Extra Life 2015

Dear Friends, Family, and Fans!

It’s that time of year again! We’re raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and I need your help!

On October 3rd, from 8 am-12 pm, I’ll be playing D&D with my very favorite Dungeon Master, Susan J. Morris, authors Bruce Cordell and Keith Baker, and designer, Teos “Alphastream” Abadia. You can watch it on Twitch. Your donations will help shape the adventure and my character, but that’s not all!

Seattle Children’s Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few, and the money you donate to make us entertain you, goes straight to them. (Your donation is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids.)

You can make a donation here.  Check below for rewards (and remember: the more we raise, the better the rewards get!)


Who’s it gonna be?

Just like last year, I’m leaving it up to you who my character will be. Each donation of $5 buys you one vote (so, for example, you can donate $25 and vote 5 times for your favorite, or split it and vote for everyone once, so no imaginary person feels sad).  Please note your choice when you donate or I can’t count your vote!

VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN! When we reach $500, I’ll tally the votes and choose the character. 

That will unlock a new set of goodies for the chosen character. Costumes? Side quests? Artifacts? Familiars? A certain adorable devil-dog? We’ll see!
Ootagenderqueer half-orc barbarian; wily neutral, appears in The Adversary. Oota is one part warlord, one part preacher, one part den mother and all badass. You don’t mess with her people and you won’t have a problem. She’s never been in the Underdark before, but she’s already not impressed.

Mira Zawadfemale human rogue; chaotic unflappable; appears in Lesser Evils and Ashes of the Tyrant. Mira makes a living as a Zhentarim agent even though she’s (shhh!) secretly working for the Harpers of Waterdeep. Her true love though is history, and as such, if she has to choose between you and an artifact…well…the artifact is irreplaceable! She’s been in the Underdark. Doesn’t recommend it. But both her employers are quite interested in what they’ve been hearing about a certain chatty artifact…

HRH Raedra Obarskyrfemale human fighter; dedicated neutral; appears in Fire in the Blood. As one of the Royal Family of Cormyr, Raedra should not be in the Underdark, but try telling an Obarskyr what to do.  Raedra is the kind of royal who digs in with both hands and a sword for the sake of her kingdom and her people. She’s not used to roughing it, but making a fuss about it would be terribly gauche.
Nestrixfemale drag–I mean, human fighter; neutral unnerving; appears in The God Catcher. Clytemmorrenestrix was a blue dragon, and then the Spellplague came and ruined everything, leaving her trapped in the body of a Tethyrian woman. Or maybe she’s crazy. Sometimes she (or maybe her spellscar) can bust out a little dragonfear. Sometimes she’s got lightning breath to spare. And sometimes she forgets her hands are squishy and just dives in unarmed. Bring on the funguses–she can zap them like anything else.

Mehenmale dragonborn fighter; lawful protective; appears throughout the Brimstone Angels Saga, but especially in Ashes of the Tyrant. Mehen has a past–evidenced by the clan piercings he doesn’t wear and the reputation that manages to follow him, even though he’s been far from Djerad Thymar for thirty years. Legendarily tough and absolutely done with your shit, Mehen is not keen on Zuggtmoy. Worshipping demons willy-nilly–THIS is how you get gods, people. Do you want gods all over? (I cannot promise any awkward Dad-flirting, but knowing Susan there is a distinct possibility she will make me do that).


Return of Havilar!female tiefling fighter; neutral badass; appears throughout the Brimstone Angels Saga; my first Extra Life Character. Havilar seems like a flighty young woman, until she gets her glaive out–then you’d best step back and see how it’s done. Expect surprising observations, wild “facts,” and for me to get the horns out again. Havilar has never fought a fungus before, but she’s heard that if you pelt them with parsley and breadcrumbs, they go down faster.


  • Oota: 0 votes
  • Mira: 0 votes
  • Nestrix: 5 votes
  • Raedra: 0 votes
  • Mehen: 0 votes
  • Havilar: 0 votes


Last year, you guys helped me raise $2070 dollars, over my original goal of $1800. That meant that you unlocked the creation of a replica of Lorcan’s scourge pendant. The winner, Lindsay Newsome, generously chose to auction off that piece and have the proceeds donated to Extra Life. During the fundraising drive, I’ll be running that auction. Stay tuned for details.

