30 Minute Challenge – Image edition

Hi all and welcome to a 30 Minute Challenge evening. Now it has been quite some time since I have done something like this. In fact I haven’t I dont believe I have done something like this as tonight I will be using a randomly created image.

That’s right tonight a single image will inspire and generate tonight’s adventure and, lets hope, that its good. So using a random image as the base I then cross-bred it with two more images and then tweaked it until it looked, somewhat real. The trouble with Art-breeder sometimes is that the noise from over-breeding can take away from details you want to keep or enhance. But tonight I am happy with what we have so if you want to look at the original, or tweak it, you can find it here.


The rules:

  1. 30 minute limit.
  2. The them must be inspirited by the “randomly generated” image.
  3. Grammatical and spelling checks are allowed outside of the 30 minutes but the content must be there.
  4. At the end of the challenge the produced adventure should be able to be used for a D&D one shot.
  5. Must have some form of NPC, a creature, and a goal.

I have kept it nice and simple for tonight, no forced weird things or restrictions but if you want to see something like that feel free to suggest it.

30 Minute Challenge – Image

30 Minute Adventure challenge - Image edition: Revealing a green jungle with a river running through the centre.
Green Jungle

Time started: 8:25pm

As the party moved out from their tent the thick heavy curtains of fabric brushed against them leaving damp on their skin. Apart from the the sheer humidity of this jungle the second thing that hit them after being in a muffled tent was the noise. In fact the noise of insects and creature calls was the predominant thing about this jungle so far and it kept the party on their toes.

“Ah, good morning! Right this way when you please.” said a cheerful voice the sponsor, guide and seemingly jungle enthusiast declared. “We have much ground to cover before we reach the ruins but if we leave now we should make it there by noon.”

The party moved onwards through the sticky ground, the clouds of insects and the hardy and thorny plants. The trip over was easy in comparison to the journey on foot. The island that they are exploring, or paid to be body guards for, is several months travel away from Faerun. In fact the only way that they made it here was the marvels of both science and arcane powers. An airship. The double storied vessel was big enough to transport them, supplies for a month and even materials to set up a base camp on the island. This man came prepared , he was foolish or both it seemed.

A rustle in the bushes to the left of the path had the party draw swords and create a protective circle around their benefactor. “Oh its probably nothing… It’s nothing right?” the man asked through a twitching white moustache.

Before the party could respond to him the bushes rustled and something head off away from the party. A few tense moments later and the party began to move on, all except the one who was at the front – he was staring into the eye of something and it wasn’t backing down. “Are you coming or not! If you dally we will miss the right time and it will all be for naught!” called the scholar. Looking back to give a reply the mercenary looked back to where the eye was to see nothing.

Sheathing their sword, but not taking their hand off the hilt they rejoined the group. “As I was saying,” the old man was saying as the party member caught up. “The sun at the right angle at the right day hits this ancient gem at the precipice of the temple and it shines a light on the way through the doors. Fascinating stuff it really is. And to think we will be the first people to report back what lies within the temple. Many have come before but they weren’t as prepared as me. No-sir-ee they didn’t come with hired muscle or having completed half as much homework before coming along. And look where they are now. The jungle took them and holds them under its roots.” the man was nearly incapable of being quiet.

Scaled feet

As the creature returned back to its master they exchanged a few short, sharp chirps and purrs before it shot back off into the bush. The broad and lean body of the hunter stood watching his companion dart off to regain his quarries trail.

“Sek’eth.” a voice said from behind him. Turning with a mixture of annoyance and respect Sek’eth knelt before the wiry, small lizard-folk that stood next to him on a Pterosaur. “Some would think your hesitation to engage in these invaders is cowardice. I spoke up for you I really did but the others of the counsel have concerns. They believe that you don’t have what it takes to complete the mission. That you alone will be the reason that our sacred sites are invaded.” the corner of the lips of this runty lizard spoke otherwise to his support.

“They are different from the others. They have warriors this time unlike those who were un-worthy combatants. The scaled ones tell us that patience is how they sculpted the land to their will, not haste. I am merely practicing what our sacred ones have preached.” the larger reptilian humanoid said before standing up taller. “I will need more troops. Another flight at minimum. These are no ordinary scholars or insignificant warm bloods.”

The smaller lizard man seemed to broil under its fine scales but before that anger and pressure could escape its lips a larger clawed hand appeared on its shoulder. “You will have your flight Sek’eth. But if you fail in your task you will face banishment. Do not fail us” the larger counsel member said as he stepped up into the saddle of his monolithic Pterosaur.

Bowing deeply he waited for the counsel and their handlers to leave before he sprinted off towards the temple. Quietly as he leaped over a log he hoped that his companion could reign in its wild fury and wait for support from the rest of the brood.


Plot

The party has been hired by an eccentric scholar who needs mercenaries to help him explore a lost temple on an ancient island. What they don’t know is that the temple is a sacred site to a ferocious lizard-folk who have tamed reptiles from a bygone age.

The scholar, Cedrek Peetee – who claims to be a half-gnome, is more or less unknown in Faerun but has inherited a lot of wealth from his late parents and his previous master – a fanatic for lost temples of old. In one of the handed down books it was revealed that this mysterious temple was seen in the island – but they didn’t go any closer to it a they were running short on supplies and needed to reach dock.

The lizard-folk come in a few shapes and sizes and any colours imaginable. Sek’eth is a large crocodilian like beast of muscle and cunning. His companion, Rep, is a bipedal therapod with elongated claws used for gripping, ripping and tearing.

The temple will only open if the right rune is pressed, which is revealed by a gem mounted in the roof. And, you guessed it, the sun only hits the gem just rightly once a year. The inside temple contains the bodies of deceased lizard-folk who died from a terrible disease. Its both a sacred site due to the reverence that they hold over the dead, but also because they fear the return of the disease.

If the party make it to the temple and open up the door they will find bodies within its halls and rooms. Each body looks like they were just dumped in there but the truth is that they were alive when they were sealed up and died some time after their entombment. However, some survived. These creatures are ghouls with a lizard-folk body and possess a hunger that is beyond the norm. The party must fight to survive and perhaps convince the lizard folk to help them fight the undead.

Time finished: 8:54pm


Well I think I did ok with that writing challenge. Heavily inspired Warhammer (Serephon/lizardmen) as well as the Chult island it goes without saying that there must be other islands like that one out there.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for the end of week writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Trading Post

Tonight I want to put a bit of inspiration out there whether its the beginning of an adventure or the plot of a one shot time will tell. Traditionally D&D adventures start in a tavern, or an Inn but what about a Trading Post – someplace that’s not soo different to the norm. So let me know if you believe that it would be a good start to a campaign, all campaigns (instead of the traditional “you meet at an inn” or the theme of a one shot adventure.

So sit back, have a mug, or bucket, of coffee and enjoy.


Brazen’s Trading Post

As the last of the walls came up and boxed in the frame he stood there as his faithful animal companion honked next to him. Reaching out he scratched the ears of the oddity and looked to the cart it carried which held several lengths of timber for the beams of the roof.

“Well old girl, its the end of an era. We wont be going on many adventures any more but we can at least help those that still have that drive.” He said as he grabbed a large fibrous bag of kibble for the creature. The creature honked, a weird grunting honk, in thanks as it chewed down into the food whilst he began to move the beams off the cart. His arms flexed as they braced for the weight, the solid redwood beams still felt heavy despite the enchanted gear he was wearing.

Lifting the beams up onto the next level of scaffolding was slow work, getting up the three levels of the new building wasn’t the hardest part though. Squeezing the large materials for the building between his new building and the two neighbouring established houses was. Duck honked a warning just in time for him to catch the beam before it crashed through the wall of his new neighbours. “Thanks Duck” he called down who dug her head back into the bag, at least he thought she was a she.

Memories

As the sun began to set he leant against the large quadruped and looked up at the frame for his new building – a trading post. A place where he could provide experience, wears and services to the new and experienced adventurers. Like he once was. Looking a the scars, scratches and patches of missing fur he remembered the final battle he had taken Duck into, the large reptilian form snaking its way around the pillars. The sheer volume of fangs was daunting enough but the panicked honks increased from Duck as he stood and loosed volley upon volley at the creature. In the end Duck had saved him.

Throwing herself at the creature as he sustained a tail swipe that broke his arm and shattered several ribs. Healing potions kept him alive is what the other adventurers said but he knew differently. The weird creature that he had raised as a chick from a egg is the reason. She is the reason why he gave up adventuring to build this place. A place where his experience, items and knowledge could help those who would befall similar fates to him.

A trading post of not just goods and services but knowledge. Something more valuable than enchanted swords, crossbows or armour. Something that holds the only the truly strong manage to obtain.

Walking down the street with duck walking beside him pulling the empty cart he looked back at their dream. The frame was there, good and strong and tomorrow the roof goes on, then the walls. He glanced to the one finished room he had on the block of land – a stable for Duck where she could be safe and warm. He owed her more than that but she didn’t seem to care – she was just happy to be nearby.

Magnus


Looking down at the streets from her London apartment Mag felt the near audible thrum of magic as the first stage of her geas took hold causing her body to shake from the strain that her body had finally realised it was under. ‘Twelve hours of channelling magic from the black will do that to you‘ she thought to herself as she looked over the ritual that the book was still open to, the Grimoire, the only thing her mentor had left to her to ensure that she was ready to face the world as a fully fledged, well what ever they would label her as. She was the first of her kind, one to pull apart the veil of the schools of magic, she was none of them and all of them at once and her mortal vessel was struggling to contain it once she had jammed that door open. But the book hadn’t taught her how to deal with the world and after the witch hunts that had happened in Salem nearly thirty years ago it was only a matter of time until the ripples of that resurfaced in England and her ruse would be up.

This is why the ritual was so important, it took the power away from her physical form and bound it elsewhere creating something, more. But there was a price with the binding of her sorcerous power to her astral self, her soul as all religions call it but she knew it was merely an anchor for power, to access the black, to pull down what she needs for her craft, well what she needed. After the second part of the Grand Geas she will lose her connection to the black, to her astral self and she will be as mundane as these so called scientific breakthroughs that were happening. Her reverie was broken as she felt a familiar presence rushing towards her hide out, not quite human but not exactly inhuman at the same time. A few moments later the door behind her burst open before closing forcefully a heartbeat later, the heavy breathing – a mimicry of what the creature was sculpted to represent but it had worked until now it seems.

Even before the creature spoke she knew it to be her creation, her finest work she might add – well second finest after she completed the second part of this spell with the last of the buzzing energy that coursed within her body now. ‘Mistress’ a voice sounded from behind from the creature. ‘I have failed you, I was discovered whilst getting the last of the materials you requested by four gentlemen who have some craft.’ the six foot tall creature thudded its way into the middle of the room, careful not to disturb any of the outlines on the ground. ‘I lost them as I travelled across the harbour but I believe we are not safe and must leave now’ the creature said as it stood behind her.

‘Don’t you get tired of running Jack?’ Mag asked as she looked down at the four figures who buzzed with an inner light, it was as Jack said – they had some craft indeed. ‘With the final parts of my spell we won’t have to run any more but you need to trust me in this. No more running, well not next time any way.’ she said turning around to the flesh golem that was easily six inches taller than her.

‘But mistress, they intend to kill you.’ Jack stated, logic battling with the bindings that were sewn into his flesh. ‘It’s my job to keep you safe and ensure that you survive, that is why you created me.’ he continued as he buzzed with energy, a biproduct of being so close to Mag.

‘I need time Jack, I will be altering your bindings, creating a new one so you wont be alone for the next few hundred years. Unfortunately this is the only way. This cycle of being born, learning, living for a few years before being discovered again and then behind hunted down has got to end and this will ensure it will. Go buy me some time until I can complete this second ritual and when its done you will know what needs to be done.’ she said as she lay a small delicate palm against the massive bicep of her golem.

‘As you wish mistress. Shall I kill them?’ he asked indicating the four men a few hundred metres from where they were looking out from the loft of a warehouse had Mags owned.

‘Distract them for long enough, you will know when the spell is over. Then head towards the cemetery to the north. You wont be alone for long and you will have everything you need brought to you for the next time we meet.’ Mag muttered as a sliver of doubt came into her mind. ‘When we..’ she began to say but turning around she only saw the door close softly as her creation was already charging towards the intruders. ‘Well that will be a surprise to him them..’ she said. Using a portion of her power she began to pull apart the threads of her geas before muttering archaic words that left a the taste of burning fat and soot in her mouth as her eyes shone golden, a nasty side affect of her drawing from the black, something that she was now building into the geas – a condition of her resurrection and a break in this endless cycle of death and power. As the final clauses were added to the geas she turned to the circle that was scrawled on the ground, it was time. Grabbing the Grimoire, a few letters, money and three talismans she had crafted she stuffed them inside a leather bag and placed it just outside of the circle to her right. She didn’t need her book any more, now that she was breaking the cycle of one Magnus being the mentor for the next in a never ending cycle of magic and death. No this spell was different, a common summoning, one that many would balk at due to the taxation of energy but she didn’t need to care for that, not since she had the connection to the black established.

Turning around to see Jack hammer into one of the men, sending him flying into a pile of crates was reassuring, knowing that the golem was at least listening to her command and distracting, not killing these men, a pang of regret shot through her with the lie to her companion, she needed them to believe they had caught her, and that they had succeeded but she needed Jack to believe that she would be safe. Turning back to the circle in front of her she closed her eyes and began the chant to cement the spectral bonds into the wards around her, creating a barrier that many novices forget to do in their rush to summon forth a demon. Reaching up with her astral self she grabbed at the inky darkness of the black and plucked a strand of raw weave, the magical stuff that was used in all spells and by all living creatures without them realising, before feeding the power into the centre of the circle causing a boom of energy to pulse through the room, causing the windows behind her to explode outwards sending slivers of glass down to where the men and Jack were fighting. Pushing the tendril of weave deeper she pushed through her bargain, freedom for a price, release at a contract. Closing her eyes and ignoring the sounds of battle outside she felt the time window of her geas closing which would see Jack compelled to retreat as fast and as directly as he could away from this area, and the beginning of her end.

A presence moved through the dark, the tendril of energy and the contract, the promise of freedom was tempting to many but the raw amount of energy present caused the week mindless demons to retreat away from it, the scent of power was too strong for them – but Magnus wasn’t fishing for a weakling – she had a particular specimen in mind and it was drawing close. The moment the creature hovered next to the energy Magnus’s geas took effect, the crunching of wood and the sound of stones hitting pavement was signal enough that Jack had pushed himself through a building. Inwardly sighing she wished that Golems didn’t take their orders soo seriously – something she would need the next Magnus to fix next time. Suddenly the energy that threaded through the circle connected with something, it didn’t take a witch as powerful as Magnus to know what was on the other end but she had expected this overwhelming presence and opened the circle, pulling forward the creature of evil.

The room for a second was bathed in heat as the circled permitted a single creature to come forth and true to its nature it lashed forward at Magnus, as expected. The chains that had been sewn into the circle around the demon crashed down and wrapped around the flaming sword, wings, tail and torso of the demon, well demoness to be exact, forcing her down to her knees so that she was the same height as Mag.

‘I would like to say that your appearance was shocking, and that I was surprised that you would attempt to attack your summoner but evidently I would be lying. So I want to cut to the contract on offer’ Magnus stated as she stared at the naked creature in front of her. The creature grinned wickedly as her forked tongue tasted the air.

‘You are different to the others who have attempted to summon me before, many are not prepared for what they bring out of the abyss but you are different. Go ahead make your bargain and let me get to rejecting it so I can return back’ the demon snarled with a sadistic grin.

‘For three hundred years you will be fed a constant source of energy, the same amount as you are getting now. You are permitted to kill and dispose of the body of any who wish to kill you or my creation harm, Jack – a flesh golem, and if they possess magic you can harvest it and add it to the amount you are storing for those three hundred years. But, you can not murder in blood lust or hate and you are to avoid detection. If you are detected or my grand geas detects that you have broken these agreed terms your connection to the power will be cut for a dozen years and the energy you have received up until that date will be taken from you until those years are up’ Magnus said, taking in a breath as he control on the weave was dwindling, she could feel three of the four men just outside her warehouse, the wards she had placed on it keeping them out for now.

‘Thats it? What type of deal is that. Why would I agree to being your lapdog for one hundred years for a trickle of energy?’ the demon hissed, straining against the chains.

‘I am not done yet. As soon as you agree to this contract my powers will be sealed, you will be placed under my geas as part of the contract and the geas will let you know what to do. Apart from going against it you are free to do what you wish, live how you wish except for the other contractual obligations,’ she stated looking over the demon, the Erinyes as they are categorised as, ‘I will die tonight, so you will have no master as such and just the, very loose I might add, interpretation of the rules. I have seen glimpses of the future and the nations of this world will war with each other. I know what you are Erinyes, if you believe that these wars may threaten yourself, my creation Jack or the geas then you are free to engage in these wars. The one condition is..’ she paused as she watched the battle lust of the warrior demon rise, the promise of three hundred years of war to indulge in was nearly enough to get her to agree to the contract already. ‘the one condition is that at one hundred years you will have a new master, but for 16 years you do not have to take orders from them but you are to protect and provide for them until those 16 years are up at which point it is up to them about what you are to do but until you are given orders you are more or less free to do as you please within the geas’

The Erinyes considered the deal flicking her eyes across the chains, the seal, and the door. A wicked grin spread across her face. ‘You’re going to die. I can sense it. Those men down stairs are here to kill you. So why bother summoning me in the first place?’ the Erinyes said, as the hostility died down in the creature the chains relaxed and she was able to stand, Magnus stood but was still a good two feet shorter than the creature.

‘I am summoning you for your future master, not for me, well, technically they will be me.’ she corrected, careful to not lie or add anything else into the contract.

‘What happens if this new master dies within those sixteen years?’ the Erinyes asked, curiosity as opposed to hostility and violent evident on her face. ‘If this master was to die in those sixteen years then I wont have a master at the end of those years. And what happens to me?’

‘Very observant,’ Magnus said with a smile, ‘You get another one hundred years of freedom upon death of your master, after of which you are then summoned to look after your next master for sixteen years and so forth. This contract spreads into eternity or until the geas is broken at which point you will return to where you came from with the energy you have collected since the binding’. The Erinyes considered for a moment and was about to speak before Magnus interrupted, ‘oh, and you are not to harm your master, even if they deserve it. If you do you forfeit one tenth of your stored energy to them.’

The demoness looked taken back and was thinking of the contract and going through it in her mind likely looking for a loophole. Just then the air shimmered and strained voices rang from down stairs as the three men broke through the wards on the warehouse. ‘Time is up Erin,’ Magnus smiled the name fitting, ‘What’s it going to be?’

‘Done.’ The demoness said after a few moments hesitation, the sound of footsteps on coming up the stairs was enough to hurry her along. ‘I will defeat these men for you master..’ she began as the binding was complete and the chains snapped down into the seal below her.

‘no, take the bag, take one talisman and place it on yourself when you are with my golem, Jack, give him one and the rest of the content is for your next master when they turn sixteen. now go! The geas will show you the way’ she commanded and the demoness nodded before she took off beating her great leathered wings and flying through the shattered window and into the moonlit night.

Magnus sat down on the floor and crossed her legs in the circle – the geas fully taking over now she felt all her wards, her spells and her connection to the black and her astral self be severed. Powerless, shivering and alone she felt fear and worry for the first and last time in her life as she heard footsteps crossing the floor over to stand next to her.

‘Thought you could keep runnin’ huh love?’ one of the men said.

‘The order’s been after you for some time now. Never would have believed that there was some immortal necromancer in London if it wasn’t for that flesh golem and the scent of your foul magic in the streets’ another man said, this one had some bite behind his words. Looking up Mag noticed that he was holding a limp arm, from the ward or Jack she was not sure.

‘Well boys, it was a good run I guess’ she said as she went to stand. As the shot of a hand pistol rang out through the warehouse and down across the cobble streets Magnus fell to the floor, the third man holding a smoking pistol in his hand.

‘You boys talk to much, grab the body and lets take it back to the order. If rumours are true there will be another one of her in one hundred years we have much to prepare before then and the order wants the next one alive.’ he man said as he cleaned the barrel of his pistol.

As the three men moved to haul the body away, unknown to them the Great Geas began to activate sending messages to Magnus’s creations, triggering wards, spells, and machinations that only she had known in life. Jack looked back towards the warehouse, finally aware of the plan, aware of his next orders and even from this distance he could see the giant fireball that was triggered by the geas to detonate upon her death. Jack looked to the shadow that was descending towards him and could feel the presence of the demon in his bindings. As she landed a few paces away she opened the bag and retrieved a golden amulet, the talisman that had been crafted for her, and put it over her shoulders – causing her wings, tail, horns and scaled skin to shimmer and shift into being a pale pink of a human.

‘It seems our old master had some power indeed.’ she said handing a silver chain to Jack who pulled it around his thick neck – his transformation was far more drastic as his stiches, scars and mismatched body parts fused into a uniform and nearly symmetrical appearance making him look more human than what he had in dozens of years.

‘She is still our master, you will see her again when she returns’ Jack said as she wiped away a human tear from his eye, finally the rise and fall of his chest pumped oxygen through his body as his heart started to beat with power of the geas.


Thanks for joining me tonight for a bit of a creative write-up – something a bit special for my 160th day in a row posting and my 315th post.

I have had this story rocking around in my head for some time and I wanted to get the first little bit of it jotted down. Hopefully with some more time I will refine it a bit further and see where I can take it!

Don’t forget to come back again tomorrow for more Brazen Wolfe Tabletop content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Flickering

“…and thats when I knew I had the job, the panel member’s couldn’t hide the smiles on their faces” I said, drinking down the bitter instant coffee, how I both despised and loved the stuff.

“you said the last question threw you, what was it?” Mum asked as she drank from her tea, it had been a long say helping her unpack and sort out some things around her property. I hadn’t missed farm work but it was good to help mum since she was by herself for the first time in as long as I could remember.

Give us an example where you have dealt with failure, and what did you do to address it?” I responded gulping down the poorly mixed liquid. “I hadn’t prepared or thought of that scenario or even contemplated that a question like that but I had an example. I don’t think I mentioned that I mentored someone in my team?”

Mum paused for a moment, her memory wasn’t as sharp as it always was and, I noted with sharp, intense, instant regret, I hated it. She was always able to keep up with me, understand what I was saying and follow with my tangents and thoughts. “No I dont think so” she responded, I knew I had mentioned them before – I was quite proud of the way I mentored the juniors at work.

I smiled “well James is a good kid, but I dropped the ball with him and he went off the rails. Started making mistakes which I said I would help with later when I wasn’t busy delivering this project but I forgot. The mistakes got so bad that the fraud investigation team got involved due to the timesheet errors and I got tapped on the shoulder to account for his performance and throughput of work.”

“Oh thats not very good sweety, what happened” mum asked a concerned look on her face.

“I sorted it. Fast and efficient like when…” I trailed off as I saw a orb of inky black bobbing above mums shoulder.

“what?” Mum asked, turning around and looking in the direction I didn’t realise I was staring at.

“you’ve got a visitor…” I said to mum calmly tipping the burnt, luke warm instant coffee down the sink. “It’s not malicious I don’t think, it’s.. just watching like the things that used to watch us from the old cubby” I said referring to my childhood house, and my little brother Harry.

“oh, I better get the salt then” mum replied looking a bit disturbed. She’d hadn’t seen anything for quite some years now I was in seeing these spectres every now and again, more frequently that my daughter had been born. I belief it was the tiredness and fatigue with travel that a barrier had been dropped but they kept coming and they only seemed to be growing in, err, presence isn’t quite the word.

Nodding I willed the orb to leave, frowning at it as I embraced my mum. “If you need help with the farm stuff just give me a call. I’ll always be available to help” the orb and shadowy tendrils wavered a bit and floated a few feet backwards but still hovering around mum.

Squeezing me back she replied “thanks son, I dont think I could have fixed the fences today by myself.”

“maybe take out the jet and obsidian tonight..” mum had a large stone collection from her wicker club days “I’ve been seeing things a bit more recently and they’re becoming bolder, not as aggressive as the old place but still, best be safe not sorry.” I said as I turned and grabbed my keys out of mt kmart beanie – I needed an upgrade as this barely kept my head warm during winter mornings, but money was tight with the house, car and kid. Thats why I was applying for a promotion at work.

“will do sweety, thanks’ she said as she turn on the light to the car port. “Watch going down the driveway, the lamp at the end was damaged last weekend. It flickers a bit”

“don’t stress, I’m still the best driver in the family” I said with a smirk as I walked into the bracing chill. “Thanks for the coffee Mum, I better get back to my girls”. Walking to the car I waved to mum through the windows and started my old Toyota, it taking a moment to click over as I put it into reversed and began to move down the driveway. As I left the carport the light turned off and the immediate area behind the car was bathed in the red from the brake lights that I feathered moving backwards between the fence and rocky garden bed. Looking backwards I noticed the light at the end of the driveway, a solar powered lamp post, flickering for a moment before turning off. Applying the break and looking at my rearview and side mirrors to make sure I was missing some large trees that were growing next the fence, I looked up in time to see the lamp flicker on revealing a hunched tall figure at the end of the driveway. Its arms scraping the ground beneath its wide spread hairy legs. It stared at the car, breathing heavily before the light flickered again causing the darkness to envelope the creature, or thing. A heartbeat later, and as my break lights bathed the end of the drive in red as the pedal pressed into the floor of the car I turned around to look through the back window and the lamp flickered back on – the thing was no where to be seen. Reversing back a bit more tentatively now I passed we’re it stood at the gate to my mum’s driveway where it met a service road. Looking down and using the flickering lights to illuminate the soft June soil I couldn’t see any prints or tracks, not that I was a hunter but growing up on a farm taught me a few things. Nothing, no prints or tracks other than the cars tyres.

Perhaps I’d get my own crystals out tonight, and the salt just in case. This spooky shit was getting a bit too frequent and the things in the shadows a bit too big for my liking.


TBW

Quick Adventure Challenge – May 14

So I have honestly missed doing these so for tonight’s “what ever” Saturday I wanted to have another go. So as per the other challenges for the sake of tonight I will enforce the below constraints:

  • 30 minute time limit
  • 1 protagonist
  • 1 location
  • 1 enemy/antagonist
  • “randomly generated pot” (tonight we have two words being provided by readers of the blog!!)
  • Grammar and spelling (ONLY!) can be fixed outside of the 30 minutes if required.

So let’s kick off.


Words

Consumption, Deposit

PROTAGONIST

Pride, a Tiefling has been put in charge of the vaults wealth and she has hired the party as protection as people have suddenly become aware that she is the holder of the promised gold and she has had two attempts on her life so far – one left her right hand disformed and damaged – which is taking some time to heal.

SECONDARY CHARACTER

Graff Felonbore – a well spoken, charming but ruthless noble born is behind the attacks on Pride, but furthermore is behind more than just that.

Location

Lakapucha, a many tiered city with great tall (and deep) towers that aim to bridge the gap between the deities of both good and evil so the ruling Priests of the city can better commune with those who bless them.

PLOT

A disease that affects that causes the infected to stop breathing, see visions before dying a bloody death (as their lungs appear to be coughed up and out) has caused denizens of Lakapucha, a city that is famous for its devout and religious beliefs (to the point of being zealous). A large sum of gold has been deposited in the cities vaults for someone who can procure the cure for this disease as all magical and known measures at the moment have failed.


Consumption – both to ingest something (generally with a negative connotation) but also another name for a lung disease (from earths history) is used as the focal point in this adventure

The disease known as “Gods fever” is running rampart. It struck those in the clergy of the ruling sects (in which there are many of them) and has also begun to appear in the general populace of the city. Those who are afflicted claim to see visions of a a winged figure looking down at them from a ring of light, the experience leaves them weak, tired and weary but they all believe one thing – that they have been chosen to be the next prophet of a new deity – one that has been born fresh unto this world and who has taken an interest in the lives of mortals in Lakapucha – a most holy of city.

However, as there is always a however in these times, they never recover from the experience – they grow weaker, they soon lose their ability to talk and thus preach the good tidings of their new deity (who goes by a dozen names depending on who sees them) as their breathing becomes laboured – no amount of food can sate them and only expensive liquor sold at a few stores seems to offer any relief.

Most of the first infected die within two months and after the first deaths in the temple sects, taking down several high profile priests and clerics, the governing chapter of clerics scraped together their knowledge of medicine, religion and alchemy (from those inclined to the arcane as well as divine) and they believe that the visitations of the deity spells death – a disease given to those who are perhaps too close to their gods as a vindictive punishment from this new deity.

What is not known is that the hallucinations is a poison, created and given to those who Graff Felonbore deem unfit to rule, which is all those who claim control over the city based on religion, and when mixed with other reagents it creates a sickness in the lungs that withers and sickens the infected until they die from affixation as their lungs rot and are coughed up.

Graff has organised the attacks on Pride as a way of trying to steal the riches so there is no way for the Chapter, the religious rulers of the city, to tempt those to create or look into the cure. However, in his haste he has begun to hire mercenaries to do his bidding, distributing the poisons which caused the first local population infection – which has seen the poison contamination spread in such a closely packed community.

As an attempt to coverup he bought the mercenaries silence and began to look for new recruits, new faces to the city, to do his bidding and be scape goats.

Graff mistakes the party as fresh faces, not hired by the Chapter to look after Pride, and invites them to dinner – explaining how he is looking for like minded people to help him correct mistakes of the city and bring about a new dawn of prosperity for Lakapucha.

Graff then leaves the party to think about the deal – however, as the party leave they see him talking to one of his henchmen and the conversation appears to be discussing the party members – a look of rage and violence crosses his face (insight check DC13 can determine that he realised that he was speaking to the wrong people).

Graff then sends mercenaries after the party to silence them, first bribing with gold with the promise to leave the city and forget about what was said, then with violence if the bribe is refused – he only uses mercenaries who are expendable and is well like enough in the community that most people wont believe the party if they point the finger of blame at him.

As the party are dealing with the bribe-gone-wrong, a joyous looking Pride bursts through the door announcing that they have found someone who can cure the illness – a man named Jed. One of the mercenaries hears this, jumps through a nearby window (into or out of a building – DMs discretion) and runs for it. The party are left then to explain to Pride the situation and now they need to both protect Pride and Jed as well as prove Graff’s guilt.

If the party can do this they are given a building, a small manor house, where they will find a house keep willing to serve them when they are in town. They will be named as citizens of Lakapucha and will also be offered a seat at the table of the Chapter when they meet if they desire such a seat.


The end goal here is simple – the party can by any means try and prove that Graff is the cause of the illness – or they can silence him in the manner they see fit – however the latter will have more dire consequences.

Graff has left a trail of paperwork in his manor house, that his servant – Prue, will be able to direct the party to if asked nicely – and promised safe passage.


Time commenced: 09:00pm

Time completed: 09:30pm

Notes,…

Well tonight it didn’t flow as well as it did the week before – the words threw me for a few minutes and it took a bit to work out how to use Consumption (the old name for Tuberculosis) and Deposit in a D&D adventure without going super medical. I had a bit more to wrap up at the end tonight, I think, I wanted to add a bit more in there as I am not quite satisfied on the location of the encounter with the mercanries sent to bribe, or where Graff Felonbore finds the party and mistakes them for someone else. But, it could be any inn, or a shop that Graff owns – or they could appear at his manor to ask some questions – quite a few too many “or’s” for my liking.

However, I am still happy with this – I picture Lakapucha as a religious city, a lot of people dressing humbly and the general public being well treated but “knowing their place” – the weather is warm and mildly humid, enough that thinner clothes are able to be work most of the year. The main export is, apart from religious good and services, crops that grow exceedingly well in this environment.

Let me know what you thought of this weeks 30 minute challenge – I pushed it to the edge this week, no free minutes but I seemed to write less. I will need to push my self more next time!

If you like what you read tonight let me know or better yet leave a suggestion for a future one and any restrictions (within reason) that you have in the comments below, I look forward to doing more of these in the future.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of the week write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Quick Adventure Challenge – April 30

So it’s been a while since I did one of these and I wanted to try and do one again tonight. So as per the other challenges for the sake of tonight I will enforce the below constraints:

  • 30 minute time limit
  • 1 protagonist
  • 1 location
  • 1 randomly generated enemy
  • “randomly generated pot” (tonight we are using one from here: https://blog.reedsy.com/plot-generator/fantasy/)
  • Grammar and spelling (ONLY!) can be fixed outside of the 30 minutes if required.

So let’s kick off.


PROTAGONIST

A witch, who is abrasive.

SECONDARY CHARACTER

An enchantress-in-training, who is soft-hearted.

PLOT

It’s a low fantasy story about defying destiny. It kicks off in an enemy camp with someone important being kidnapped.


Ok, Cass a soft natured Enchantress who is currently studying under Arabel – a ruthless and efficient witch at the academy has been given her final assignment – Enchant one of the visiting elven dignitaries, a hard task at the best of times, and make them commit an embarrassing act that will send their reputations with the human population into turmoil.

The Academy is located in the City of Gurmish – a rough and dark city that specialises in black market goods, dark dealings and darker deals committed for the right amount of coin. It is however a completely neutral city where dignitaries can find anything and everything including “safe places” to conduct business – such as the current deal between an elven cities royalty and the local human and gnome coalition who wish to trade with the elves and establish mining rights for their advancement in technology.

However as the plan is set into motion the elf dignitary, a lesser prince, is kidnapped whilst in the city, vanishing from one of the better reputed houses of ill repute and both the human and elven governments start the search for him.

Weeks pass and Cass is unable to complete her final test – but her mistress, the witch Arabel has ordered her to locate the prince, complete the task or she will never be granted the title of Enchantress and be welcomed to the council of nine- an order of mages who preside over a school of magic with the high witch being there to break ties between the schools. Cass is next in line to take over the mantle of of high enchantress and be able to sit in the council.

BUT – Cass organised the fake kidnapping – going so far as to seek out the prince, warn him that he was in danger and being targeted and then ferried him away to safety, out of the public eye until she can work out a way to get his name off the list. The reason for this is Cass believes that this prince is actually her brother – discovering late in her life that she was half-elven from when her mother had an affair with an lower elven lord.

The Witch Arabel isn’t stupid though and wonders if Cass has the right mettle for the task – she has recruited the party to investigate the disappearance and find the prince – the reward is access to the counsel’s magic vault and the selection of one magical relic, artefact or goods from within. What the party doesn’t know is that the vault is nearly dry – a handful of items remain as the council is moments from ruin and the conflict between elves and humans was the only thing that was keeping gold in their purses.

The party would need to skirt the dangerous streets of Gurmish – bandits, thugs and worse lurk the streets and aren’t afraid to take what they see as theirs – including anything the party have. Futhermore the humans and elven councils are also looking for the missing dignitary so they will have their own men and women after the prince and his location – so there are many people in the race for information, a location and the prince!

The party would need to start their search with finding his last seen location by talking to his guards who have taken place up in a local inn for dignitaries – The Broad Boar, the guard will tell them, with sadness, that they left him to watch a dance and have some drinks and then when they returned from their own dances (which they will say they were patrolling the area) he was gone. Arabel sends the party to the guards with a token (forged) which she tells them will allow them to convince the guard, magically, that the party are guards of the city who are on official business.

The dance hall is called The Pink Lilly, a place for drinks and dances – of the adult variety. The matron will know of what happened but she wont see anyone unless something is wrong with her house of ill-repute – so the party need to make a scene, bribe their way to her, or work with one of the dancers in the venue in order to see. The Matron, Galadea (Gal-a-day-ah) is half drow, strong and quick witted and is not to be trifled with – however for the right leverage (DMs discretion) she will tell the party that the prince was seen leaving with a singled armed guard – who was not a guard at all! “Obviously an illusion, a poor one at best. You could tell that the way the cloak danced in the light that it was fake. Childs play to detect such petty magic for someone experienced such as I”. Flattery will worth with Galadea somewhat but she will play with the the party members who think that they can manipulate, charm or coerce her.

When asking about the guard people on the streets, shop owners and beggars will ask for coin, a few silver or a few gold depending on the venue. Eventually when the Party pay a homeless dwarf – who watches everything acutely (Insight check DC14 after spotting the dwarf DC13 perception) – if the party buy him a hot meal and a few mugs of ale at his favourite tavern “The Spitted Manticore” then he will tell the party (after eating and drinking for an hour) that he saw the guard and the elven prince move to a alchemical supply shop – “All that Glitters could be gold” and that she guard and prince never left. He also mentions that the same info was given to some mean spirited elves and humans – except that he said that it was a different shop – same street though – they would be getting close to uncovering the princes wheareabouts.

“All that glitters could be gold” is in the employ of Cass – she being a long lasting patron she has organised use of a hidden back room for keeping the prince hidden. However the elves and humans are also closing in on the venue and time is of the essence.

The prince is shocked to see the adventurers, as he is not in the room and is flirting with the shop assistant when they walk into the building – the party need to convince him to leave with them instead of the elves and humans – deception is best as he is a bit gullible but not overly stupid.

Cass walks in as the party are leaving and then pleads with them to her her out – casting a spell to turn them all invisible to all but each other as she walks them to a nearby house. She explains why she kidnapped the prince and asks them to not take him back to the elves and humans yet until she works out what to do with Arabel. At that time several thugs break into the room and surround the party, prince and Cass – Arabel walks in and asks the party to make a decision – help the soon to be excommunicated Cass and prince – or help her murder the prince, blame it on Cass so that she can create war with the elves.

Parties choice.


Time commenced: 5:25

Time completed: 5:53 (2 minutes spare)

Some inspiration taken from the 8 schools of magic

Well tonight it just flowed – the plot generator helped point somethings in the right direction (and I didn’t use all of it as I didn’t have time to write a whole novel!) but it was good to do this challenge again.

If you like what you read tonight let me know! Better yet if you have a suggestion for a future one let me know below and I will try and deliver the random adventure in 30 minutes based on the restrictions and requirements you give me.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of the week write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe