burnt.  Remove the bacon and set it aside.  Turn the heat up to med high.  Be sure to oil your grill before cooking chicken.  Because it has less fat I find it sticks easier.  Put your chicken on the grill and brush with the BBQ sauce.  You want to turn the chicken about every 5-6 minutes (that means about 10 mins a side).  Be sure not to burn it but always cook your chicken well.  After you flip the chicken, brush the exposed side with more BBQ sauce.  About 2 mins before removing the chicken, place a slice of cheese on each breast.  Once you have removed the chicken you are ready to build the burger.  On the bottom half of the bun, scoop on about 2 tbsp of guac.  Place the chicken breast on the guac.  Put two strips of bacon (each cut in half so you end up with 4 pieces) on the chicken.  On the top half of the bun, spread some mayo.  Then place the lettuce and the tomato on the mayo.  I personally like to keep the tomato closest to the meat.  Close the burger!  Server with some nice salads and LOTS of napkins!  If you have leftover bacon, use them as bacon bits in a ceaser salad.  If you have left over guacamole, sever it on the side with some chips!

Brad’s Guacamole

I started making this a few years ago.  It is slightly chunky and really tasty.  It is perfect for using on my California Club Chicken Burgers or served with chips as an appy.

2 lrg avocados
1 jalapeno pepper
1 lrg roma tomato
½ med. onion
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of ½ lemon
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp salt

Finely dice the onion and place it in a bowl.  Finely dice the tomato and put it in the bowl.  Finely dice the pepper and put it in the bowl.  If you are worried about heat, slice the pepper lengthwise in half and, using a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane.  This removes most of the heat but still gives you the flavour.  When preparing the guac this way I would call it mild to very mild.  The more seeds you leave behind the hotter it will get.  If you want it really hot, add a more spicy pepper like a habanero.  Add the avocados.  The following video will help if you are an avocado rookie.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAAMx_R523o.  Juice the limes and lemon into the bowl.  Mince the garlic and throw it into the bowl.  Add the salt.  Mash and mix everything with a fork.  Taste it!  It may need more salt or a little more juice.  It is that simple to make great tasting and fresh guac!