DM’s Player rewards

Our DM has graciously deigned to spread the love to the players. Mostly because she’s planning to put us through the wringer. In addition to making your votes above, you can choose one of the below to make things a little easier on your favorite character (…Mine. I’m talking about my character). Please note your choice in your donation. These DO combine with your votes.

For more information (or to be a big meanie), check out Susan’s Extra Life Page, here.

Jackpot ($Any)—For each $1 you give, that player character gains 1 extra gp to spend on weapons, armor, potions, etc.

Shot in the Dark: ($10)—Gift a player with a random potion from my potions and poisons chart! Will it be helpful? Harmful? Labeled? Who knows! But it will at least be entertaining.

Read the Fine Print ($20)—Gift a player free and instant identification of one magic item (including potions).

Potion of Healing ($25)—Give a player a potion of healing. They’re going to need it!

All Your Bomb Are Belong to Us ($25)—Gift a player with one of the following: alchemist fire, tanglefoot bag, acid, oil of slipperiness, or a glitter bomb.

It’s a TRAP! ($25)—Gift a player with the power of foresight. Once, right before triggering a trap, they will hear the legendary warning, and will realize their mistake in time to avoid triggering the trap. (They won’t know what or where the trap is, or how to disarm it, but they will know they almost stepped into it!)

Tymora’s Lucky Charm ($25)—Give a player a Luck Coin worth one reroll to use during the game.

Critical Success ($50)—Give a player an automatic 20 on a d20 roll during the game (use before the Player rolls).

Critical Failure ($75)—The player can make the DM roll 1 on any roll (use before the DM rolls)

How Much Is that Dragon in the Window? ($250)—Give one player a pet! This pet will have a stat card and attack on the player’s turn. Depending on the intelligence of the pet, they may be able to follow a few simple commands. Choose from: Giant Beetle, Spider, Badger, Raven, and Toad.

Deluxe Pet ($500)—Give one player a pet… dragon! This pet will have a stat card, be able to follow simple commands, and attack on the player’s turn. Choose from: blue dragon wyrming, white dragon wyrmling, and bronze dragon wyrmling.


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Good morning, readers!

One of the problems with having a blog aversion is that when it clears I have SO MUCH TO TELL YOU! I’ve literally started writing three blog posts this morning! But this one seems the most critical (and technically it’s two, so bear with me).

First, as of August 4th, Fire in the Blood is now available in paperback! It’s a nice, chunky little tome, for sale at all fine bookstores.

Build Your Own Tiny Word Fortress!

Build Your Own Tiny Word Fortress!

This is absolutely my favorite book of the series so far. This is in a lot of ways the story I’ve been trying to tell. Royals, politics, war, magic, history, passion, really gross possessions! Fire in the Blood sends Farideh and friends to Suzail, the capital city of Cormyr, in the middle of the War of the Sundering. Brin tries to find a way to reconcile the life he’s made and the life he wants, until the Crown Prince of Cormyr–Brin’s father-in-law to-be–disappears, pushing him perilously close to the throne. While Havi, Brin, Mehen, and Constancia race to find the missing Crown Prince, Farideh remains behind, balanced precariously between Princess Raedra and the Crown, and Dahl Peredur and the Harpers–both looking for Sharran traitors. Then everything goes wrong.

I love it. I love it. I think you will too.

Also, someone else loved it:




If you have already ready Fire in the Blood, perhaps in hardcover or as an ebook, and perhaps you have already gotten yourself an extra copy or two to hand out to friends who would like the book as well (…other people do this, right?), then you might be more interested in what’s coming next!

(People who have not read Fire in the Blood, minor spoiler: There are more books in this series. Farideh doesn’t die at the end)

Is she standing on a pyramid? Yes she is.

Is she standing on a pyramid? Yes she is.

From the catalog copy: In a direct follow-up to her fourth book in the Brimstone Angels series, Fire in the Blood, Erin M. Evans thrusts her signature character Farideh into a fast-paced murder mystery rife with political intrigue. 
In the wake of the war brought on by the Sundering, Farideh’s adopted father Mehen has been called back by the clan that cast him out, and Farideh and Havilar mean to go with him. Just as Mehen confronts the head of his former clan, a clutch of young dragonborn is found in the catacombs, brutally murdered, an infernal summoning circle that looks all-too-familiar to Farideh, nearby.

What that doesn’t tell you is that this story fits into the Rage of Demons story arc. So if you are curious to read more of that, more of what’s happening in the world beyond the Sword Coast, this is your book.

Also: You get to meet Dahl’s family. His grandmother is the single greatest thing I’ve ever written. Granny Sessaca 4EVA.

Posted in Brimstone Angels, Fire in the Blood, Forgotten Realms, MOAR BOOKS, Writing | 3 Comments

On Playing a Dragonborn in Forgotten Realms: Part 2

Hello, readers!

I’ve had a follow-up question to my earlier post about dragonborn from Micha. Do you have more of these? I’m happy to answer them as time allows. Like I said before: this stuff is coming out my ears!

So,  the vayemniri don’t care for dragons.   How is the relationship with metalic dragons?   I would assume that the tyrranical dragons of Abir were chromatic.   Do they see a difference, or have both dragon types been lumped together?   Since we have a new world that lacks a history of dragon overlords, would a visiting dragon be treated with hospitality, or are we talking prejudice?    How would the vayemniri look at the dragon worshipping kobold?

 And what about the Wall of the Faithless?   I assume that is still around, and I imagine its demonstratably real.


Good questions! Let’s break it into two parts.

To the first point, I cannot speak with absolute authority—the information on Abeir is–intentionally, I suspect—a little thin, so you can craft your own lore. But the impression I’m left with is one of a world corrupted by the tyranny of the Dawn Titans/primordials. The laws of nature in Toril are not the laws of nature in Abeir, and so metallic dragons aren’t necessarily as good as they were at the beginning of time or in the current age in Toril.

Here’s why I say that: the dragons in Abeir gained their power in a lot of the same ways the dragonborn gained their freedom. They begin as the steeds and property of the titans. They fight them, defeat them—mostly—and throw off the shackles, then set to building their own empires on the backs of humanoids. Chromatic dragons and metallic dragons are in the same boat here, and once different dragon kingdoms start establishing themselves, it’s very plausible to me that each dragon is only thinking of their counterparts. Humans, elves, dragonborn, etc.—these never get a real chance to gain a solid foothold the way they do in Toril. They are chattel and creatures—not “real” like dragons. And so even given the possibility of a metallic dragon that is capital-G Good, with the general state of things they’re probably good in a very paternalistic way: they treat their slaves very well, but they’re still slaves. Poor things couldn’t make it on their own. More likely, I would think, is the possibility that Abeir has corrupted them too. Humanoids are acceptable collateral damage in stopping chromatics/primordials/etc.

But that’s not how metallic dragons are in Toril—this is true. And if you look at the sourcebooks, there are definitely examples of dragonborn who are convinced that metallics are different, including the worshipers of Bahamut, the Platinum Cadre. On an individual level, this is extremely plausible.

On a cultural level, the Vayemniri haven’t had enough time to adjust and the right overtures haven’t been made.

Assume one silver dragon arrives to welcome them to the neighborhood (and I’m going to assume that takes a little while, given the previous neighbors were not the dragons’ best friends either). The whole city is going to go into defense mode. Every dragonborn in the place is going to go, “IT’S THE BIG ONE!” and beat the war drums (there are literal war drums on the market level, per Whisper of Venom!). Even if they can’t defeat that silver dragon, even if that silver dragon is just trying to give them a fruit basket, they know you can’t take chances with dragons and they’d fight like their lives and their offspring’s lives depend on it. The dragon, I would think, would bail out and tell other dragons that those people are crazy. Don’t bother.

Could good dragons change the Vayemniri’s perception? Maybe. With time, or maybe with a mass show of goodwill, like a big flight of them settling down at a safe distance with muffin baskets. But they don’t really know, necessarily, what they’re up against. What they have to, in a sense, prove they aren’t. They really can’t just say, “Guys, we’re not like that!” because that’s what an Abeiran dragon would say! And come to it, the Vayemniri aren’t really missing out on much by not dealing with good dragons.

(As for kobolds, I would expect they don’t like kobolds at all.)

This is a tricky one, because this is a case where they are potentially losing out. For those who haven’t delved into the nuances of the religion and afterlife of the Forgotten Realms, divine magic comes from the gods, who are very much real and have definite opinions about who deserves that magic, and the dead are judged by Kelemvor, the god of the dead, and then claimed by the gods who love them best. Those who worship no gods, who deny the gods, are hung on the Wall of the Faithless for eternity—unless they take a deal from a devil to escape to the Nine Hells and take their chances.

