Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Saga of Hester the Jester ~Zombies' round here....

Catch up on part one here, and part two here!

Lucien pulls the carriage up to a dark mansion after a day of travel and Lucien gets down off the carriage. A human walks out of the house to greet us and he's wearing keeper of the dead robes. The robes are immediately recognizable since Lucien is a Keeper. He directs us down to the barn, which Lucien and  Toughas go about unhook Pickles from his harness. The guys talk about the human and can't make sense of him, something seems off. The place was or is owned by Bert and Greta who are hillmen. Hester had told Lucien and Toughas about the place, and some of the normal burial rites of hillmen.
Hester doesn't recognize the human and the guys caution her to stay hidden in the carriage for the night. Lucien puts an alarm spell on the carriage and feels that magic has been cast in this barn recently. After inspection of the barn, Lucien sees that blood has been shed - hillman blood. While he's casting spells, the human comes walking down. Toughas hears the footsteps and intercepts the human so he doesn't see what Lucien is doing.
Lucien and Toughas start heading up the hill toward the house, in the rain and lighting two guys intended to jump us. They’re spotted and they both end up attempting to run. The guys catch them both and tie them up, then take them to the barn. Toughas goes up to the house to check on it to see if it’s safe or if there are more ambushers. He finds the hillmen couple tied up. The poor couple are very startled by the appearance of such a gruff looking trogger. Toughas attempts to stoop and make himself small and friendly looking, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Bert faints. Toughas gives the man a heal potion and leaves so the couple can get their bearings. ….He walks back down to the barn and starts talking with Lucien about what on earth they’ll do with these two humans.
The woman rides a horse to town to get the constable. Bert comes down to the barn to thank us and offer food. Hester is still tucked away in the carriage hiding. After Bert leaves she grumbles about not getting food and “proper treatment” but Toughas reminds her about all the food she has in the carriage.
Bert goes up to the house to get the food and comes back down around the same time as the constable and Greta come riding up. Toughas and Lucien tell the story of how they're here with the dead to be buried. The constable finds this odd, a human and a trogger, but their stories line up and he believes them. He leaves with the humans in an open air cage intended for hillmen. The humans have been stripped down to their underwear and are stooping in the small cage. The sight is quite pathetic.
(Later they are murdered by someone "on the inside" in the jail…but our adventurers don't know that.)
The home is intended for hillmen and Toughas has to stoop everywhere he goes. He’s quite umcofortable, and even the beds are far too small for his larger than average frame. He chooses to sleep in the carriage "so he can stretch out" but really to make sure Hester is safe. 
Morning comes and everyone has breakfast and discusses burial plans for "our friend" (the pillows), then drive the carriage into the cemetery. There are helper zombies that are controlled by the thoughts of the individual who holds the zombie talisman. Bert had passed this talisman on to Lucien on their way in with instructions about how to use it. They get to the assigned grave and four zombies with collars are already digging the grave. One tries to come toward us. Lucien thinks them all back to work. He finds this magic quite enticing and smart.
Another zombie comes shambling towards the trio and once it’s a little closer they can see that it's collar has popped off and is just hanging open, draped across its shoulder. Lucien tells the four zombies under his control to hold the wayward zombie and Toughas carefully snaps the collar back into place. He almost got bit, what was he thinking getting that close to a zombie’s mouth!? The collar appears old and worn and will likely pop off again. So Lucien directs the zombie to lie down in the grave and the four others bury it with the coffin full of pillows.
Once done they start to look around. They’re up on top of the hill and can see down to the richer part of the graveyard. They can see the mausoleum in the center and there are two human soldiers in front and a tent off to the side.
Hester shows the guys the map of the tomb. She talks about the how she was brought here by Lady Densmeal’s men before and how the security system was triggered so she could get out. So they're going to have to reset the security system, as well as get the wand from Grandpa's crypt.
Here they sit, on the hill overlooking the bad guys in front of the crypt. Many ideas were discussed to try and come up with a plan of action. Lucien eventually comes up with an idea to send zombies under his control to distract the men. The plan is for seven zombies to go mess with the guys. There are four guys total; two came out of the tent and two were already on watch.
Two of the zombies had been sent to molest the men. That’s right, Lucien sent zombies to attempt to touch the men’s balls. What is wrong with Lucien?! This, of course, freaks the men out. They scramble away from the zombies and in the melee one zombie gets his collar knocked off, and starts to attack the men in earnest.
This zombie succeeds at biting some of the men and they turn into zombies themselves, so there are now feral zombies all chasing the one remaining man who has climbed up a statue, screaming. They're pawing at him and groaning for brains and balls. It's a successful enough distraction that the “heroes” can sneak down to the mausoleum and Hester gets in with the key. Not a single sword had to be swung. The zombies did all the work.
To be continued....

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Saga of Hester the Jester ~A hillman, a human and a trogger walk into a bar...

Our heroes pull into Ket on the seventh day. The place is swarming with people and buildings much like old London. Toughas hasn’t seen such a large city, and it’s been quite a while since Lucien has laid eyes on any place like this. Hester however seems unimpressed.
On the dock is a line of men – and at the head of the line, is the guy we let go of back in the hotel! He is shouting and carrying on about how they will not be able to escape Denmeal’s reach and they must turn themselves in immediately. Master Jim starts to pull away from the dock as fast as he can. The men from the dock pile into a war ship behind us. The Painstakingly is not moving fast enough and Densmeal’s men will catch up to the heroes quickly. Hester pays the men in rubies for the cost of the contents of the hold. Jim dumps the contents of the hold and we quickly sail off, losing those that chased us. In our hurry we get a bit lost. The captain takes out the star charts once the sun sets and they start talking about what to do next. No one really seems to know, so they decide to sleep on it and wake to the smell of bacon in the morning.
It’s decided that they’ll ride the boat until they get just south of Din and then go about their way. It’s about a two week journey that’s mostly uneventful. The trio then finds themselves on a long boat just south of Din, they have left the Painstakingly. Once they get to land, Hester rolls around on the sand. As they start to walk toward town they get intercepted by four gnarly people who want to get squirrelly with us or get paid off. Toughas intimidates them by bellowing out an orcish roar and they run away. The group walks on for a few hours and comes across a small bar right on the beach. They enjoy some ale, chowder, and then head to a general store for some maps and other items.
After the General store, they find a hotel and rent the penthouse for the night. Lucien and Hester go to the bank to take care of some business. Lucien notices that they are being watched. They quickly get out of the bank and lose the woman who was watching them. They return to the hotel to a paranoid Toughas. Lucien disguises himself with magic to go and buy a cart and murgo. He finds a decent second hand cart and a good murgo. The cart and murgo will be ready the next morning. Hester and Toughas go down to the bar and enjoy a few drinks and some entertainment. 
The next morning they wake, get disguised and go to pick up the cart and murgo. However no one knows how to drive a wagon. Go figure. So they now need to hire a driver as well. They hire on Tom the elf for a few days to teach Lucien how to drive the carriage and they are off and headed out of town! After a few days travel Tom leaves and hitchhikes back to Din.
Lucien drives along the ocean road and they come to a roadhouse. They go to get a room and some food. Toughas drop their bags in the room and head to the bar. The bar has a rowdiness to it, and when they all take their seats, a nobleman is wandering about asking each table something. He then comes by and shows them a picture of the guy who attempted to steal Hester's bag, and yelled at them from the dock. He asks them if they have seen that guy? They all say they haven't seen him and go back to the room. Having been on the road for so long they sleep for too long…but get downstairs for elevensies at the restaurant. On their way down, they see the city guards angrily interacting with the Noble. There is a big brawl and the Noble fires off a powerbolt at one of the armored men, and then pulls out his sword. The Noble kills some of the soldiers, wounded the rest and rode off to the south. They check out of the hotel, go out to the attached barn to retrieve Pickles the murgo and the carriage. The stable hands have been up all night tending to Pickles. That seems odd, but maybe these lads are just extra focused. The group thinks nothing of it and head back off to the north.
The trip takes them a few weeks, but it's mostly a quiet trip. Toughas had bought some cards and travel games at the General store in Din, so they pass the time in the carriage playing, and Hester teaching Toughas remedial Hillman speech. As luck would have it, the carriage is a sleeper and rather nice on the inside, even if it is rough around the edges on the outside.
They roll up on Moundsville and it is a hillman village. It is quaint and all the buildings are low and look warm. There is a light snow across the mounds. Hester leads Lucien up to Uncle Andar's house and it’s a mansion. It looks creepy from the road and the gate is locked. She gets a boost over the wall by Toughas, and runs up to the house then runs back with a key. She unlocks the gate and leads us to the barn. It lights up by itself and Hester asks the room to tend to our carriage, murgo and take our items to our room. Invisible butlers start moving along, gathering their things and doing as Hester asked and we go up to the house. The group is greeted by an elf and they are quite confused. Asking for clarification - apparently, he was adopted by Hester’s grandfather, and is not a blood relative to Hester. Hester catches him up to speed, telling him everything about their travels, their danger, the wand and all else. He agrees that they must go get the wand and that Densmeal's people are watching and will be after the wand and us. In an effort to be helpful, he offers his mage skills. He thinks about what he could do and what he could send with us and decides to take Lucien into the  lab and make helpful oils. Meanwhile Hester and Toughas go to the kitchen and raid the grub box and larder.
The mages make five vials of "kapow" oil. (Otherwise known as oil of impact which work effectively like the spell “charging”) While they are working Tough is asking Hester about the crypt they're walking into. Apparently, there is a zombie security system set up. The Lady Densmeal tricked Hester into bringing her men to the crypt a few months ago and they tripped the security system once inside and Hester ran away. So the zombies are definitely up and around. Hester and Toughas end up calling it a night and head to bed.
As Andars and Lucien finish up, a mechanical crow flies in and lands on Andars shoulder. Andars bends his head and listens. The crow tells him about some humans who were looking through family records down in the city and house ownership files. It will be soon that they will be up to the house asking questions. Andars thanks the crow, sets him on a perch and shakes his head. Lucien and Andars then both head to bed. They all sleep until Hester wakes Toughas up for elevensies. She’s shaking her head and can’t believe he missed first breakfast. Toughas has the butler “hands” wash his clothes and the butler hands try to take the clothes he's wearing right off his back. He’ll never figure out how these spells work. Lucien finally wakes up just after elevensies is over and tells everyone about what they made in the lab.
The crow returns again and tells Andars that the Densmeal's men will be on their way soon. Andars packs up and goes to the cellar where there is a portal door. He goes through it to a beach. What magic…..The three get ready for their day trip to the cemetery. Lucien goes down to the barn and sees the carriage is pristine and fixed to original specs. The murgo (Pickles) is well fed and shined up on all his scales. Lucien asks that the carriage be dusted up just a bit and the invisible butlers get to it. There is a house near the cemetery that is reserved for people who are bringing dead to the cemetery. Lucien has the butlers build a coffin at the house, fill it with pillows wrapped in a sheet and then they put it on top of the carriage. The group hopes that will fool the people of the house and they won't want to look inside the coffin.  

To be continued....

Monday, March 21, 2016

Saga of Hester the Jester ~The Jester in distress

Lucien and Toughas, long time friends; meet at a bar. They leave the bar to go for a walk. They see the rubble of what used to be the keep. It did not fare well against the giants six months ago.
As we exit the bar - a Hillman girl in a jester outfit ran by, chased by three thug looking beings in Lady Densmeal's suits give chase. Our heroes give chase and wind up in an ally. Words are exchanged…our heroes try to talk the thugs out of fighting but they’re hearing nothing of it. Toughas sweeps the leg of the commander who falls flat on his face. Then, in a surprise attack,…Lucien knocks one of the bad guys out cold! He then turns toward the other fellow and sends energy of pain. It’s a doosey of a spell. Nasty stuff that. The guy falls to the ground screaming. Toughas and the commander exchange blows, Lucien and the pain inflicted fellow mix it up.
The commander crumples to the ground from Toughas's fists. The person attacking Lucien is far tougher than anticipated and lands blows. Toughas lunges forward to save his friend and ends the foe. They search and then run now that the fight is over.
They walk to the inn and get a room. Toughas feels like they are being followed. They check in and go upstairs to the room.
Lucien is stabbed badly enough that they need to bandage him up. So they run him to the temple of the healing hand. The temple staff put him in a coma. Toughas knows that heal spells are black market goods but clearly our duo need some! He thinks “what would Lucien do…” and decided to go down to the pool hall to try and find heal spells off the black market. He talks with a guy who can get what we need. They talk, and strike up a deal. Toughas is to come back the next day to buy the heal spells and they agree on a price. He then goes back to the temple to get Lucien. The duo heads back to the inn. Hester the Jester has a set that night in the lobby of the inn. The guys are surprised to see her, but after her set they make

way to her and asked her to come up to their room to discuss things. She spills her life story in the great animated detail, which was definitely not what they were looking for. Hester asked to sleep in the room with the guys but needs her bag from across the hall. She’s too nervous to go get it herself, so Toughas goes to get the bag and there is a man, holding the bag in the middle of the room. Toughas grabs him and gets the bag away from him but spares his life.
Back in the room, Hester tells us about how the Densmeal's want her family's wand which is buried with her grandpa in the family tomb which is in Moundsville. It’s clear that Hester will have to retrieve the wand to keep it safe from Densemal, who will clearly stop at nothing to get her hands on it.
They all decide it would be safer to go to the tent village where Lucien and Toughas live and spend the night there. Toughas attempts to take first watch but everyone falls asleep. They wake at 9am to the sound of arguing. Lady Densmeal's men are attempting to search tents but get kicked out of tent city. Disguises are applied to Toughas and Hester by Lucien and they start to break camp.
Everyone walks back to the pool hall and Toughas meets with the mob. Money and heal potions are exchanged. Toughas ended up buying an entire case! Which is just unheard of. Hester and Lucien chat about money for the mercenary work they are about to embark on. They do not get too far into the discussion before Toughas gets back.
The trio walks out of town, talking about money and what path we should take. They decide on the beach path and 250 sovereign now, and at least 250 sovereign later.
After a few days travel, the trio come across a frogmen village. The frogmen are very kind and want to trade for anything. They have silks, rubies and many wares for trade. The three are treated like guests and friends. The frogmen point to a ship that has run aground in the shallows at sea. That cargo ship is where the frogmen got many of the things they are trying to trade for. They are very interested in heal potions. Curiously. Two days later by foot, we come to Tiny Town.
Tiny Town is run primarily by elves, but troggers, humans and elves all work alongside one another. Lucien goes to the Blue Order library (since he’s a member) while Hester and Toughas go off to find the ship master and secure seats on a boat to South Grast.
Lucien asks about the staff of Clouds and the person he asks just so happens to know of it. The staff was stolen from the Druids of the Garden and is the property of the Gardener of the Grove. It has the ability to control the weather, and likely much more. It’s a very powerful staff indeed!

Hester and Toughas come across Master Jim. Master Jim says he can get them to the port of Alexis in Ket. That is not quite as far as they wish to go, but it will have to do. The ship sails in the morning. They will ride on a cargo ship called the Painstakingly. They are given a suite in the hold, and it is a shrimp boat. It should take us ten days to get to Ket. Lucien tells everyone what he learned at the library. The story doesn’t make Hester’s grandpa sound that great. She appears quite upset and affronted that her grandpa is being painted as a thief, but the evidence is all there. The plan is to get the staff and return it to the Gardener of the Grove. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lucien of the blue robes ~Character history

Lucian means light. I was my parents first son. I was going to bring so much light to their lives, so they named me Lucian. That backfired on them.
Being “painfully honest” with people had gotten me into a lot of predicaments throughout my life. My parents didn't like that I didn't placate them or their friends. They didn't like the fact that I taught myself some of the basics of Magick. They were embarrassed because of it.  “Humans didn't want that for themselves.”  The final straw for them, was when my father found out about a couple of side businesses that I had for myself. I can't help that people like to be altered. I’m not the one who was addicted to the faerie dust and Dwarven tobacco. But I can and will offer supply if they demand it and people did. But father was gnarled and in order to not to continue to bring shame upon our family,  he gave me 2 choices: military detail or the wizard college. The stipulation with going to the military was that father would keep all the money I made and use it how he saw fit. Or with wizard college, that money would be spent for my tuition, with me not having access to it. Guess which one I picked? Another stipulation came that I would keep quiet with where I was from if I went to the wizard college, cause you know, the scandal!  So at 17, off I went to wizard college.
The staff were surprised about my natural ability and often thought that the secrecy behind my story was that I was a banished halfling. I didn't confirm nor deny. I just went about my studies,  learning and getting better. I didn’t give two shits what the staff thought about me; I was just happy to be away from my family.  Another thing that happened at wizard college:  some mages will pay you better for FD and DT, than the general public. I actually made acquaintances.
As all of my skill levels grew, I gained the attention of the Blue Order. They didn’t care that I lack tact.  They didn’t care what my background could be (because even after six years at the college, no one knew).  They cared only about what I my abilities were and that I could see people for who they were and called them on it. So I was initiated.  I also gained the attention of the Keepers. I was very good with the dead, but not their families. So luckily, I don't have to deal with the grieving part of it.
Shortly after that, the college decided that they would send me to a royal court to utilize my abilities for the Lady Denzmeal. Have I mentioned or at least hinted at the fact that I’m painfully honest and can’t help it? Also, that I have a problem with people who remind me of my father? Or that I hate social class and conformity to a specific social class? So when said Lady expected me to keep her dirty secrets because she was a “lady”, why was she shocked that I spilled all of her dirty secrets after she reminded me of my father? Maybe she was shocked that I spilled said secrets in front of her people at a party. The people at the party didn’t know that the lady wasn’t so much a lady on the inside. Especially when it came to her carnal indiscretions. Again, not my fault she likes some very weird things. She banished me and swore if she saw me again,  she’d have my head on a pike. The college, they weren’t pleased, but they decided to expedite my graduation. There were more staff that were impressed that someone stood up to her, so at least I didn't get kicked out.  The college is one of the few places that I like,  so I'm pleased with myself that I didn't get kicked.

For the last four years, I've been traveling.  I go back to the college to learn.  I practice.  I have a handful of friends.  I have secret “crops” to help fund my travels. I have loyal clients who know that my crops are some of the best. I have to keep it simple and private. I like it. I really like the money. I seem unassuming, and I like that people think that. It means that I can surprise them later.  It means I know more than people think. Kinda like the Lady… rumor has it she doesn't make that mistake anymore.  

Strife in the Fife of Thife ~part five

Our trio headed down the hall and chose the first door they came to. Roran opened it without hesitation. Standing in the middle of the small room was a wizard! Must be the same wizard they came across in the hall…Roran thought as he drew his ax and yelled “wizard!!” to warn the other two who trailed in behind him.
As Sam readied her staff to send down a reign of mage fire she heard familiar words….the wizard was opening the veil and intended to send out his own mage fire! Sam had read about Powerbolt battles, but certainly hadn’t been in any…now was as good of time as any! She took in a deep breath and pulled in the energy that was fast approaching Roran’s head. She succeeded, added her own energy to what she’d just pulled in from the wizard and quickly sent it back his way. His eyes glistened in a devious way as he did the same…and shot the largest powerbolt Sam had ever seen…right…at…her! She thought fast, said the magickal words needs faster, and intercepted it, and bounced it back at the wizard. Right before it reached the wizard; he disappeared into a puff of smoke, and the powerbolt smashed hard against the back wall of the room, and took a sizeable chunk out of the brick.
Joe pushed Roran and Sam into the room (as they’d only gotten as far as the doorway) and slammed the door. He turned to them both and laid into Roran.
“What on DAROKA do you think you’re doing?! Who just opens a door inside a powerful mage’s TOMB like that?!?! Not a weapon drawn among you? You could have gotten us killed!!”
Roran opened his mouth to shout back…but found he really had nothing, and thought better of it. While had could be a hot head, he wasn’t one to shout when he knew he was wrong. He took the verbal lashing and sheepishly nodded in agreement with Joe. Such action calmed Joe quickly.
“Yes Joe. You’re right. I was too quick and put us at risk. I will do better next time. I don’t know where my head was. Clearly this tomb has many mysteries.” said Roran.
“Well…this may cool our heads and line our pockets” Sam said as she walked up to a chest sitting in the middle of the room they hadn’t noticed in all the kerfuffle. Joe’s eyes went visibly wider in response and he hurried over to it.
Joe made quick work of picking the lock and flinging the chest open. Joe whistled through his teeth and said “Woooo my! There must be…2,000 gold coins in here! At least! We need to stash this somewhere safe. But where…”
“How about we put it behind the barrels in that last room. Should be safe there.” Said Roran. “We can make it something of a keep.”
Joe nodded in agreement and insisted on carrying the chest himself and had no desire to share or allow the other two to help in any way.
They rested once back into the room and munched a few snacks. As they readied themselves they heard something rustling in the hallway outside the door. They all prepared their weapons then quietly opened the door. Down the hall a short ways was a massive bug! Joe became visibly freaked out, but the other two seemed to relax some. A bug? Pah!
Roran walked out first and was once again, wrong. The bug attacked him quickly and stomped him into the ground. That had to hurt.
Thankfully Sam was ready and shot off a long distance powerbolt. She hit the bug pretty squarely, but after the last powerbolt battle she didn’t have a whole lot of oomf behind it. She did succeed in making it run away fast though! The party couldn’t catch up. Good enough. Roran needed some medical attention. He was hit hard! Thank goodness the party had a few heal potions. Roran drank one down and started to feel a little bit better. However, being new adventurers as he and Sam were…they needed to rest.
The group barred the door to the keep and sat down to rest. They slept on and off for about an hour, tops. They ate some food, stretched, cleaned their weapons and got ready to go back into the hallway of doors.
They went to the next door down the hallway. Sam very carefully started to open the door so she might peak inside to check, and no sooner was she pulled inside and the door was slammed!
“Oh no! No no no no!!” yelled Roran. He quickly started slamming his body into the door. Being quite large as he was, breaking the door open wasn’t much of a challenge. Inside, attached to a corner of the ceiling was a giant eye with many tentacles. “Ew you’re an ugly thing aren’t you? Give me back my wife!” he screamed as he lunged forward swinging his ax.
The massive eye monster swiped out at Roran with it’s tentacles. Roran’s ax met with those tentacles and severed them.
Joe threw one of his daggers and cut the tentacle that was holding Sam captive. She landed on the ground with a thud.
Roran again swung his ax, closing distance. The giant eye was squishy and had no armor. It was no real match for Roran’s ax.

Looking around the room they saw a chest that was visibly the same as the last one. Roran picked it up as if it were light as a feather and carried it back to the Keep to be opened there. As time went on in the tomb, he only felt safe in this one room. And even then, not all THAT safe.

Strife in the Fife of Thife ~part four

As our heroes rested and caught their breath Sam noticed something written along the length of the hallway. It was runes! Now just to figured out what these runes meant. Roran tried to get Sam to move but she just kept shrugging him off. Not even bothering to explain to her cohorts what she was doing staring at the floor. The men started to wonder if she’d hit her head extra hard. Then suddenly she jumped into the air and whooped!!
“I’ve figured it out! It’s the spell True Shot!! We can REALLY use this!”
The men exchanged looked of confusion as Sam continued to explain.
“Ya know…True Shot! It’s a spell that when cast on weapons makes them stronger. When you swing your ax for example Roran, it would be as if you’re even stronger than you are now! This will really help us.”
That got through to the men. Suddenly they were pretty excited by the “time wasted staring at the floor” Yea, that really could help.
Down the hall and to the left was another hall. There were many doors. The group decided to take the first door on the left. They opened it carefully and much to their surprise there wasn’t anything in here other than some furnishings and three barrels stacked in a corner.
As they were riffling through the barrels they heard a voice.
“Riffling through my things eh? Can’t say I blame you in here.”
The trio spun around to find a dwarf standing on a chair in the corner looking at them with his arms crossed.
“Ah. Have your attention do I?” He said.
“I wanted to offer you a way out.”
As he spoke, a golden doorway appeared next to him. Through it Roran and Sam recognized their home back in Krie. They felt homesick upon seeing their cottage. However they shook it off quickly. They had a job to do. Corliman needed them.
“Thank you kind dwarf; but no thank you. We have a task that must be accomplished.” said Roran.
The dwarf smirks and nods slowly. The golden doorway dims until it disappears.
“Well then; if heroes you be…prove it. Take on my quest and bring back truth and honesty to the lands.”
Both Sam and Roran visibly shifted in their boots and looked at each other. Both were clearly unsure what to say, but didn’t want to anger such a clearly powerful dwarf.
“Well…sir….” Sputtered Roran.
“What might this quest entail? As you may know, we’re already on a quest. That’s why we’re here in this tomb.”
“Already questing eh? Not tomb robbers? Well. That bodes well for you then. Worry not, I have faith you could do both.” Said the dwarf.
“I presume you’re familiar with the Oath Stones? The stones that can usually be found in the middle of each town among other places. I’ve noticed that they have nearly all but disappeared. You must find the missing and hidden oath stones, and return them to the people.”
All three were stunned and didn’t know what to say. That sounded like quite the massive under taking.
“And to ensure that you continue to strive toward this goal; swear your oath that you will search for the missing stones until the end of your days.” And with that, the dwarf pulled a palm sized oath stone out of his pocket and presented it in front of Roran. “So. What say you?”
Roran gulped hard, stepped forward placing his hand on the stone. “I swear that we will return the stones to the people of Daroka.”
As soon as Roran finished he felt the stone disappear under his hand. “What the!?”
“That’d be your first stone to find.” Said the dwarf with a glint in his eye. That’s the stone of Tenir. It’ll lead you to all the other stones. Can’t just be given it to ya now; can I? I can tell ya, it’s here within this tomb. At least there’s that.”
“Well,” said Sam, “guess we’d best get out of this room and start looking. As she looked back toward the dwarf she saw that he was gone. Disappeared. Our heroes had so much to learn about tomb crawling.
To be Continued in part 5

~Submitted to us by Sevan B.

Strife in the Fife of Thife ~part three

Part 2 can be read here

The first thing our hero’s noticed when they entered the tomb was that it wasn’t at all what they expected. Upon contemplation; they weren’t sure what they were expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this! They didn’t have long to think about it before they noticed things start to change, swirl, and smoke appeared from nowhere. The very large door shut behind them and in the time it took them to look back at the shutting door, and then look back into the room there were people! A whole room of people! How is this possible?
In front of them was a pool table where men were playing. To the right was a full bar and a bar keep wiping down the bar, and there were a few men sitting around a table talking. As soon as they took in the scene, a voice boomed from seemingly nowhere,
“In my life I did many things, traveled to many places and the start of those travels was often a place just…like….this…”
Roran and Samantha looked at each other with wide eyes and Roran spoke first,
“Well…we made it in here…what now?”
“Um…well…let’s get a drink. I guess.”
The duo saddled up to the bar and ordered two Elvin wines. As they waited for the barman to fetch them, Sam was approached by a very large man who’d been playing pool.
“Hey sweet cheeks” the man grinned. “What’s a pretty little thing like you doing in a place like this?”
Sam turned up to look at the man and sneered. “Go. Away.” she said through gritted teeth.
“Hey now! That’s no way to talk to a stud like me!” the man replied.
Roran jumped in at this point by saying “Hey man! The lady is with me, and she told you to go away.”
The men exchanged words which grew in intensity until it was clear that they were going to move on to blows. Really, Roran relished the idea of releasing some nervous energy on this guy’s face and was doing very little to defuse the situation. However, he thought it best to try not to kill the guy, as he really wasn’t sure if this was trickery, magick or some other thing he hadn’t even considered! Better to just try and knock him out.
Which he did. With excellent precision. You see…what you might not know about Roran when you first look at him, is that he is an expert at all things fighting. He’s got amazing sword skill and is well practiced in just about anything that could be used as a weapon. His fists are most absolutely included in that.
After the fight all the people disappeared into vapor, including the man on the ground. One man was left standing and came rushing up, grabbed Roran’s hand and shook it excitedly. This was not customary behavior shortly after Roran knocked a man out!
“Hi! I’m lucky Joe! Well, I’m Joe…but I’m pretty lucky, so everyone calls me Lucky Joe” the man said all the while shaking Roran’s hand.
Samantha started to shove Roran along, trying to get him out of this room (without ever getting a chance to touch her wine…) before something else happened. Lucky Joe continued to follow along and they heard the voice again,
“Along the way I made many friends, and many enemies. Lucky Joe was one of my most trusted allies….” as the voice faded off Joe looked around for source….
“Encanticus buddy? Is that you?! Oh this guy…I could tell some TALES about this guy!! He’s a good guy” Joe said to Roran and Sam grinning broadly.
At the end of the pool room was a thin hallway. It appeared to go on for quite a distance, and was poorly lit. They had only been in the hall for a short time when a group of creatures came running up. The hallway was tight and that made maneuvering difficult, but it was clear these creatures didn’t have any intention of walking on by! They aimed to fight. They were like nothing Sam or Roran had ever seen before! Talk skinny legs, short bodies and the face…of frogs?! Could these creatures be frogmen of lore?
Roran was first to connect blows with one of these frog men. The frogmen wore thin chain mail and their bellies were mostly exposed.  The blade of Roran’s sword made quick work of the first fighter. Samantha couldn’t get past Roran to join in the fighting, so she opened the veil and let her Powerbolt fly at the next closest enemy. It met him and he dropped to the ground lifeless.
Now it was Joe’s turn to show our duo what he was made of. He pulled his pair of daggers from their sheaths on his hips, Jumped and bounded off the wall, landing in front of Roran to slash at the first available frogman. He damaged the enemy but didn’t drop him.
“There are four frogmen here and one elf a little ways back!” Joe shouted as he shielded himself from the blows of the frogman he’d just cut open.
Roran swung at the frogman while he was distracted and attacking Joe and finished the job Joe had started. The last creature went down in similar fashion.
Just as the heroes were about to rush the elf they saw him chanting something, and the frogmen started to glow eerily…then rise! Oh crap! Roran, Sam and Joe had gotten past two of the frogmen on their way to the elf and now had to face two enemies on each side of them! They fought hard and fast and just as the last frogmen dropped to the ground (now for the second time!) the Elf disappeared in a swirl of smoke.
The heroes stopped to take a breath and Joe needed a heal potion after getting sliced in the arm by one of the frogmen he fought.

To be continued

Strife in the Fife of Thife ~part two

Part 1 can be read here
After bunking down for the night in an abandoned farm house our hero’s wake with the sun. They have a quick breakfast and put their packs back on and head out toward Thandimar. As they’re walking along they see six soldiers walking in formation, coming their way. Thankfully it would appear that soldiers didn’t notice Sam and Roran. They hide in the bushes as the soldiers pass, and are able to get back on their way.
The walk took the majority of the morning but was pleasantly uneventful. The only being they encountered was an old man who was tending the roads and he barely looked up as the hero’s passed by him. He was muttering something under his breath…something about being understaffed? Our duo didn’t much care, and chose not to bother the man.
They came over a ridge and below them was Thandimar. It looked like it was once a lovely and quaint town, but it had since been taken over by vines, thorns and dust. Long since it was cared for…by the looks of it.
As they stood looking the town over neither noticed a slithering vine until it had wrapped itself thoroughly around Roran’s ankle. Roran hacked at the vine but it was no use. As he removed one small vine from his leg, another one latched on. Samantha knew that hitting it with her staff would do no good, so she opened the veil and sent her Mages fire- Powerbolt in the direction the vines were coming from; hoping to hit the base of this magickal plant. She succeeded and her rage from seeing her husband attacked fueled her magick fire. The plant withered and slithered away from our heros.
Roran and Sam walked quickly toward the town, careful to avoid the plants that they now saw everywhere. They stopped briefly only to bandage Roran’s leg.
One building stood out from all the rest; the church. It was well tended and smoke was spiraling from the chimney. Roran and Sam looked at each other, noticed that the sun was starting to go down. They both suspected, though quietly, and to themselves; that this was the type of place that was likely crawling with zombies, and those zombies are going to come out once the sun was down. The church was looking  all the more inviting just then. They quickly hurried up the front steps and quietly entered.
The Kealiedian church was well kept and warm. There was a soft glow from the candles, and in front of the alter was a man in robes dusting an already very clean alter.
Roran and Samantha announced their presence followed by introductions all around. The kind priest’s name is Father Murphy. He looked quite shocked to see any visitors, and explained that he hadn’t seen anyone other than his wife in many years! Oh!! His wife! Yes! Maddy (the nun. Nuns marry Priests in Kealiedian belief structure) would certainly want to meet these new strangers who had made it through the vines, past the animals and soldiers to make it safely into the church.
Maddy brought out a small dinner for everyone and Roran and Sam caught the good priest and nun up to speed on their task. Father Murphy nodded along, seemingly not suprised by our hero’s story at all. He explained that many had attempted to enter the tomb, but all had failed. Even the tomb door would never open for anyone. The few people that it did open for either fled screaming, or never came out. Father Murphy then stood up and went to a closet just down the hall of the main meeting room. He returned with a simple looking chain mail and handed it to Roran.
“Here. You may borrow this. It’s far better than what you’re wearing now. You’ll need it if you have any hope of living through this task.” said Father Murphy.
“Wow. Thank you Father.” said Roran in awe.
“In addition, I’ve got a bit of random gear that may suit you. Please, go through it in the closet and choose what you think you might need.” Father Murphy said pointing toward the closet.
Roran and Samantha carefully went through the closet, choosing only what they thought they might need most. As soon as they were packed they had a light breakfast and then headed into the church yard where the cemetery was. It was quite easy to find Encanticus’s tomb as it was the largest and most ornate tomb. In fact…it was the only tomb! Everything around it were only simple head stones.
As they approached the tomb doors..they opened simply and easily without so much as a squeak or a squeal. Roran audibly *gulped* and they both entered the tomb……

Continued in part 3.

Saga the Game is available for sale!!

I wanted to take a pause from stories and lore to talk a bit about “Saga: the Game” itself.
When I started this blog the manual had not yet gone into publication. Saga the Game is available in three different versions! You can purchase the standard paperback size 8 ½ by 11, you can purchase a paperbackversion that is spiral bound in size 8 ½ by 11 or the hard cover version that is 8 ¼ by 10 ¾. 
I wanted to offer these three versions because I believe in giving as many options as possible. The standard paperback will be a nice addition to any gamer library, and the spiral bound version is perfect for the game table. Have you ever lost your page at the table because the binding was too tight and the book won’t lay flat? Ever tried to keep the book open with cups and gotten your book wet with a soda can ring? With the spiral bound version of “Saga: the Game” you won’t have that problem. It also takes up half the precious gaming table space, which we all know is at a premium!
All you need to play “Saga: the Game” is the manual and a minimum of 20 D20 dice.
For ease of play we’ve included a few pre-written character sheets so you can get the feel of how to create different classes/races of heroes. You can use these templates, or create your own character. There are blank character sheets included in the back of the manual.
On the back cover of the manual there is
a map of the Daroka continent which includes the graph squares to give a feel for the continent size and distance between geographical locations and cities.
I’ve just received my personal copy of the manual and I am so happy with how it has turned out. The map on the back is crisp, bright, and easy to read and the inside is an easy to read 12pt font.
Also in the Legend edition is all the artwork; which is being created by a few different artists. This really enriches the manual and brings it to life.

After so many years of working on this manual, creating the world, the characters and editing; I am so happy to finally be offering “Saga: the Game” to all of you.

Strife in the Fife of Thife ~part one

We meet our heroes on a clear night. They’ve gone for a romantic walk after a quiet dinner at the pub. Roran holds his wife Samantha to protect her from chill. They lay in the grass just off the path and chat, snuggle and drift in and out of a light sleep. Before they know it…they’ve woken up in a strange cow pasture! Wha?! How did this happen? They don’t recognize their location…somehow very far from the pub and grassy spot where they’d been cuddling.
Samantha; our mage, spots a cottage close by with smoke billowing from the chimney. “It looks like a friendly enough place Roran. We should find out where we are…at the very least.”
Roran agrees, and the two head off toward the cottage.
Right as Roran is about to knock on the door it opens! In the midst of this very small cottage sits an elderly man in dark robes.  Samantha notices his staff; very powerful markings. Far above her abilities she wagers. The room is full of implements of cleaning, all tending to their tasks without any human assistance.

“Come in! Come in! Who might you be now? Let me see…you’re not from here! Why…I don’t recognize your tattoos. Where are you from? How did you come to land in my cottage now, eh?” says the old man.
Roran puffs up his chest (as a warrior such as himself is known to do…especially with as little social skills as he possesses.) and states “I am Roran! And this is my wife Samantha. We hail from the Fife of Krie. We are on a search for the magickal…”
Samantha; being more knowledgeable in matters of social graces interrupts Roran and asks “and good sir, who might you be? And um…where might we be?”
The old man eyes them both with surprise and mutters “must have gotten through the confusion somehow…fairies…yes, fairies brought them here I think. Hmmmm heroes? Not sure they look like heroes? Ah what choice do I have…” he catches himself and states more loudly;
“I am Corliman. You have landed in the Fife of Thife. Since you are clearly not from these parts you must know that these lands are ruled by the hard hand of Lord Dinsmeil and his foul henchman….er..soldiers. We are in great need of being freed and released from the wall of mana confusion that separates us from all other lands. No one ever comes in here. No one ever gets out…. I myself, am bound to this cottage. Not free to even leave my own home. Otherwise, I’d get the items I need to free us all!”
Roran gulps hard at these words. “Oh my” what have we gotten ourselves into? He thinks. It is Samantha who speaks up. “What are these items that you need Corliman? Could we help?”

Corliman smiles and nods. “I am first in need of the Staff of Encanticus. It resides in Thandimar. Thandimar lies to the south of us, 20-30 miles away. There are no roads leading there, for it is a dead town. You’ll find the staff in the tomb of Encanticus, which is in the middle of the Thandimar grave yard. Go into the tomb, fetch the staff and bring it back to me.
You’re not intending to go on such a journey with only the items you have here…are you? No, no, no. That won’t do at all. Here, take what you need from my old adventuring gear.” He waves to a closet, which opens by itself.
Roran and Samantha take off their packs and compare Corliman’s gear against their own. Having never been inside a magick tomb they were unsure just what they might need. They saw healing potions and breaker healing talismans that they may need. (though both secretly hoped not!)
Once packed they were ready to head out toward Thandimar. They decided to travel around the town of Helmsmar rather than risk going through. They had no desire to catch the attention of Lord Dinsmeil or his soldiers………
Stay tuned for part 2!

~Saga submitted by Sevan B.

Nettle the wyldling elf Character history

Nettle was raised in a traditional Wyldling fashion. He was raised within the Alfar forest in a tribe that was very tight knit and family focused. After the war the tribe feared ruin and death. So marriage and child bearing was of extreme focus. Nettle hear about his (and truly, everyone’s) need to find a mate and have children; from a very young age.

This never did set so well with Nettle. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but it rubbed him all wrong. Whilt he wasn’t against marriage, and would like to settle down with the right person…he wanted to do so with the right person. Not just the first person.

As he grew and aged it drew closer to the time when marriage would be expected- 22. In his tribe, all people should be married by 22. Any later and you are strongly looked down upon. Nettle has blue hair in a tribe of mostly green haired wildlings so many of the women of the tribe would bat their eyes and try to chat him up…he felt like he was nothing more than a trophy to these women and he didn’t care for that feeling at all.

In the night a few days before Nettle’s 22nd birthday he packed a few things into his knapsack and ran away. He could no longer take the pressure, and wouldn’t marry just anyone. He wanted to seek knowledge, find out more about the world, and perhaps…find the person who he was meant to be with.

Nettle left a note for his kin and he set out in a southward direction. (Alfar forest being in the NE corner of the continent of Daroka) He’d hoped to see other tribes of Wyldlings and perhaps find out more about their behaviors and traditions. He also had really hoped to learn more magick. He knew a few spells and delighted in all the potential of magick. Caught up in his own thoughts he tripped over something and fell flat on his face! The thing he tripped on yelped and scurried away…but as Nettle rolled over to rub his knee and nose he’d banged; this thing came up and licked his face! It was a dog. A skinny dog…he was cute…maybe Nettle could keep this dog. A companion would be nice. Yes. He’d keep this dog. Now what should his name be? Buttercup would be a fine name. Nettle had read about how many of the great magicians had familiars and perhaps Buttercup would be willing to be his familiar.

The next morning Nettle and Buttercup came across another tribe of Wyldlings. Nettle went to one of the elders and presented him with a few items and a few finding from Nettle’s wandering. Nettle asked this Elder for the magick that’s required to bond Buttercup to Nettle; the Familiar bond. This Elder was willing, and taught Nettle. The connection between Buttercup and Nettle became very strong, though not necessarily as strong as someone who might have started with a baby animal.

Nettle thanked the tribe and continued south. The more he traveled, the more he enjoyed adventuring. He sought out more magick and more adventure. The further away from Alfar forest he got, the less he thought about his tribe.

He came across the first (human) city he’d seen in his young life. He’d heard from the Elders that elves in the cities cover their hair for some reason….Nettle, being an elf (and a young elf at that!)…didn’t find it all that important, and didn’t listen very closely. He stopped before he got too close the gates and wrapped a length of cloth around his head, covering his hair. He thought his plan quite ingenious.

As he approached the city gates the guards’ men looked at him with a most peculiar expression. Nettle thought to himself “Ah. They must be impressed by my hair covering!” and walked all the taller and prouder. As he walked through the main street he’d never seen or smelled such a place. Everyone was looking at Nettle. Some were even whispering to each other and pointing at him. He was starting to think that perhaps they’d never seen an elf before. He’d just have to hide his disdain for the city a little better and be the best example of Elf-kind he could be.

Almost immediately upon thinking this thought he almost tripped into two glorious and very finely dressed elves. He gazed up at their ornate hair coverings and it quickly dawned on him why everyone had been looking at him with such gawking stares. City elves don’t just cover their hair, they do so with highly involved methods. A lesson Nettle learned that day. Needless to say…he left the city as quickly as possible.

~Character history submitted by Sevan B.