Brunches & Dragons

Ancient History Pt. 2

And “poof” they were gone. The group had been given a quest by the red hooded woman…Kara, Kylie, Katrina? I’m bad with names. We got ourselves out of the cave and took off back to town with a mission to find some rogue, serial-killing Druids for Katinka and her group. Frankly, it’s nice to have a fairly straight forward “find bad guys, bring them back or kill them” mission. I don’t do well with complicated people. Machines, armor, swords…those make sense. People are a lot harder. I think that’s why me and new buddy Bardook get along so well. He keeps referring to me as an “inferior species” but that’s because the Dragonborn made him that way. It’s not his fault. Besides, Katie said her boss might be able to get rid of the tracking curse the damn Rovani stuck on me.

So we headed back to town and decided to investigate these serial-killing, possibly ancient, probably magical Druids. The little kid ran off somewhere, so I guess I’ll fix his armor later. He seemed smart, but I don’t know why he’s running around fighting monsters at such a young age. Solange went to fix her boat in case we need it again (I like her, but her bird keeps giving me weird looks like it wants to eat me). Our group’s employer went off to study the paperwork that we found in the cave. It seemed like a lot of weird, flowery poetry, but the guy seems smart, so we assumed he might find a clue. That new guy Etienne went off to talk to some contacts…but more on that in a bit.

I talked to some merchants, got nothing from them except a new order Jax the Farmer for some horseshoes. I got more out of the inn owner and Etienne confirmed that there have been some robberies and killings, mostly related to magical artifacts. So of course that somehow involved us going to see Old Auntie again. I hate that old lady. I swear she’s gonna get me killed on day. She drank our blood, gave us more information about the magical items in town, and told me that to reverse the Rovani tracking curse, I need to get someone in the family to renounce it…but they’re all dead (not my fault!)

Except they’re not all dead, because freaking Etienne is a freaking Rovani!! I know, I’m skipping ahead, but I can’t help it. The man is from the same baby-snatching crazies who are trying to kill me! And I’m supposed to trust him in a fight?!

Anyway, from Old Auntie’s we headed to the jail, where I somehow ended up talking us into the holding cells where we got info from a Rovani thief about her next score of magical items. We headed to a big manor outside of town and happened upon two Druids trying to kill the family of the house (they shot me with a freaking crossbow, the bastards). We kicked the rogue Druid’s asses, killed one, and got some info out of the other. Oh, and I saved my Rovani “friend’s” life. Maybe he won’t stab me in the back now.

…and then the Jacks showed up…

Why can’t the mission be simple?!

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Ancient History pt. 1

From the journal of Étienne Gry:

Day 74.

After months of searching, I finally have a lead. I had almost given up finding the fiends that killed my kin, but now… now there’s hope that they’ll have justice.

I had spent most of the harvest festival in a bar pretending to lose at cards and watching the crowds. Some of the big winners had the air of more than the usual rabble. A smith, a pirate, a kid and a bookworm. The bookworm pitched us on some kind of treasure run. I figured it good for a little cash to replenish the coffers to keep the search going.

Turns out I was a bit too lucky. The Rovani were already chasing these fools. They burned down the bar and we barely managed to escape, the Rovani hot on their heels. Some other family. They won’t know me from Gadjo, and would probably kill me along with them. So my best option was to stick with these cretins, help them escape, and make my move when the time is right.

Meanwhile, my suspicions were confirmed. The pirate admitted that the boat was stolen from the murderd family, and the smith even confessed to killing them. Supposedly there were more than these two, but I’ll take what I can find.

What followed was an aquatic dungeon crawl that boiled down to a series of failed attempts at getting these fools killed. We found a submerged storage room that was (unfortunately) not trapped, and a haunted suit of armor that is not nearly as cursed as it first appeared. We found a statue that was clearly trapped, and somehow this “smith” knew how to speak a thousand-year-old dead language to fool it. Even the trap they did set off barely seemed to singe them. We even came across a room with an amazing Dionaea macrocollum, which, when disturbed, failed at successfully eating anyone.

However, the treasure hunt proved fruitful. We found some golden statue thing that I have a 24% stake in, and a sealed vault which promises more treasure if we an open it. There’s also some kind of evil sect of druids on the loose. Stopping them seems more important than revenge, for now, so I guess my “companions” have earned a temporary reprieve.

Also, I should probably stop writing in this journal. Someone’s bound to find it one day, and that would be… awkward.

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Bundle of "Joy" Pt. 3: How My Ex-Best Friend Stabbed Me In The Back (of the leg)

Ever since I stabbed that gypsy in the face, things have been rough, although it looks like my luck is finally turning around.

Sable got cursed into deciding he wanted to be a father, and has been dragging this awful screaming crying demon baby around everywhere. Our paladin got really mad that I Stood My Ground against those heinous gypsies (one of them fired a crossbow bolt at me!) and ditched us, muttering something about needing warrants to search gypsy dens, something called “due process”, and a bunch of other weird nonsense. The Dragon Dude and the half-Orc just disappeared from the inn in the dead of night; I’ve drawn my own conclusions about where they went and am working on a song about it as we speak.

Since then, it’s just been non-stop awfulness. The demon baby? Still awful. The swamp? Awful. My arch-nemesis, Old Auntie? SUPER awful. Swamp trees? Awful. Bugs? Awful. Houses with chicken feet? That thing was actually kind of cool, but it ended up being awful. The Thieves Guild and the three Jacks? Jury’s out on them, but I suspect they’ll be awful in the future.

As we’re packing up and getting ready to head out, this 8 year old boy shows up and claims he hears voices in his head and was sent to help us.

PATENTLY ABSURD, right? I was ready to throw him out on his ass, but Sable decided that he should come along as a type of roadie. After mulling it over, I realized that free labor might not be the worst thing in the world, so after loading him up with all the set pieces and costumes, we let him tag along.

We found ourselves outside the Mantressor Manor with “credentials.” The group wanted to get inside so they could talk to this stupid baby’s mom. I was pretty indifferent to the whole thing, but Sable’s been a real ass ever since this baby showed up. I got the sense the group would be mad if I ditched the baby in a dumpster, so I’m went along with this weird plan because I would have done anything to not have to deal with this nightmare baby.

The entire plan seemed unnecessary, since Sable and I have already made quite the name for ourselves around town, what with being the best musicians in the region, but it was a roundabout way to get to perform for some potential patrons, so I didn’t want to complain too much. The plan was for Sable and I to dazzle the Mantressors with the world premiere of the four act play I’ve been working on, “The Curse of the Swamp Witch,” while the rest of the group found this demon baby’s mother and got rid of it. Also, the Thieves Guild was supposed to get inside too, but I assumed that the

As you might expect, MY part of the plan went flawlessly. I put on the performance of a lifetime. The Mantressors were in tears; so deeply moved by my acting that they hired me on full time, which I’ll get to in a bit.

The rest of the group, not so much. I don’t really know exactly what happened, because I was so swept up in acting, but here’s what I gathered later at the tavern, before I was stabbed in the leg (again, more on that later). Solange and Beyonce spend most of their time rolling around in the privy (??!), but Solange managed to cover herself in poop in just the right way to set off an exciting new fashion trend. I really don’t understand noble life.

Sable and the eight year old ran around the house for a while and I guess at one point destroyed a really expensive chandelier. I managed to convince the Mantressors later that someone else must have done it, but, geez, that was really unnecessary.

At some point, after making an insane amount of noise and threatening to derail my performance multiple times, (which failed, of course, because I’m such a professional) they found this demon baby’s mother and her cursed “marital aid,” and booked it out of the manor.

In the meantime, after leaving the Mantressors an emotional wreck from the weight of my acting, and helping them avoid the complete mess the rest of my companions left the manor in, I was hired on full-time as their court musician/performer. So long suckers — I’m in the money now.

I went back to the tavern to brag to everyone about my new job and to collect Sable, my former best friend, since we didn’t need to be adventuring anymore since we have it made, only to find that the demon baby was actually a demon spider baby.

So this demon spider baby is crawling all over the ceiling and being really gross and unpleasant, so we’re naturally trying to get it down and stomp on it and hopefully throw it into the fire also, and then Sable STABS ME IN THE LEG. Out of nowhere.

That dick.

Realizing he valued that horrific spider baby over our friendship, I realized what a bad and terrible person Sable actually was, and on the spot decided to cut him out of my life. To really rub in his face what a mistake he made, I used the power of my mesmerizing voice to force him to kill the spider baby he loved so much, which hopefully will result in years of psychological torment and therapy. I’d feel bad, but I’m sure it won’t be anywhere near as painful as being STABBED IN THE LEG.

Dick.

With the spider baby dead, I threw up my middle finger and limped out of that disgusting tavern to my new, mildly destroyed but still way fancy, mansion home. Lady Mantressor definitely has a thing for me, which I intend to take full advantage of, and the advance they gave me on this month’s performance is already more gold than I ever made as a baker, adventurer, or inn musician. I’ve got it made here, and I’m going to ride this out as long as I can.

Solange and Beyonce are pretty cool, so I hope they come visit me after I get settled in here, but the rest of them can shove it. Especially Sable.

That dick.

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Bundle of Joy Pt. 2:
The Summarizing

Alright gang, for those of you who missed out on the last adventure, here she is in all her narrative glory:

So we start out in this bar, and we’re like “Alright, mystery baby.” Sable Dane, everyone’s best friend, spent the night as the baby’s guardian, and came away really, really invested in solving the baby mystery. Mydiar, E’Hel and Solange were also there and— don’t hold it against them, but they were way less invested in the baby mystery. However, they were all good sports and later we killed a vampire tree.

But I digress. So we’re in this bar, with this baby, and through some manner of rumor or hearsay we end up learning about a certain swamp witch who could possibly help us.

So we went to the swamp, and there was her house. A seemingly normal hovel except for the giant chicken legs it stood upon. It was an aesthetic nightmare. As we approached, the legs lowered the house onto the ground, where we met Old Auntie, the Swamp Witch. Basically a classic Baba Yaga situation, if I ever saw one.

The Swamp Witch was distinctly terrible at social interaction, maybe due to her isolation, but I suspected that was just her personality. She intimated to us that she could divine the baby’s origin if we were to bring her a vampire tree. Recognizing that we had no options or leverage, we set off to find this tree. Through the swamp we could see promises of things to investigate, but we held fast and just went straight for the tree. It’s not like this is Wish Fairy season.

As we laid eyes upon it, it was clear that we would have to fight this tree. We walked around it, inspected it, and although it behaved like a normal tree, again, we knew a fight was inevitable.

As soon as Solange and E’Hel began their work cutting down the tree (naturally two musically inclined individuals such as Mydiar and myself should be excused from such ventures) the vines surrounding the tree attacked us, as did two swarms of bugs, or something. We killed all belligerent parties (tree included) and dragged the tree back to the Swamp Witch’s weird house.

When we returned, in classic Swamp Witch fashion, the Swamp Witch revealed she didn’t even need the tree to do the divination, and in fact just wanted its bark to make tea. Naturally, we were quite frustrated but hey, fair is fair, and at least we’ll get our divination.

So get this: Penelope Mantressor of the, you know, Mantressor family, broke out of her mansion (read as: prison) one night, and came to the Swamp Witch herself. Seemingly lonely and isolated, she sought the aid of the Swamp Witch. The Swamp Witch obliged, and taught her how to summon an Incubus, who apparently knocked her up, the scion being lil’ Dak himself.

So, yes, Dak is a half demon and is possibly evil, and the Mantressors are also bad because they locked up their daughter, but truly the most unconscionable person in this story is the Swamp Witch herself, who saw an afraid, isolated young woman and taught her something very dangerous. Since the Witch benefitted not from this teaching, in the end it isn’t even selfish, merely sadistic.

I told her as much and she turned me into a frog.

E’Hel bargained with her and in exchange for my body back he swore we owe her a favor. Ugh. This Swamp Witch, I tell ya. As we were leaving I had half a mind to empty my satchel of 1000 ball bearings into her living room but thought better of it.

So anyway, we go back to town, and we haggle for some illegal books on magic, because E’Hel and Mydiar seem to have a hex on them or something, and lil’ baby Dak is buying real estate in curse town.

Then, in an effort to get some face time with Penelope Mantressor herself, we’ve engaged in talks with the local Thieves Guild in order to sneak us into the mansion. They seem pretty game to help us out, and that’s where we are now.

Sable seems to be growing more and more exhausted caring for this baby.

Solange is in good spirits, apparently thriving on adventure and the opportunity to have her bird do wild things.

E’Hel, I would say, is not loving being hexed but is being really cool about putting this baby thing first.

Mydiar seems kind of down ever since he killed that guy at the docks, and seems quite regretful. However he still did play us a lot of tunes so who knows with that guy.

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Interlude: Goat Stew

BRUNCHERS, ASSEMBLE!

I’ve heard from some of you regarding how your characters are reacting to last session. For those of you I didn’t hear from, well, you missed your chance. Please run with what’s here.

After the dust-up at the gypsy rivercamp, you hustle out of the streets and take refuge in the Yelling Goat, a nearby tavern that serves up a serviceable meat (of species unspecified) stew, and The Crossing’s equivalent of Coors Light. Isda accompany you, and eats like she’s never encountered food before, while Ygrid just stares in frigid silence.

After much debate as to the next course of action, you all decide it’s best to hole up here for the night. After all, there’s strength in numbers, and if the law comes for you, they’ll come tonight. Ygrid takes her own room, but the innkeeper will not let a room to a child, so Sable volunteers to watch after Dak and — since a young girl bunking with an adult man would be wildly inappropriate — Solange shares a room with Isda.

You spend a nearly-sleepless night at The Goat. What rest you got was interrupted by a shared dream: sounds of maniacle laughter and visions of flames, tentacles, bat-like wings and a many-toothed maw.

In the morning, over steaming bowls of what the cook is calling Yesterday’s Stew, you can discuss your plans for tomorrow. It will probably make sense to split up and do some investigation, at least for part of the day. And someone will have to babysit Dak.

Ygrid does not come down for breakfast. You find her room empty with no sign of when she left.

Please RSVP to the calendar event by Thursday. If you cannot attend, please let me know what your character might be doing instead.

Oh, and one last thing. Each of you will receive a secret message from me using the secrets functionality of the site. Be on the look out, and feel free to use the in-character forum if you’d like.

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Bundle of Joy

A cry rings out in the busy market of The Crossing. A young girl, clearly living on the streets of the busy city, tells the adventurers that the Rovani have stolen her baby brother. The party is drawn into the chase and questions denizens of the city until they arrive at Andleman’s Ford, the residence of the suspected kidnappers.

The Rovani there have a small floating village, several house-boats tied together. The party questions the Rovani about the baby, and tensions rise. Before long, combat erupts, and when the dust settles, several Rovani lie dead in the river and one party member has quit the battlefield. However, during the fracas a member of the party discovers a baby in one of the boats.

When the party questions the woman who claims to be the baby’s mother, her story has as many holes as a threadbare robe. Furthermore, a curiosity emerges: she calls the baby by the same name (Dak) used by Isda, yet the two have presumably never met. Upon further questioning, Isda’s story is just as suspect, since she claims that the infant is two years of age.

Now the party must find the true parents of the child.

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The shards of an empire
The story so far…

The it’s been several generations since the Crystal Tower fell, and along with it shattered the greatest empire humankind had ever seen. Yet the ghost of the Wizard-Emperor still haunts the burned city, the nearby fields tilled with salt and the charred lands north of Maristor’s Wall. A pall haunts the remains of the Once-Great Nation like a corpse rotting on a battlefield, the squabbling noble lords and merchant houses like pecking at what bits of life remain.

The coalition of elves and dwarves that sacked the city has dissolved, and what amounts to an angry peace has settled over the continent. Our story opens in The Crossing, a humble but bustling trade hub in the center of the Empire. Be you noble, bargeman, entertainer or vagabond, The Crossing offers the opportunity for adventure and coin.

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