(…I think. There are a lot of ideas that seem to collide in this, which kind of makes sense. I don’t imagine a lot of people come back with detailed accounts of the bureaucracy of the afterworld.)

So the dragonborn are not atheists, specifically. It’s hard to exist in the Realms and not accept that there are gods. But they don’t have any interest in them. Mehen describes the gods at one point as being like beggars—you give them a little attention and they’ll be after you and your coin purse for all your days.

Which means dragonborn ought to end up on the Wall of the Faithless.

There are two things about that though. One, for all that sounds like a terrible fate, I don’t know that it’s not better in the eyes of the dragonborn. If the alternative is having your soul go to some god’s plane of existence, separated from your clan for eternity, and then serve that god for eternity, I can see a lot of Vayemniri asking if the Wall’s available.

Two, the question that needs to be asked is actually “What’s the afterlife of Abeir like?” There are no gods in Abeir—the gods got Toril, and the Dawn Titans got Abeir, and the Dawn Titans don’t collect souls. For all but the last hundred years of their existence, the Vayemniri dragonborn haven’t worshiped gods because there weren’t gods to worship.

This is where it’s fun to piece together the bits of information given in the FRCG and other sources: They’re as close to atheistic as you can be in a world where gods literally pop down. They have no formal temples or shrines in their city. But they have catacombs—they have funerary customs, and those funerary customs include preservation of the dead. If all these are true, this tells us a couple of things:

  1. The gods haven’t made Djerad Thymar a priority. Gods, it’s been theorized, gain strength and power and realness from worship. This is a city of tens of thousands where there is no competition for worship, and converts are individual and minute? The only group with numbers worth noting are the Platinum Cadre, the worshipers of Bahamut. Are the gods super racist or impossible divas? “No, you come to me!” Or are they holding off for some reason? Regardless, I would argue that the gods are culpable, too, in the faithlessness of the Vayemniri.
  2. The Vayemniri probably have some sense of an individual soul. Funerary customs are really interesting and bring up a lot of fascinating nuances between cultures, but if you’re preserving the body (e.g. keeping it intact) it’s usually because that person’s immortal soul needs it. (It’s alternately possible that there were a lot of problems with necromancy in Abeir, and keeping your ancestors’ bones close is how you prevent them being defiled by assholes. But that still assigns value to the body.)
  3. They built this enormous city with catacombs—they arrived with this custom in place.


All these things come together in a few possibilities:

  1. Do Abeiran souls go to the same afterlife as Torilian souls?
    1. YES. Is their lack of worship still relevant?
      1.   YES. The Wall of the Faithless is full of Abeirans and this is what the Vayemniri expect from their afterlife.
      2.  NO. The gods are scooping up deserving Abeirans from the Fugue Plane, and since they clearly haven’t signaled the rules have changed, they continue to scoop Vayemniri and the Vayemniri continue to live their lives to the best of their abilities, without giving the gods much thought.
    2. NO. Is there an Abeiran afterlife?
      1. YES. Then the Vayemniri may well go to a kind of limbo state, like a god-less upper plane. A god could step in and claim them, but it would be a hard sell.
      2. NO. Then the Vayemniri’s souls may be obliterated.
      3. WELL…SORT OF. The Vayemniri’s souls persist as ghosts that stick around their bodies. Maybe your ancestors literally influence you this way.

There are other possibilities, too, and I have my favorites. But suffice it to say, nothing is canonical yet.  And one reason for that is that the dragonborn probably lack divine magic: you probably don’t get a lot of dragonborn returning from the dead to tell everyone what they experienced. You probably also don’t get a lot of quick, complete healing, which is also interesting in my opinion. The dragonborn probably have a very different experience of injury and disability than the rest of Faerûn–someone like Shestandeliath Geshthax, the patriarch of his clan, whose right arm was amputated, is probably a stranger sight in other parts of the world where a priest can regrow that arm, but in Djerad Thymar he’s an elder who’s seen battle, probably one of many.

I suspect, too–given this and given the text which describes them as avid gardeners–that dragonborn have a more robust knowledge of what I’d call traditional healing–their healer’s kits should come with an extra bonus.


Enjoy this breakdown of dragonborn culture? Consider pre-ordering Ashes of the Tyrant, the upcoming Farideh novel that ties into the Rage of Demons storyline and returns to Djerad Thymar. 

Have more questions about dragonborn? Ask ‘em here, or use the contact form and I’ll write another post.

Posted in Forgotten Realms | 3 Comments