Thursday is here and that would normally see me drawing, digitally creating or finding premade art or maps that I can use in the week’s adventure.
This week I am leaving it to chance and letting chance decide which previous week’s content to use and incorporating it into this week’s adventure writeup.
Today we rolled 8-3 which is the dried creek bed from two weeks back. Fate seemed to like me today as maps are generally very adventure specific but in the case of this map it has potential to be versatile. Let’s look at a way we can find ourselves looking at the dried cracked creek bed. So without any further waffle let’s get on with it.
A thirst that the land can’t quench
The doors to the tavern swung open, letting through a breeze into the tavern that had begun to feel more like a cell rather than a place normally associated merriment.
It had been but a day after the Tavern had shifted unexpectedly, the food was beginning to run into smaller supply with no one but the party being willing to venture out side for fear of the tavern deciding to shift again and leaving the patrons stranded.
“what luck!, a Tavern in the middle of no where!” one of newcomers bellowed to two other humans behind him as he stepped through the threshold. “It will be good so rest our steeds and our weary bodies after such long ride here” he laughed, clapping a man and a woman as they both walked through the door.
The newcomers instantly gave a freshness to the tavern, people strode up to greet the newcomers who were equipped as only adventurers could be.
“But Drood, there wasn’t a tavern here before, the maps don’t show anything for a few days in any direction” the woman said, moving a strand of amber coloured hair behind her slightly pointed ears as she adjusted her pack, a large necked lute sticking over one shoulder.
“Nonsense Filli, Taverns don’t just spring out of the ground. Your maps just must be out of date.” Drood said with mirth, his eyes drifting towards the tankards of ale. Despite looking like a man who prefers the company of animals over humans one could recognise hunger in his eyes when looking at the unspoken promise of cold drink and good food.
“No, Filli is right. This Tavern has only just appeared here,” a man, rather unremarkable except for his sleeveless robe that connected to a hood that seemed to wrap around his shoulders and extend down. His forearms and hands showing arcane etchings, marks and runes marked him of someone who studied arcane. His eyes moved calculating over the room with a gaze that seemed to stare through people rather than upon them. “You, Sorcerer”, the hooded man pointed towards Zandar, “this tavern, surely you can tell it is not bound to the material plane. What brings you and your, ‘his eyes drifted briefly over the companions of Zandar, a smile crossing his face, “Ah, you made it off that mountain it seems.”
Slowly a man in the corner of the room stood and tried his best to nonchalantly move to the front of the tavern.
“Good to see you again my Lady Firehair. The guises you take always confuse me since your normal form is such a marvel” the hooded stranger whispered in the ear of the man having travelled across the room in an eye beat thanks to his mastery over magic. “I suppose it would be your doing that this tavern is unbound. Never matter, I am here to rest. My compatriots and I have come from the Black Iron Isles and we would rather rest than clean up someone else’s mess.”
Whilst the room was focused on the exchange between the new man and the the smith they knew as Chad Baxter saw his chance and moved towards the front door, using what he had learnt on the streets in his youth he made it to the front of the tavern and slipped out the door with nearly no one noticing.
“Woah, hold on there boy.” a voice like scales scraping on a rock came from behind him as he checked one last time in the tavern.
Turning around, trying not to arouse suspicion he was greeted with the blue scales of a dragonborn standing just off from the doorway holding the reigns of four horses.
“You, I can’t find where to stable the horses. Take care of it for me will you stableboy?” He dragonborn said as he walked forward and handed the reigns to Baxter.
Nodding and bowing his head he walked around the side of the Tavern. He had never had it so easy before, glancing around to make sure that there was no one watching him he tied up three horses and started to size up the fourth for himself.
“Hey boy, now Red told me that he gave our horses to a stableboy but. I think you aint’ him huh?” the man that the other newcomers referred to as Drood questioned, leaning against the wall of the tavern “why don’t you step away from the horses and come in side for a drink. Be thankful I came out and not Magnus, that man isn’t as understanding as me” Drood said, standing up and stepping forward towards Baxter.
Baxter couldn’t give up now. He had to get the Crystal to Mr P. or his future would never truly begin. Hoisting himself up on the horse as fast as he could he whirled the beast around in the same motion, preparing to spur it on to escape as quickly as possible.
“That won’t do. Get down boy!” Drood yelled, grabbing at the boy and grasping onto the crystal through Baxter’s shirt. Green arcs of lightning shot out causing the older man of the wilds to convulse and fall backwards. Looking down at the man Baxter could tell that he was living. His breath was rapid but looked steady enough, his mouth opened slightly as if mouthing words but nothing would come out.
“Sorry mister, I am not going back to the streets or worse. If I can I shall bring back your mare, if I can find you that is!” Baxter spoke, leaning down the side of the mare as he made it trot past him.
Drood could only watch as the mare and the boy disappeared away from the road. He could feel the magic, what ever it was, pulsing through his body interrupting his own connection to the weave and to nature. Until the energy dissipated he was stuck here.
A hour or so passed and the energy had not let up, it seemed to pulse and glow like a heart beat and it was showing no signs of wavering.
“What are you doing Drood?” A cool voice like a refreshing ale spoke from five paces away. Unable to talk he mustered enough strength to turn his head. Magnus stood there, cleaning something under his nail with a short sharp knife. After a moment of Drood being unable to talk Magnus sighed and approached Drood, placing his hand over his chest the green energy sparked into him before being re-directed at the wall of the inn. through Magnus’s other outstretched hand.
“Magnus! The boy, he took Yendavire. When I grabbed him and tried to get him off the horse he used some magic and struck me with green lightning. I have been paralysed on the ground since.”
“Interesting, it was the same resonance of what powers and flows through the tavern. Come in Drood and speak to my new acquaintances.”
With the escape of Baxter and the information from Drood and Magnus the party should be able to track the crystal and find Baxter camping in an alcove in a dried river bed.
Well that’s it for today. The other way that we could incorporate the map, or any random encounters we generated tomorrow (Friday being fight night) would be utilising the nature of the tavern – since it is unstable and teleports through the material plane by nature it wouldn’t be unfathomable for it to appear randomly in a desert, forest, in a hostile city or anywhere in between. Having versatile locations, NPCs, Twists and maps can make the concept of a modular adventure toolkit.
Don’t forget the deal this week is that if there is something that is someone’s particular favourite I will incorporate it into this weeks adventure – or continue to let my wife, 6 year old daughter and 2 year old son roll dice across the table to randomly select which adventure we are working with today.
Also don’t forget to come back tomorrow and this weekend for the final pieces to see if this concept of min actually plays out and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe