Well the weekend is here and with the slight hiccup in yesterdays writing plans, a general head cold (or reaction to the vaccine) I will make tonight’s writeup a bit easier for myself.
This week we looked at rolling the dice. Letting the bones decide our fate for this week and drawing upon (mostly) previously created content to explore the concept of modular adventures utilising a pool of content. Despite a lot of the content being thought of in previous weeks this week almost all of it was completely re-written to create something new but inspired by previous weeks.
So without further waffle let’s get into the writeup.
– 06MoWt/10MoWt –
As the party travels along the road moving from one city full of problems to a town with even more problems a sudden gust of wind pushes dust into their face, their horses stopping, pacing backwards nervously. After a few heartbeats, lightning splits the sky driving bolts of electricity into the earth just off the road ahead. The growing maelstrom forces their steeds to spook, sending them off the road and bolting away. The party, unable to hold reign in such panicked beasts, fall off and land hard on the ground just as the maelstrom reaches a crescendo where the very air shuddered with the force of an element of nature being born.
As the dust thrown up by the sudden phenomenon disappears the party are left staring at a building, not unlike many they have frequented before, a tavern now stood where the bolts of lightning had struck, any trees, bushes or things in general look to have been disintegrated without a trace remaining.
A moment later a small portly man walks through the front door ‘What in the nine hells is going on. This isn’t right’ the man noticing the party runs over to talk to them, he looks as uncomfortable with running as he is with the situation he finds himself in.
‘You, travellers, where are we? My name is Mer and I am the proud, well most of the time, owner of this tavern. We were not due to snap away from Lothgar for another week by my calculations and now I honestly don’t know where we are’
It takes a few moments of repeating answers to Mer before he seems to calm down. The party were travelling from Lothgar after having spent some time in Newtbranch and were on their way to Sparrows Rest as they had received a call to aid from the mayor of the town. Mer looked perplexed.
‘So you’re telling me that there isn’t a town, city or village, hell not even a shanty town for days in any direction?’ with that he turns back to the tavern. ‘What are you doing? We are not meant to be here, we still had customers, deliveries.. You could have ki… Wait’ Mer whirled back to the party ‘Was anyone or thing there, where the tavern is right now?’
The party confirmed that they hadn’t seen anyone or anything there. Mer was relieved – all he needed now was some family complaining that his magical teleporting tavern had squished someone.
‘Say, you lot look to be capable, are you able to help me with something. The Tavern has been doing some weird things of late some of the.. err.. Lenses have gone dark and I am due to be moving to one of them next. Would you mind coming and helping me work out what’s going on with my tavern and fix it if possible?
The party, after a few moments of discussion, eventually decide to help the poor short man and with that they follow him into the well lit, well furnished Tavern simply known as “Mer’s Wandering Tavern”
Entering the inn the group is assaulted by a wall of noise. Many patrons are drinking heavily around the tavern loudly voicing their concerns that they would not be able to go home.
“As you can tell the fact that we aren’t in Lothgar anymore has rattled the patrons. They are demanding their money back or free rooms, food and drinks. A free round of ale has calmed them down for a bit but for how long I don’t know.” Mer said, looking nervous as he clutched his coin pouch.
“Don’t worry, we have dealt with worse” Ray stated, clapping the human and dwarf to the side of him. “Zander here,” he nodded towards the half-elf, “skewered two corpse drakes with a single lightning bolt”. Zander just nodded in affirmation as he scanned the people in the room.
“Is there any one we could talk to to help bring us up to speed?” the sorcerer asked, running his eyes over potential suspects or threats. By his trained eyes and instincts any of them could be the culprit.
“Brinker. I’d start with Brinker. Through that door and down in the cellar” Mer called out as he walked towards a patron causing a scene.
Dusk strode towards the bar, some brief words were exchanged with some hand waving from Mer and a grinning dwarf strode back with two tankards of ale, one already half empty by the time he made it back to the party.
“Well let’s go talk to Brinker I guess.” Mike said, unsure if Dusk had finished the first tankard or if he decided to just double fist the kegs. As they made it to the stairs down he knew the answer when Dusk placed the empty Tankards of ale on a nearby table.
– 10TuBiFu –
Clank clank clank, the jarring noise of metal striking metal resonates from the darkness of the short corridor in front of them. ‘I’m surprised that this,’ Zander paused for a moment trying to remember the name of the innkeeper, and failing, ‘err.. Wandering Tavern has a cellar. It has arcane magic literally infused everywhere, have you noticed how the walls periodically pulse with a green glow? I think that’s the tavern itself drawing from the weave. It’s a wonder’.
‘Is that you Mer? I need more time, the resonance is playing up with my tools and I am not able to get a lock on where we are. I again suggest going outside and finding out instead of asking me. Now with all respect I can muster for you, pike off” A almost comical high pitched voice trilled from somewhere near the back of the wall.
Mike put his hand on the hilt, having had quite enough of mysterious people in basements, temples or dungeons he wanted to be prepared to draw his magical blade if the time called for it. Dusk on the other hand could not care less, he had already managed to talk a second free tankard of ale (good stuff by his standards) from Mer. Pushing forward from the rest of the party he wiped a bit of froth from his beard ‘Aye, who be you talking to matey, that’s no way to speak to the heroes of Sparrows Rest’
A moment later, muttering some expletives in gnomish a 3 foot tall bald gnome with a dishevelled grey beard stormed around the corner bumping into Ray who had taken up position next to Dusk. ‘I thought I told you to.. oh.. You’re not Mer..’ the gnome stutters slightly looking at the imposing figure of Ray, Dusk, Mike and Zander. ‘Sorry lords, sorry, I didn’t realise it was visitors. Tea! you must have some tea!’ the now flustered gnome stuttered out having realised that he had been cussing someone other than his impatient, lazy boss.
Being shown to a small table, and it would be small for a gnome let alone two humans, a half elf, and a dwarf. Several moments past as the gnome introduced himself. ‘ The names Brinker, Brinker Fuzzwallop – you can call me Brink if you’d like. I’ve been working here for Mer for a good three years yet and I am not any closer to understanding how this Tavern does what it does. Only that it appears to be sentient, knows what it wants and knows exactly what it is doing. It sounds crazy but my instruments,’ the gnome, currently fussing over a tea pot that would make barely enough for a few mouthfuls, points haphazardly over to his right, against the wall where two large gemstones glowed with green light and a bunch of arcane, or at least artificers tools littered the floor around it, ‘all tell me that it’s sentient.’
Zander, noticing the patterns on the panel where the gems are embedded noted that there appeared to be a recession where the veins of light stretched too but didn’t quite reach’
As the party are offered some tea with rather potent floral notes. Zander raises his finger and gestures to the dark spot ‘It looks like you’re missing a conduit’ he says as he swallows the contents of his entire tiny tea cup in a single gulp.
Brink turns around and follows Zander’s finger before hastily placing the other teacups in front of the others, almost flying to the panel ‘no, no, no… This isn’t right – there needs to be.. where is Timmy!’ With that Brink runs up the stairs ‘I must tell Mer that we have been robbed. Timmy is missing!
As Mike and Ray decide to sit and try and calm Binker, Dusk watches Zander scope out the ruins they are in. Dusk, letting out a loud sigh before heading to the stairs. He mentions to Zander as he leaves that he is going to find some food and more drink but barely a nod of recognition is Zanders reply
– 10TuMeWh // 03TuRLH/10TuRLH –
As Dusk snuck up from the cellar to grab himself another tankard of ale he went up to the same bar he got his first, and second tankard from. Sitting in between two patrons already he made himself comfortable on the stool and looked over at the people around him.
On his left sat a human girl with extraordinary white flowing hair, her skin was unsettlingly pale, at least to him, and she seemed to have quite a few tankards of ale in front of her, most of them untouched.
‘Hey you, half-man, that was my spot ay, you best be shoving off.’ Dusk turned around to look at a man who was remarkably handsome, except for the look in his eyes.
‘Be careful of this one Dusk, he has the scent of death upon him’ A cold woman’s voice, like the caw of a raven seemed to move down his spine like a cold shiver.
‘Laddie, I have travelled long and hard and just need a few moments to rest and have an ale. Why don’t you grab an ale and do the same eh?’ Dusk said, reaching for a ale in front of him, his trained nose instantly telling him it had been tampered with. The pale woman looked up at him alarmed and went to say something but a wink and sideways glance from Dusk silenced her.
‘Ere’s one, on me lad.’ he said as he passed the drink to the man and turned around.
‘I don’t want yer ale old man – I was busy being acquainted with the ladies here’ the mans voice snuck in like a serpent as Dusk felt the still cold ale poor down his neck.
The woman to his right, Dusk noting a red haired dwarf woman who had been silently staring at a tankard of ale until now, stood up ‘Now you can’t be doing that, I’m going to have to ask ye to leave now and take your friends’ she said, squeezing Dusks arm to warn him of the odds being stacked against the old dwarf in this instance.
Smoke rose from his breastplate, enchanted to tell him when there was malcontent directed towards him in the local vicinity. The room went quiet as the sound of four chairs could be heard as they scraped across the wooden floorboards.
Dusk laughed. ‘Now,’ his voice grumbled like granite tumbling down a cliff edge, ‘that’s no way to treat yer elders’ as Dusk slowly stood his hand gripped the haft of his axe, the metal on the broad head of the axe shifting, splitting apart as fame flickered to life within revealing a snarling demon that had been carved into the head of the battle axe, ‘My Lady bitch, I’ll be needing your help on this one’ he said turning around – his other hand gripping the emblem of the Raven queen.
As he turned, a bottle came crashing down, aimed for his head, it shattered above his head as golden raven feathers seemed to manifest above him, the remaining liquid within hissing as it evaporated on his divine shield. ‘You lads will wish you hadn’t been tinkering with dark magic now ay. You see’, crunch, Dusk stepped forward splintering a floor board as his divine presence flowed from his emblem causing a visible energy to spread across his frame, causing the axe’s flames to flicker with black magic (a parlour trick for those clerics who know how), ‘my lady told me you had the stench of rot upon ye soul. I can see it now’, he pointed with the axe the very movement of the blade through the air around him sounding like a raven cawing.
One of the ‘friends’ of the man lunged at him, out of bravery or fear only he knew, the blade he had drawn from his coat hitting the same golden barrier, the scrape of metal on magic sounding like a raven mockingly calling out as it sent another few golden feathers of energy floating to the ground. The man realising his folly shrieked and stumbled backwards, hitting a wall of muscle and metal. ‘You’re lucky that my friends are here or you would be meeting my lady soon’ Dusk stated as he placed the head of his axe on the ground, having slowly walked the men into the wall of muscle that Mike and Raynor bodies created.
‘Dusk, what’s going on here. These boys causing trouble?’ Ray said, rolling a shoulder as the five men turned to look up at the two paladins.
‘Aye, the middle one’, Dusk nodded towards the man who started it all, ‘been dabbling in necromancy or so my lady says. She never wrong in this regard, the bitch’ Dusk said, spitting at the floor beneath his feet.
Mike’s face turned into a snarl of rage. ‘You had to say the N word didn’t you..’ Ray said, sighing as a Mikes mailed fist connected with the mans forehead, the limp body tumbling to the ground.
‘Easy now boys, let me deal with it’ Zandar said, floating above the paladins, his hands extended as electricity pulsed between them. An bolt of lightning passed between his hands, arcing out and passing through the heads of the remaining four men. All of them convulsed for a moment before falling to the ground, unconscious or paralysed the party cared not. Landing on the ground Zander dusted his hands, realising that the ground he was on was in fact the first man that Mike took out.
Hopping down he went to stand next to Dusk as Raynor and Mike walked the men outside, rope coming out to bind the hands and arms of the men until they decided what to do with them.
‘We figured when the noise stopped you were causing trouble, not too far from being right were we Dusk hmm?’ Zander said, clasping the old dwarf on the shoulder – his divine magic seeping into the talisman he still clasped in his hand. After a few tense heart beats the occupants of the tavern released a collective breath they had been holding and conversation and song began again.
‘I guess I should be thankful sir Dusk’, a quiet, tentative voice sang from behind him, ‘ that man and his friends had been trying to ply me with drinks for the past few days. Mer didn’t want to do anything with them since they were paying customers and all’ the white haired woman said, having turned around. ‘I am Mel and this is Rose, we had come to Lothgar looking for help before the Tavern went crazy and we ended up here. We are originally from Sparrows Rest, Rose has lost her kid you see and…’
‘Enough Mel, let’s not burden the travellers, as capable as they are, with our little villages problems. Come sit, let us buy you a round’ Rose, the red haired dwarf spoke dragging over a few chairs. ‘Mer is an ol’ friend of mine – we were rivals for a bit there when his tavern accidently ended up in sparrows rest for a few weeks there. So what brings you to this cursed tavern?’
-05TuBaHe / 10TuBaHe-
As the dwarf, half-elf and two humans sat down Baxter kept his head down and moved the chicken around the white sauce and potatoes on his plate. He didn’t know what he had been thinking, being here was a bad idea, moving from Sebluff to Lothgar had also been a bad idea. He sighed, he barely had enough money for his room and the chicken in front of him. He needed to get back to Lothgar and pay his debts so he could his life anew.
Bax had never been good with staying clean and taking up this last job had really caused him to slip further. ‘One last job’, ‘quick in and out’, ‘don’t worry – you will be gone before they realise’. He scoffed loudly, Mr Pondt, the father of crime in Lothgar had been wrong. Oh god his side was so itchy, he scratched it as nonchalantly as he could but the clear crystal in his pocket was starting to send sparks of energy into his side, and his jacket occasionally sparked. It was getting out of hand but if he could get this stone back to Mr P. then he was good, his debts paid and then some.
Then he could stop once and for all and make something out of his life. Maybe then Sebluff would see him for what he truly is, how Sarah had seen him.
The cold ale was a mystery to her, how did the ale remain so cold when the tavern had permanent Infrastructure or visible cooling mechanism? Regardless, it wasn’t half bad ale, better that swill she was used to.
Looking up she noticed a rather odd dwarf have one such cold ale poured down his neck, what surprised her was the sheer magical force that seemed to radiate from the dwarf, centralised on his clenched fist that held a talisman or some kind. Or so her glass eye told him.
The three humans, no one was a half-elf, stood behind the men causing a scene and they had a similar aura about them. One of them reminded him of someone she met a long long time ago. She itched the scar around her left socket, a single blow took everything from her but also gave her so much, this was the result when mortals clashed with forged demigods.
Picking apart the selection of meats, vegetables and cheeses before her, she settled on a chunk of crumbly soft cheese, a portion of salted ham and a picked purple vegetable she hadn’t had before.
‘the elves can it dragon root, it’s really some kind of soft sweet tuber’ a friendly voice said to her left, glancing that way she noticed a reasonably plain man with large tan overalls.
‘the names Willid, friends call me Will’
She extended her hand and clasped the human’s hand tightly, still getting used to this form of strength ‘Chad, Chad Fyresteel. Smith by trade. Pleased to meet you Will’ she said, her voice sounding exactly like the Smith she shadowed briefly in Lothgar.
‘what do you make of them huh? That Dwarf looks to be quite the fighter, look at that Axe.’ Willid mentioned, inviting himself over to her table.
She looked more closely at the party of adventurers, she had met them before in the temple of Malar so long ago, well it was mere months, but that feels like a long time for someone in her business.
When they didn’t seek her out in the walled city she assumed they hadn’t made it out, especially considering that he was there too.
‘The two paladins are also lethal in their own right, the half-elf also had some tricks he is yet to reveal’ she mused, Willid looked perplexed for a moment.
Pointing to the adventures, she quickly tried to regain the persona of Chad. ‘the swords look enchanted and the half-elf looks to be capable of magic’ to punctuate her hypothesis the half-elf pulsed electricity through the temples of the four men.
Willid drank deep from his tankard before standing up. ‘Well, didn’t expect that. But you can’t really expect anything in this tavern anyway. See you around Chad’ he mumbled as he walked to the bar.
She didn’t give recognition to the men walking off as her glass eye detected another source of magic. A crystal the size of a chunk of cheese was in the pocket of a young man across the room, and it looked like it was pulsing in the same manner as the room was.
Interesting, Baxter had actually gone through with it. Now, with these adventurers and a room full of people in the middle of nowhere how was he going to get out to hand it over.
Stretching in her chair she felt her skin shift slightly, an involuntary shift that occasionally happened when her concentration waned, glancing around she made sure no one saw her guise shift before eating the food in front of her. It was going to be an interesting task for the young thief but if he could pull it off she may have found herself an apprentice.
A day passed as the group slowly questioned the patrons, the fact that most of them were drunk didn’t help the situation and as sat down in front of a new patron they could already tell that they were not the thief who stole the crystal that Brink called Timmy…
After resting the night at the inn they came down stairs to sit in front of the man that they called Chad.
“So, what brought you here?” Ray said, watching the old man pick at some food on his plate before swigging down a glass of water. Odd he thought, the other patrons were normally hitting the ale already.
“Came ‘ere looking for a cold drink and wound up staying longer than we planned” the person disguised as char replied. Mike sat down next to Ray whilst Zander and Dusk spoke to a few people at the Bar. “What about you lads? Been seeing you talking to the other patrons as well. You guys starting a band or somethin?” not-Chat said, stuttering on the last word as Mike lay his enchanted great sword against the tavern table.
“Something like that. Our band needs some financing you see, and we have a buyer for a large crystal about so big” Mike said, showing a drawing, a sketch really, that was provided by Brinker. Mike swore he saw it, a twitch, a shift in the eyes of the smith. Something familiar about those eyes. As Mike leant to Ray the doors burst open.
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.”
As Magnus and Drood entered the tavern they saw Ray and Mike looking around where Magnus had left the man who he referred to as Lady Firehair – who had disappeared, a well practiced talent.
“Ray, Mike. My friend Drood her was saying he was just knocked out by some boy who blasted a greenish magic from his pocket over him. The magic felt like it was the same as what powers this tavern so I would believe that he is the one you are looking for.” Magnus declared, the tendrils of magic he employed like an extension of his will retreating from the thoughts of the two Paladins in front of him. “Sadly, he has taken Dasher, she is faster than a normal horse but easy enough to track. If you leave now you may be able to catch up with him if he rests for the night.”
“How do you know we were looking for someone…” Mike began before Ray cut him off.
“Never mind. Will you lend us your horses, ours got spooked by the appearance of this tavern and have not returned.” Ray asked as Dusk and Zander approached. “You have my oath that we will…” he began before the man called Drood interrupted.
“No, you can not have our horses. What madman would give horses to a group of strangers they have just met after they had just one of theirs stolen?” Drood blasted, his face flushing with evident anger.
“Nonsense – I have met them before, except the sorcerer of course, They are no stranger to me so they can take them just be sure to bring them back tomorrow or the day after. That should have given my comrades and I enough time to rest.
Flustered Drood went to object before he just sighed, nodded and walked to a booth in the corner of the room – snatching a bottle of amber spirits on his way to the seats.
Baxter slumped down against the mud wall of the alcove he had found by following a dried riverbed utterly exhausted, the fire he had lit crackled as it consumed the kindling and began to take hold of the bigger pieces of wood that had been placed within its reach. Cuts and scrapes adorned his arms, his reward for an exhausting hour of digging in the dried riverbed for some water for the surprisingly swift horse he had stolen. The horse was currently grazing a few dozen paces away or so as the sun slowly crept towards the horizon ending a day of riding along flat dry planes of grass that held little sustenance. Those adventurers that came with the horses were a scary lot, something about them set him off ease. He had seen adventurers before, some in Sebluff, The others in the tavern seemed familiar but in the sense of how all people who choose that life seem to have the same characteristics and same sad story of why they became an adventurer in the first place.
He had escaped though, gotten away from it and on the morning he would head towards Lothgar, having found a map in the saddlebags of the stolen mare he was confident he would be able to make it back to the bustling city, hand over the cursed crystal and be on his way to a better life. Then they’ll see, all those doubters, everyone who had thought of him as nothing but trash or a waste of time and space.
His eyelids began to flutter, the shade growing a bit more as the sun set and the flames flickered higher, biting into the dry wood. He would show them all.
A whinny of a horse woke him, his dreams erratic and jolting as had been the norm since he had taken that crystal whilst the little man slept. Looking about the horse was standing not far from him and the fire, appearing to be sleeping or at least resting. He smiled, he had always been fond of horses, they reminded him of Sarah back in Sebluff. Standing up and stretching he put a bit more wood on the fire as it had crept down to being embers now, noting that he was almost out of wood he grabbed a strip of cloth and doused it in some hard liquor he had found, also in the saddlebags of the mare nestled amongst some incredibly bad poetry that he used as kindling for the fire, and made himself a torch, of sorts at least.
Walking around the outskirts of the little camp he had setup he began the search for more wood, and potential something to eat. He believed he had seen several large furry cactuses when he first approached this little alcove, the creek bed bit deep here, and had once obviously been a lot larger as it had carved out the alcove he had set up his camp in.
Finding some wood he brought it back to the fire and stacked it higher, sending sparks high into the night sky. With no cloud cover and just the light from the moons above and his makeshift torch he walked towards the direction of where he saw the cactuses before – not noticing that the animal life that were loud a few moments ago were now silent.
Approaching one of the large cactuses he saw he walked around the child-sized plant looking for any fruit. Unable to find any he brought out a knife from his belt and stabbed deep into the plant.
Immediately he was thrown backwards as the cactus he stabbed lashed outwards just as his knife pierced the skin of the desert plant. Eight large branches from the cactus thrashed outwards as the plant started to unfold, the large bulbous abdomen connected to the now apparent eight limbs as a large desert spider skittered away from the light and the source of its pain, letting out a high pitched trill the spider skittered around, shielding its glittering eyes as it crashed into several more of the same bulbous not-quite-cacti which triggered a chain reaction of spiders awakened and began to skitter at the edge of the light.
Running back to the camp as quickly as he could he didn’t dare look back to see the eleven spiders thundering after him, only pushed backwards briefly by the light of the torch. As he neared the campfire the addition of extra dry wood had caused it to grow in and it shed a bright light for quite some distance.
The spiders skittered at the edge of the light, occasionally daring to edge forward towards the campfire before skittering back when a flaming chunk of wood was waved at them enthusiastically by their potential prey.
In the distance, doubled lidded eyelids blinked as the hunters eyed their prey with great interested. It wasn’t often that their quarry would be so blatant in revealing their presence. It would be a good hunt tonight, looking towards the other members of his hunting pack he snarled as they slunk forward on padded toes.
As Ray, Mike, Dusk and Zander approached the campfire after following the tracks of the mare to and along a dry river bed they noticed a flurry of movement around the light.
Spiders, giant spiders by the look of it and around a dozen of the skittering backwards and forth as if testing the resolve of the flames in the fire itself. Spurring the horses on faster they approached the first of the spiders at charging speed – a swing of the sword called Sky Chariot split two spiders in half before a blast of magic sent another one twitching into the dirt as electricity burnt the hairs on its legs.
Ray and Dusk jumped down next to the frightened boy, wielding a flaming branch like a club despite having a deep bite in his calf. Dark purple lines pulsed from the bite mark heading up his leg. Dusk stamped his foot in the ground calling upon the spiritual weapon of his patron – A large spectral raven manifesting behind him, dark chains binding it to the ground as its beak opened wide to make way for a axe head. The weapon lashed down, cutting several legs off a spider before rearing back up preparing to strike again. Ray placed one hand on the boy, a glow coursing from his hand over the wound – the poison just taking his toll as he lost consciousness.
“I hate spiders” Muttered mike as he cut another one in half joining the other two party members by the fire, holding the reigns of two horses.
“Wheres Zandar – we could use his ma..” Ray began before a gust of wind told him that Zander had floated above the ground using one of his spells.
“The way they move makes it hard to get them in a line, but I can try this..” He said as he chanted a quick incantation, the hairs on everyone’s arms standing on end before a large fork of lightning split across the ground from the sorcerers hands – piercing and frying several spiders at once.
The spiders, those who had survived the party, scurried off into the brush.
Tying up Baxter they put him on a horse in front of Ray and left the fire light. It was a long journey ahead of them and they didn’t fancy being woken up to the sounds of skittering feet for a very long time…
Well there we have the writeup for this weeks adventures. Some bits were added to try and knit the different pieces together and it turned out to be quite a large week content wise. Turning it from a series of descriptive short (Very short) stories into a larger one was a bit of fun and seeing how they all blended together made me feel confident that a modular adventure approach was feasible for the future.
So if you liked this weeks content feel free to let me know and also let me know if you think I should have these random adventures (from previously generated comments) frequently – I was anticipating one every 10 or so weeks but will see how it goes as I believe this was a success.
Don’t forget to have fun with your writing, adventuring or role playing and as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe