#five of waterdeep
Introduced a hot tiefling NPC tonight and the party literally got so h*rny for him they went stupid…
[Please do not use any art or characters as your own! This design belongs to my wife! I have free character art on my ko-fi instead <3!]
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My friend and I have a really dumb inside joke about Gale from Baldur's Gate 3 literally eating magic items
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Chapter 8- Welcome to this world.
In which our adventurers concluded their permanence in Nesmé with a bittersweet note.
A father is consumed by anger for losing a daughter, an innkeeper says goodbye to beloved clients and a sheep drowns her sorrows in food.
The adventure isn't over yet, though.
In the field were everything began, five people, so different and yet so similar, pronounced a silent promise.
The journey continues southward.
Next stop? Waterdeep.
#dnd #dungeonsanddragons #dndparty #allombradellalberochecrescera #intheshadeofthegrowingtree #partyshenanigans #aarakocra #dwarf #elf #halfelf #halfling #fdv #fdevitart
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We're already a decent large group, but due to over arching plot, three players recent brought back their old characters from a previous campaign for a storyline. Bringing us to nine players.
DM: "Okay, so we have a few ideas on what to do. What first?"
Paladin: "I have some contacts coming to meet me, so I think I have to do my down time here."
Sorcerer: "We need to got to Halrua and Waterdeep. I'm the only one who can teleport, so guess I'm doing those."
DM: "Wait, are we finally splitting the party?"
Monk 1: "I also need to do a ritual to attune to the moonblade."
Cleric: "I can teleport to Waterdeep, I just can't get back."
Sorcerer: "I can pick you up at the end of the week!"
Monk 2: "I wanna go to Waterdeep!"
DM: "...okay. Three way split. Not ideal, but--"
Monk 1: "I need to go to the forest for my ritual."
DM: "Four way split?"
Artificer: "I need research in Candlekeep. We still have that invitation, right?"
DM: "Okay...five way split."
Bard: "Six, technically. I'm on another plane."
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gale of waterdeep: romance guide
i’ve seen a lot of people mentioning that they couldn’t trigger gale’s romance either in the tags of my sets/art or in the general tags. i thought i would publish this short guide to help.
in total, there are five steps you need to keep in mind. i’ve tested this with two of my own characters, as well as with friends in multiplayer, and it does reliably trigger.
here’s the guide:
1. first conversation at camp
- recruit gale
- go to camp and do the first talk -> be sure to have your character selected before resting, if you accidentally selected gale or a different character before resting, the conversation will likely not not trigger.
- you can also do his player-intiated conversation at this point, it doesn’t matter which options you pick
2. mirror image scene
- go to recruit lae -> it doesn't actually matter if you recruit her or not, if you save the tieflings or kill them
- go to the grove and do the fight between the goblins and aradin’s party and the tieflings
- talk with zevlor and aradin -> again, it doesn't matter if you fail any checks or what you do, it's more about the steps than what options you pick
- talk with zevlor and accept to help or not -> gale can have a ! here if he's your only companion
- after this rest and you should get the mirror image scene
3. deer stew conversation
- save sazza, the goblin prisoner at the druid grove, by stepping in front of the crossbow and do gale's ! convo
- go to rest and you should get the deer stew convo
4. weave scene
- help guex, the tiefling who doesn't know how to fight, at the grove
- go and talk to arabella’s parents after the cutscene -> you can accept to help them or not because, again, this is more about the steps rather than any particular option
- trigger kagha and arabella's scene
-> it does not matter whether you manage to save her or not
- talk to arabella's parents again to complete the quest
- if you rest, you should get the weave scene
-> if not, try to see if your approval is too high or too low. you can get the weave scene either on high or very high. if you are too high you can attack gale and you should loose approval with him.
-> also important: you can explore the ruins or another area than the grove and do a smaller quest in a different sector of the map (save mirkon, explore the ruins, explore the owlbear cave for example) if the weave scene hasn’t triggered. be sure to rest outside in a forest area. the weave scene doesn't seem to trigger at other camp environments.
- if you’ve triggered the weave scene, you are free to explore the game as you see fit
5. loss scene
- loss scene should happen naturally after that, don’t worry about it too much
- try to explore the map and rest after big fights
i hope i could help anyone who is struggling with triggering gale’s romance. let me know if this was helpful to you, or if you have any questions! 🖤
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This is my character for a one-shot we are doing: “The Real Housewives of Candlekeep”
Our spouses are wizards, professors at Candlekeep University, and are up for tenure. Rebekah Pinewarden, the infamous wife of the esteemed Headmaster, invites us all for a retreat/getaway in her private island off the coast of Chult. We all have to make a good impression on her if we even want our spouses to have a shot at tenure—and there’s only one person who will get it!
This one-shot is gonna be pure shenanigans and I love it. I’m playing the illustrious Sofia Amastacia, a tiefling warlock…of the Fathomless. Her horns are pure crystal, in her youth she was a pageant queen (winner of Miss Waterdeep for five consecutive years), and is in a contractual marriage with her husband (although she has caught feelings). The depths of the ocean call her, she unwittingly made a pact with something deep down…will she able to keep it a secret in their island get-together? While impressing Rebekah Pinewarden so that maybe her husband can see her in a different light?
We will find out this Saturday in “The Real Housewives of Candlekeep”
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On writing Gale
It’s very tricky (and scary!) to venture into a new fandom, but I think the trickiest thing might be getting down a new character’s voice. That is to say, I’ve been trying to figure out Gale, and here a few things I thought I’d share:
1. Wordiness. Why say it in five words when you can say it in twenty?
2. Exaggeration. Things are ‘most excellent!’ and ‘the finest in all of Waterdeep!’
3. Storytelling. This one’s a given. Talking about your feelings? Boring. Trying to show someone you understand how they feel? Ugh. Better to just tell a story and hope they catch your meaning.
4. Emphasis. More italicized words in sentences than a Mercedes Lackey novel.
5. Gesticulating while talking. This can make for awkward writing, as it’s not always easy to know when to add in the pointing finger or the dramatic sweeping of the hands, but you know in your heart it should be in there, somewhere.
What do you think, Gale-writers?
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Paultin gets the Ring of Winter again, in Waterdeep, in the place where he knows he's not safe but he hoped, for once in this Perkins-damned campaign, that he'd be given a break.
(He doesn't think about how by Perkins's terms, managing to unattune to it in the first place might be considered a break, managing to get out of there without having actually killed his friends by his own hand instead of just being useless and worthless and another fucking burden for them to carry- he doesn't think about how that might be mercy. He doesn't.)
Nope, focusing on the now, not the Perkins. (It won't change anything, whispers a nasty little voice in the back of his head. Perkins is focusing on you.)
He stands up as fast as he can, tries to keep his hands away from the Ring even as he can't look away, tries to keep the note of panic out of his voice as he asks where the guy got that?
The reply is meaningless. He knows what the Ring would be saying if he put it on. Frosted golden promises of a world to himself, a world he could shape to his every whim, and all he has to do to enter the doorway is step over the bodies of his friends. And the more he listens, the more reasonable it sounds.
And then the Ring is on him, and it's so cold it feels like it's burning, and everything fades until Evelyn. He cares about Evelyn so goddamn much. If it's a choice between a five foot nothing blonde paladin with an axe nearly as big as she is who has a habit of going on annoying as hell tangents about Lathander or the sun, well. There are spells to help with darkvision.
Evelyn tells him to put the Ring down, and- and- he does, it's off, he's himself, it's okay, and he can ignore the way his hands shake at the impression of a smile from the Game Master he shouldn't have any idea exists. As long as he has a drink.
He shouldn't keep drinking. He's tried to quit before, though, and- No. He's thought about trying to quit.
Eh, that's close enough, right?
Regardless, here he fucking is, standing in the middle of the street next to the woman he's too much of a coward to say he even cares about unless it's her life on the line with his hands clenched into fists while it snows and snows and snows in midsummer and he can't look away from the Ring of Winter.
You could pick it up again, he hears, and knows those words aren't directed at him. He flips off the sky anyway - the No he couldn't! I wouldn't let him! is cold (hah) comfort.
Oh, you don't want to? Hisses into his mind, and he is so goddamn done with how fast Perkins pulled on the Ring voice. It's like he thinks Paultin's dumb enough to forget it was his voice whispering to him through that horrific time in the Shadowfell he'd spent starving to death and drowning in apathy, his hand that lifted the sword that killed his parents, that if he puts on an accent and talks sweetly enough through shining frozen gold Paultin will forget all about the hell Perkins put him through and jump at the chance for a happy ending.
His hands are beginning to hurt. He doesn't want to unclench his fists, though, because he knows he's weak, and right now he'd rather freeze to death and break his hands than risk opening them for Perkins to drop the Ring into like it's a gift.
Paultin, in case it wasn't clear by this point, hates Perkins.
He hates Perkins more than anyone he's ever met in this world, even Van-fucking-Richten, and Paultin turned down a slow-falling spell to use that guy as a crash pad.
Well. Maybe Perkins is on par with Van Dickhead. Still a total asshole, though.
"Are you okay?" Evelyn asks, looking concerned and not terrified or furious like his mind likes to paint her at night when he hasn't had enough to drink yet for blackness to take over.
He half-shrugs stiffly, still unable to look away from the Ring.
"We need to destroy that thing."
Gods and greater, he needs a drink.
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Fandom: Baldur's Gate
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Astarion/Female Charname (Baldur's Gate), Astarion (Baldur's Gate)/Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Enemies to Lovers, Belligerent Sexual Tension, Vampires, a cinnamon roll just trying their best, a rat bastard boi, Eventual Romance, Fluff, (unwilling) redemption arc (sort of)
“Why are you like this?” he asked, suddenly.
Rosalie looked surprised at the question. Astarion continued, “you asked me two days ago why I’m such a terrible, evil, heartless man, but why are you so…” he gestured at her, she frowned bemusedly, and he sighed, “you know. Nice. Idealistic -”
“I was going to say naive,” he grumbled. “You’re a scribe in Waterdeep, but for some reason that desk job has reduced your sense of self-preservation to a fucking line in the sand. Why?”
Rosalie opened her mouth, paused for a second, glanced at him distrustingly. “Are you asking just to annoy me, or do you actually want to know?”
“No, please, Foxglove, enlighten me. I beg of you.”
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im the worst DM and just draw campaign memes
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A Little Bit Like Home
You moving to school has been tougher than Calum would like to admit but there are some moments that make it easier to bear, there are small moments where it’s not so bad.
A continuation of these two blurbs (Blurb 1 and Blurb 2) Again it’s hella self indulgent. Inspired what really happened to me in my DnD campaign, see this post.
**Contains spoilers for the Waterdeep Heist from Dungeons & Dragons if you are currently playing that module!!!**
Enjoy my masterlist!
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“Can I make a perception check on the walls? See if there’s anything else funky in this room?” you ask, clicking over in your browser tab to the dice roller. The DM allows you to make that call and you click on the d20.
“Your the only one rolling well on those things tonight,” one member of your party, playing an Orc sent out to learn magic and getting packed in with your ragtag group, notes after their failed attempt to pick the lock. You managed to pick that that too, but you chalk it up to you being a Drow Rogue and lock picking being one of your skills.
“18,” you call out, looking back at your character sheet to make sure you’ve done the math correctly.
“18?” The DM asks, just to be sure. You nod. “Okay, so you look around the room and there’s not really anything worth noting besides some dirt and blood. But no traps, no buttons in this room.”
“This room,” the entire party echoes laughing. The six of you have just survived barely a lightning trap. Which you still refuse to admit to setting up, but it was definitely you since as the marching order had you in front.
“We’re going to have to go back to that mimic room,” the paladin of your group declares. Your party was warned that the room at the start of your adventure in this hell of a magic maze could be a trap and a mimic could be in the depths of it. But there was a chest still yet to be opened. However, you took the advice of your Orc and backed out of that room to avoid a fight just yet.
Your previous encounters in other rooms leaving some of your party is better shape than others. This early in your adventure together the five of you didn’t really want to risk loosing anyone just yet. Lightening and your pirates love of ale seemed to be your only foe at the moment.
“We should maybe just see what’s in here first,” Calum, playing as a Druid, counters. “Though it seems like if we find yet another key to a door that’s already been picked, it’s might be useless.”
You know the tease is directed at you. “Hey, look here buddy, I will not hesitate to shoot a quiver into your ass. I see a lock I’m going to pick it,” you defend.
“Besides,” your party’s pirate starts, “we’ve ducked a lot of rooms afraid of getting into another fight. If they pick a lock or two and we find the key later, at least we can add to the Bard’s collection.”
“Thank you,” you laugh.
Soon your party’s able to direct their attention back on the adventure and magic maze you’ve found yourself in. You and Calum end up smashing mirrors in a room to avoid any sort of magic in them that would cause your party to fight your soul doubles. This leads to a five minute debate of how to leave said room that didn’t involve shoving the unicorn that your party was tasked with finding up someone’s ass due to a riddle unveiled, Everything you see is mine.
“Wait,” you say, laughing at the argument about who can fit the unicorn into their mouth. It was deemed to be more dignified. Your pirate waits outside the room, still naked thanks to the magic that rips all the clothes, weapons, and armor off of anyone that attempts to leave the room. “Everything you see is mine. If the mirrors are smashed, then nothing can be seen right?”
“No, shards can be face up, so technically things can be seen,” the party’s Bard counters.
“No, no, you’re onto to something,” the pirate starts.
“Oh my god, we’re so fucking dumb,” the orc hollers. “Someone cover their eyes. You means us. Anything we can see can’t leave the room.”
Thankfully, you’re still dressed having only attempted to leave the room and letting others continue with their naked escapades. “Holy shit,” you shriek as you direct to your DM how you cover your face with your hood and hold it tight around your eyes so you can’t see anything and step through the door. You’re able to cross completely clothed, swords, crossbow, and pack still in tact.
“We’re so fucking STUPID,” you laugh.
Calum’s giggle cuts through the speakers of your laptop. “How were we so prepared to just be fucking naked through the rest of this maze?” He directs to the DM that he redresses, having also attempted several times to brute force the magic door with no success.
“We never speak of that,” the orc demands through their own laughter. “Never.”
The party comes to a stopping point about another hour later, saying goodbyes before leaving the Zoom meeting. Not even thirty seconds later after ending that call, an incoming FaceTime call comes from Calum. You answer it, wiping at the corner of your eyes. He’s grinning as the call finally connects. The weekend that Calum came up to visit, a friend in the cohort asked you if you’d be willing to going a beginner’s campaign. You had wanted to give the game a whirl but you knew it would be a time suck and asked if it was okay to bring someone else along too.
After getting a yes from the DM you know you had to convince Calum to join in. It took less effort than you thought for him to join in and the two of you spent a couple hours the night before picking out your characters before you emailed the information back to the DM. Now every Saturday night you and Calum spend about three hours in a Zoom getting into all sorts of trouble. He settled easily on the Druid but spent forever trying to find an artist rendering of his character, Okolian, that felt right. Long black hair with streaks of white was a must along with a single braid as well, which he stole from your character’s look though your hair is all white.
Slowly, it was decided that Okolian would have blue skin muscular, but not overly buff and refused to wear sleeves in order to wear leather arm bands around his biceps which could easily be mistaken for tattoos or markings of his people. Okolian prefers his staff but is also armed with a sickle and mace. The Calum touch of course was to add ferns rather than feathers.
“I can’t believe you were going to let me be the one to have to figure out the unicorn,” Calum teases.
“Hey, it was only six inches. Not that bad.”
He sputters his laughter. “Is that payback for calling you out for picking all the locks?”
“I would never do such a thing but maybe.”
“Anything else on the agenda for tonight?”
“No not really. Whatever work there is out in the world, I’ll get to it tomorrow. What about you? The night’s still young.”
Calum shrugs. “A friend was supposed to get back to me about drinks tonight, but I haven’t heard anything yet. If he gets back within the hour or so, I’ll probably tag along but if not, it’s not a big deal. But you never did tell me about last night. How’d that go?”
You cover your face for a second, remember how many drinks were consumed the night previously. Calum laughs at the slightly panicked look that crosses your face. “There was two drinks too many past my usual limit and I felt it. Big time,” you answer.
He’s glad to hear you getting out more. It’s in turned made him feel a bit better about getting back to his normal routine, getting dinner more with the guys or other friends. Missing you doesn’t hurt so bad anymore for Calum. He feels most often right before he’s going to bed, when he’d normally curl up into your side and open his arms wide for you to curl up into him. But it hurts less during the day.
Getting used to the cohort and getting out a couple Friday’s in the month has helped you as well. You don’t feel so chained to your phone, don’t feel so beholden to being there for every text right away. It’s still hard when you start to cook dinner and almost reach out for a second plate still by habit. And in the morning when you’re fixing your cup of coffee your brain still wants to pull down a second cup. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you just give in because you need it. Need to let yourself sit with those feelings.
“I’ll be sticking with cider after last night,” you tease. “Wine makes me myself too much. Never doing that again.”
Calum’s been privileged to see you wine drunk a couple of times and he can already imagine the type of trouble you nearly got yourself in. “Is your picture on the wall at the bar?”
“Not that bad, but close,” you giggle.
“What am I going to do with you?”
It’s just a joke but for a moment it makes you pause--what’s going to happen when you go back for break? Are things going to be different? Most of your clothes and things are still there though slowly more and more has been shipped to you. Is Duke going to remember you? Miss you too?
“Promise me the house isn’t too different?”
Calum furrows his brows, head titling just a little to the side. “What do you mean, baby?”
“Like without me, is it all going to be different when I come back?”
“It’s all pretty much the same here. Duke’s the king of the castle. Still have plenty of hoodies for you to steal and your side of the bed still misses you. I still miss you.”
“No, I--I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like I don’t want you to find ways to cope but I don’t know. What if it never feels right? Like so much has been missed that I just won’t ever fit in again?”
Calum shakes his head. “Babe, no. You still belong. Your shoes still have space in the closet. Your mugs still sit in the cabinets. There is so much of you still here--it’s how I get through the days.”
Maybe that’s what’s rough for you. There’s not much of Calum at your place. There’s none of his dirty laundry that’s halfway hanging of laundry baskets and there’s no bass rumbling and there’s snoring next to you at night. It’s all you, which is nice. But you wish you had a little bit of Calum too.
“There’s none of you here,” you say softly.
“I can fix that.” It’s a steady confidence, a nod of his head at statement. “Don’t you worry.”
You two steer the conversation to something lighter before you call it a night. And it’s harder to get up the next morning, to peel yourself out of the sheets. But you do it, you push up with a grunt and get your day started. Coffee, a quick bowl of cereal and fruit. You call Calum right before lunch to check in and then get back to work.
As the days pass, the conversation the ache gets buried in some stress. However, you get a text about a package to get from the lockers at the front of your complex so shuffle down the path thinking it’s the new mattress pad you ordered. It shipped late last week but you hadn’t expected it to arrive this soon.
As the door swings open to the locker you spy Calum’s handwritten on the label of the package. What the hell had be gone and done? You pick up the box and kick the door close with your foot before taking it back up to your apartment. Setting the box down on the kitchen counter, you find the scissors and cut into it. Right on top is a small envelope with your name scribbled across it.
You said you didn’t have anything of me. So I knew I had to correct that. I hope they help. And a little thing from the old man, well not from him. But you’ll understand when you get to that.
Digging into the box, you notice a few guitar pics, a couple extra t-shirt and then a long thin box. You pick it up, noticing it looks like a necklace. But with Calum you never can be sure. As you crack it open, you laugh, finding a gold chain staring up at you, attach to it is a tiny locket that as a paw print on it. You crack it open though and find a tiny picture of Calum and you inside of it and your eyes well with tears. It’s from your last vacation before you left for school, just two of you reclined on the beach and Calum kissing your temple.
You draft a text to Calum. Tell Duke it feels like home now.
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MY TIME HAS COME.
So my baby, Adynerhys Aristiza -“Ady”- is 3/4th elf (half-elf stats) aka “mostly elvish” chaotic good level 17 college of lore bard (our party started with Dragon Heist, then Avernus, now in a home brew back in Waterdeep/the Feywild)
She’s a five foot nothing spitfire with a penchant for cheap wine, puns, and generally running her stupid mouth. She sings but instrument of choice is a violin and she recently won her friend’s soul back from a Devil in a fiddle contest (yes....it was just a giant Devil Went Down to Georgia reference that my DM leaned into and it was AWESOME).
She’s a flighty disaster who is extremely competent as a bard but. You’d never guess. and I’m obsessed with her. She’s really not here to fuck shit up, but it just happens sometimes??? Shes actually not the most chaotic in the party and sometimes even the voice of reason. She’s a member of the Harpers, She has an NPC boyfriend (Renaer Neverember,for all you cool cats and kittens who are familiar with Dragon Heist/WD in general) who loves her oft-neurotic “”artist”” ass for reasons she still cannot comprehend,(and the running joke being she’s only a Horny Bard when in a committed relationship and just to her partner 😂), and Jarlaxle Baenre is her chaotic bisexual uncle (more like a godfather, he was good friends with her dad) whom she refers to as “Buncle”(bi uncle). She’s become prison pen pals at least twice with people the party has fought and beat and had arrested??? The bar the party ended up owning is partially named after her and the other elf in the party because they were supposed to investigate a seedy area and instead somehow ended up getting bottle service at a dive and got white girl wasted,used themselves as bait, and almost got killed by a fireball. (The bar is called The Two Drunk Elves 👯♀️). Oh she got really fucked up when they went to Avernus on multiple occasions and earned epithets such as “the Gored, the Bitten, the Stung, the Chomped, the Monched etc etc” because of that.
Anyway that’s a novel, but I could talk about her all day she’s my absolute favorite she’s such a shithead 🥰thank you for coming to my TedTalk 💜💜💜
Level 17??? Damn congrats on getting so far with a character still standing (rip to my poor level 11 tiefling who was beheaded by aboleth) yes omg I love the devil went down to Georgia inspired contest hahah. “She’s not really here to fuck shit up, but it just happens sometimes” is one of the most relatable things I’ve ever read. Ady sounds like the most free-spirited and chaotic person ever I’m so happy that she exists oh my god. Thank you for sharing with me!!
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If your characters had to go on a vacation, where would they go?
oh wow, there’s a question.
it’s actually a plot point in our campaign right now that my rogue, Katernin, has never actually left Waterdeep before, and doing so has made her very anxious and insecure about her place in the party because she’s really tailored all of her skills to work around knowing one particular city really well. her idea of a vacation is, honestly, having a week or two with no pressing responsibilities, dragging her friends out to street fairs and festivals and food carts as much as she likes.
on the other hand my warlock, Mina, has been travelling pretty much constantly for years; something like five or six years now? and before that she was stuck at a boarding school she didn’t like much, and before that her house got burned down and her parents were killed on account of being Very Evil. I don’t think she needs a vacation; she needs a home.
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oh boy y'all.
so D&D last night.
AKA: The One Where the Party Was Very Suspicious of the Wrong Person.
So the party (minus Yara, but plus my new burglar, Shamys, who's a tabaxi rogue/thief) got hired to get some valuable cargo off of a ship that got fucked up in a storm like... a few years ago i guess? They thought it had sunk, but then someone spotted it with its masts all broken off, still just drifting. So we get hired to see if the original owner's property is still onboard, and recover it if we can.
Good times to be had by all.
Anyway, it's supposed to be a three day journey to where the ship was, ended up taking us five days because of various shenanigans. But when we got on the ship, the captain was like "Crew only on deck, passengers need to stay below in your cabins."
And our gunslinger Bree was Not Having That. She left the cabin like three times on the first day alone and had to be forcibly returned. Eventually, the crew tried to lock us in so she couldn't keep annoying them. And Shamys let Bree attempt to pick the lock without any thieves tools for a while because it was kinda funny, before showing off her Particular Set of Skills™ and unlocking the door effortlessly with my fucking +10 expertise. god i love being a rogue.
So Bree at this point is like.... super suspicious of the crew for some reason. She's like 100% convinced that they are hiding something or they're taking us somewhere that's not where we're supposed to be going or some shit. And the fact that the crew did allow us passengers up on deck in the early evening somehow just made her more suspicious. Like, obviously there's something nefarious going on and it's definitely not just that this crew of professional sailors doesn't want a bunch of idiots who don't know how to sail getting underfoot 😂
And just to further show off, Shamys decided to show them all how sneaking around places you're not supposed to be is done, and stealthed her way to the galley, stole some snacks and booze, and snuck back to the cabins without anyone seeing her. It was great.
So around this time we start getting to actually talking to each other. The party asks Shamys a little bit about her background. She tells them that she's new to Saltmarsh (true), and is from Waterdeep (true), where her family mostly all work in uhhhh "acquisitions" (true), and she ended up in Saltmarsh because she fucked up a job and had to skip town (absolute lie).
And the party, one of whom fairly recently found out one of their friends has been a pirate and lied to them for weeks about it, just accepted this without question. Not even an Insight Check.
In actual fact, the reason Shamys is in Saltmarsh is because she was hired by a mysterious benefactor to get information on the party. Her employer told her that the party stole an important artifact of Umberlee's from him (which, kind of, i guess), and she got 500 gp up front with a promise of an additional 1000 gp for information. She's supposed to find out what their abilities are, and what weaknesses they may have.
So after Shamys gave her brief and unchallenged introduction, she asked how long this group had been adventuring together. At which point the boys proceeded to introduce themselves and tell me what all their talents are. I shit you not. I took like three pages of notes on the things that Shamys learned in that conversation alone, without me having to even ask more than "So how long have you guys been adventuring?" Eoleo who's a level 4 monk, level 1 cleric even mentioned that he had some magic abilities but he wasn't really sure how they even worked like, my dude.
god we're so fucked when this whole Primewater thing comes around again and i've done a very good job of selling a lot of information to our enemy without having to try that hard
I can't believe they gave the ship captain the third degree over not wanting our chucklefuck asses on the deck when he's trying to work, but just spilled their guts to the literal spy in their midst.
this was only the first third of the session y'all.
I need to split my word vomit up into a couple posts for this, there was so much last night 😂
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Nobody goes here but I wrote about Wyll and Gelrinn because I gotta get those words out somehow.
Read on Ao3
Gelrinn didn’t know what this new emotion was. They had never had time to really explore this kind of thing, yet alone meet people whom they deemed worth giving attention to. They didn’t really think of other people beyond the needs of the moment, alliances that could be used and left behind, people to be deceived or persuaded or changed or, at worst, challenged. There was nobody in Gelrinn’s life that had stayed in it for longer than five years, and there was nobody in their life that they would have wanted to know them well enough to be more than a passing note, a step to ascend past, leave behind.
They didn’t think this was a bad thing, as such. Not something worse losing sleep over, certainly. Some people were more useful than others, some people served their purpose more quickly than others. Sometimes people stayed for longer, sometimes they viewed Gelrinn as a friend, opened their homes to them, wrote letters that remained un-replied to for months later. There were people for certain that remembered the face that had been showed to them with a sadness, some others with an anger that comes from the rejection of intimacy. Gelrinn understood it, but did not waste time worrying about the feelings of people that did not aid their needs anymore.
This was the first time Gelrinn had ever conceived of wanting somebody in their life… just because.
Wyll was handsome, that was the simple reading of it, but handsome had never really swayed them in any real sense before. Sure, it was easier to allow somebody to indulge their desires if they looked good, but Gelrinn had never really found a reason to pursue another person just for that. Sex was another tool, not necessarily unpleasant, but not something that would drive a decision, nor cloud one. Yet they found themselves thinking of Wyll’s smile, how it curved more on one side than the other, how softly and openly he smiled when training with the tiefling children when the other humans were obviously giving them a wide berth. But a smile had never tempted them before, not the cunning smile of their old runner Conwallis who lay with them for twenty nights back in Waterdeep, nor the soft sweet smile of their first kiss Amelia, the kind quiet daughter of the tavern master back home who gave her pittance of an earning to hear Gelrinn spin a new tale. They’d never held a place for either of them, not based on a smile or a sweet face.
Wyll was noble. Sort of. Or at least came from a background where noble ideas ruled. Ideas around etiquette and heroism and being the best, the boldest, the richest, the most revered. The folk hero act wasn’t completely convincing, at least not to them; there was something that was always off about a hero who proclaimed that they were a hero of the people. Surely that was for others to decide, not he? At least he did seem to want to live by those ideals; even if Gelrinn wasn’t convinced he (or indeed anybody) was actually capable of being a hero in that vein, Wyll wanted to do the best by people. That was obvious. The nobility part interested them for the wrong reasons, almost certainly. Gelrinn had never seen a noble step outside of their cosy life for anything except sex or drink or some other nefarious reason, but Wyll seemed to want to do it to really make an impact on the world. That made him… different.
Will was a noble, but did not hold conceits like a noble. Well, outside of the obsession with heroism. Gelrinn always thought it was easy for noble people to get drunk on the stories of heroes, to see only the valor and none of the necessity. Back in childhood, they had heard all of the same stories, but away from the comforts of Halfling homes they had a different side to them. All Gelrinn saw in the stories of becoming a hero was the need to escape, and that was what had always driven them forward to take on work, to barter for more coin, to memorialise their own exploits, to take on new faces and be other than what everybody else saw them as. To be a hero was an excuse for constant reinvention, not to plug themselves into a myth, a story, and be the man or woman of the hour. Better to be Adriana the sweet noble ward one day, and then to be the street urchin Angus another. Better to be able to take on the conflicting contracts and take money on both. Better to take the gamble you could win, not the gamble you would always lose.
Wyll was a warlock. Not that he had told them yet, but it was obvious. The greeting he had received at the burning inn, the stories he had told about a sudden change in fortune. It had taken Gelrinn over twenty years of study to become the adventurer they were today, and still there would be study for the rest of their life. To have the talent on the field he possessed took extraordinary, gods-given talents, or taking those talents from the jaws of a lion. This, if Gelrinn were to be honest with themselves, was what intrigued them the most about Wyll. It was one thing to be a hero, a man of valour, but to be one that had struck a deal with a devil for the privilege? They had known many warlocks over the years, many who walked between planes with their power and privilege. None of them had ever done it for noble reasons, and there were doubts in their mind that Wyll was any different. For sure, if you do noble things with your gift that should be all that matters, but there was something about the fear in his eyes when he spoke of his path, of the doubt the flickered when he lingered, looking to the camp and to his compatriots, that compelled Gelrinn beyond any man they had ever met before.
Wyll was a conundrum. Perhaps Gelrinn wasn’t attracted to him at all, they thought with a grin, maybe it was all just another puzzle to unpick, another bet to make. Would he fall to his patron, was his action on this realm pleasing to them at all? Or would he make the real heroes sacrifice and try to break free? There, Gelrinn realised, was the rub. When they thought of the idea of Wyll giving up any part of himself, of putting himself in any more danger than they already did every day, it ate away at them like this damn tadpole in the brain. It was not enough of an explanation to say it was purely a game of chance. This was one they wanted to load the dice in, to change the outcome for. This, Gelrinn realised with a grimace, was somebody who they might even put themselves in the path of danger to protect.
Wyll was something more to them than they had anticipated, wanted, desired, or experienced before. And it was not a welcome feeling.
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Characters: Halsin/OMC, Halsin/Ketheric, Wyll, Shadowheart, Volo
After a night of passion, Halsin and Langoth return to camp to find their companions have also made the most of the night's revelry.
But something is bothering the ranger and finally, he asks his lover Halsin about his past with the enigmatic Ketheric Thorm. There is always more to the story...
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
Mary Oliver, The Uses of Sorrow
They did not sleep that night, the night that forever afterward Halsin would call their wedding night, only half-joking. In silence as deep as the sky’s blackness, they watched the stars wheel and fade. Held each other tightly on the stone table as the celebration in camp raged and then dwindled. Listened to the small sounds of rustling animals and the first sweet notes of dawn’s chorus.
“My favorite time of day,” he told Langoth. “There’s no match for the dawnsong of high summer. The finest symphony ever composed.”
The ranger smiled, distantly. “It reminds me of the first time,” he said, his voice so soft it was nearly below hearing. “I had never experienced anything like it--like you.”
The morning light caught Langoth’s long, chestnut hair, gilding it, bathing his face in a warm golden glow. Halsin’s breath caught in his throat. He had been awestruck by the youth’s beauty that first night in the High Forest. Just as he was now.
“Nor I you,” he said. He took Langoth’s face in his hands and whispered roughly, uncouthly, “I want you again.”
The elf leaned into his embrace, breath hot on Halsin’s neck. “Then take me.”
Halsin growled and straddled him, looming above the slighter man, his broad shoulders blocking the rising sun. They were both still bare from the waist up and he raked his fingers down the ranger’s chest as he bent to kiss him ravenously. Langoth gasped at the mingled sensation of Halsin’s rough hands and plunging kiss; his hips rose to brush the front of the druid’s pants, finding him already hard. He ground up against him in slow, firm strokes, provoking a groan from deep in Halsin’s throat.
“You don’t realize what you do to me,” Halsin gasped. “Gods.”
The youth just smiled as though he knew precisely his effect on the druid and pulled Halsin’s muscled ass closer to him and thrusting faster, harder.
The feeling of Langoth’s own desire pressing and stroking against his own was nearly enough to finish him. But before that could happen, Halsin grabbed him around the waist and flipped him onto his belly, jerking down his leather breeches as the elf moaned beneath him. The birdsong around them was in full throated climax as he plunged into him, feeling the elf’s sublime tightness barely giving way to his thick cock. Langoth exclaimed, in both pain and pleasure, as Halsin thrust mercilessly, driven by blind need.
“Langoth,” he murmured; he knew how his lover enjoyed hearing his own name on Halsin’s lips. The ranger cried out in response and Halsin pulled him closer, wrapping his muscled arm around his chest. In contrast to last night, his peak was building slowly, inexorably, like a wall rising stone by stone.
The rising sun struck the table, bathing them both in an orange glow. His lover was beautiful beneath him, his strong back rippling in the soft dawning light. Halsin tracked the muscles with his hand and then slid it down below to stroke his member. The ranger gasped, thrusting eagerly against his touch, and they moved as one.
Langoth’s breath quickened, shoulders faltered. As he felt his lover come, Halsin himself lost control; with one thrust, and then another, he finished, gasping, on the elf’s back.
The chorus had abated and the sun’s rays had mellowed. Langoth sat up beside him, leaning close. “We should get back before the others wake,” he said.
“I do hope Astarion hasn’t waited up for you,” Halsin said. He didn’t even try to suppress his laughter, though he knew it was unkind.
Langoth was more circumspect but a ghost of a smile played on his lips as he said, “I’m certain he had no shortage of other entertainments last night.”
No one stirred at the camp when they returned--no one, except--
“The hero returns! Ah, and the wise and mighty king of druids, Master Halsin! I’ve a new stanza to celebrate your victory, good sirs, only I struggle to find a word that rhymes with ‘muscular,’ and I feel I would be derelict in my sacred commission as bard and poet if I failed to mention Master Halsin’s particular, ah, physical qualities… and allusion simply doesn’t suffice, I don’t think, when it comes to his spectacular form!”
He thought he heard Langoth mutter, “It’s far too early for this.” But it might have only been his imagination.
“Druids do not have kings,” Halsin explained to Volo, for at least the third time since they had met last week. “And you needn’t talk about my, er, form. Though I am flattered.”
“Of course you and I know druids don’t have kings,” Volo said, as though Halsin were being quite stupid. “But we need to remember our audience doesn’t have the sophistication required to understand the ‘first amongst equals’ principle espoused by the druids, et cetera. Oh! It’s so obvious. ‘Muscle,’ singular--rhymes with ‘tussle.’ Perfection!” Volo strummed a chord on his lute with a fervor that was frankly alarming and Halsin instinctively looked around for an exit.
“Right, I need to wash,” he said, heading for the river. “Goodbye.”
“I also need to see to a--personal matter. Gods keep you, Volo,” Langoth called behind his shoulder. “I will remember how you left me out in the cold just now,” he added under his breath, even as the corner of his lips twitched. Halsin’s heart lurched pleasantly and he turned his gaze back toward the rushing water of the Chionthar, already slipping out of his tunic.
“I would aid you against any enemy in the deepest dungeon of the Underdark,” Halsin said. “But you’re on your own with the bard.”
They bathed together in the rushing stream, Langoth capering on the rocks and diving into the deep pool under a cataract as Halsin watched. The water was cold and bracing and Halsin couldn’t resist enjoying it in his bear form; there was simply no comparison to experiencing the icy rush of the river running through his thick fur. He changed back once he emerged, dripping, onto the shore, Langoth close behind in his smallclothes.
“Someone was up late,” a smooth voice teased. The Blade of the Frontiers emerged from his tent, wearing a lopsided grin and little else. He had a bowl of streaky, grayish gruel that looked distinctly unappetizing. But then, a human would eat nearly anything.
“Ah. Did you... enjoy the celebration?” Langoth asked, color rising to his cheeks. But then, from behind Wyll, the haughty cleric called Shadowheart emerged from the tent, cheeks even redder than Langoth’s, if it were possible. Her lips were still stained purple from last night’s cheap wine. Halsin’s head nearly throbbed in sympathy.
“Evidently so,” Halsin remarked. The young people were so obviously uncomfortable that he almost laughed. But then he remembered his own tenderness and shame in his youth and his heart softened for them. “Gods, but we’ve earned some respite, have we not? And much still lies ahead.”
The others eagerly seized on this line of discussion and a profusion of enthusiastic, if stilted, comments followed about battles fought, foes defeated, and speculation of those still to come. Halsin enjoyed seeing Langoth with his companions, his earnest expressions, the innocence of his words. Finally, the young people extricated themselves from their rhetorical bondage and all sauntered off in different directions, Langoth grabbing his elbow as they went.
The youth didn’t want to let him out of his sight and this, too, was touching. He had all the hours of the day for his lover, whose face was a song of which he could never tire. In contrast to Volo’s forced rhymes.
They laid their clothes to dry in a sunny spot by the river and Halsin rested beneath a friendly looking ash tree and closed his eyes. He asked its name with a minute scratch of his thumb against the bark and it answered; a name that sounded like the rustling of acorns against one another in the mellowness of autumn. A lovely name, one he committed to memory. Halsin sighed, the sun warming his chest, grateful to be alive on such a day.
“Are you just going to meditate now?” Langoth’s voice came from leagues away. Halsin opened his eyes. “Only… I had a question.”
He regarded Langoth, ready for nearly anything.
“You said before that you had defeated Ketheric but it seemed as though perhaps you knew him, once. Do you--is there...?”
“‘Is there more to the story?’ you mean?”
Langoth bit the inside of his cheek, mustering his nerve. “Well, is there?”
Halsin leaned back against the ash who was named after a sound of acorns rustling, feeling every year of his five centuries. “There is always more to the story,” he said.
“Tell me,” Langoth said softly, looking at his hands. He sensed the story was troubling, and he was not wrong. Halsin thought Langoth was probably rarely wrong when it came to troubling things. They whispered to the secret wound he carried in his breast, like calling to like. Halsin sighed.
“Of course I shall tell you if you wish to know,” he said. And yet, even as he spoke the words, he was unsure if he should. “It all began in Waterdeep,” he began.
Have you been? Magic runs through that city, and I feel it in my marrow whenever I cross into its wards. The city was built on a mountain of mithral, on the ashes of a forgotten citadel of Illefarn. Ancient seams of blood and magic run beneath it. You can hear it, like a ringing in your ears.
There was some reason for me to be there, but I barely recall it. All I now remember is him. And what came after, of course.
I spurned the inn, as I always do. Too much comfort has always seemed suspicious to me, as have affections exchanged for coin. Yet there is precious little nature left in Waterdeep, so I took my repose in a graveyard, under the open sky. The only place in the city where one could find a tree.
They were sad and lonely, those trees: a weeping willow, a scrawny, leafless box, and a twisted old yew. The yew had gone mad from loneliness--yews are prone to madness in any case, but this one was particularly ill. Perhaps that is why the priests of Shar claimed this particular graveyard for their rituals. The yew had seeped its poison into the very ground and it was a dark and morbid place. Full of shadows. Now I wonder if the sick yew wasn’t in some indirect way the genesis of all that’s happened since.
I watched them under the cover of a glamour so that I seemed to their eyes like a stone gargoyle warding a tomb. They were initiating a half-elf and his terror carried on the wind. I could smell it. He was barely grown, undernourished. His voice was strong though, and surprisingly deep, like the low roll of the tide coming in from the sea’s depths.
I’ve been alive long enough to learn not to cast easy judgments. Shar and her dark worship--what were such things to me? Was it so different to swear oneself to the Dark One as it was to the Lady of Pain? Or the Lord of the Dead? But something in this ritual chilled me.
It felt as though… this dark ritual had meaning beyond its meaning. My mother had the gift of foresight and some little of it passed to me. I cannot see the future as though I were watching a play, as she did. But I can often sense danger, or tidings of happiness to come. It’s kept me alive, more times than I can count, this gift. And now, it filled me with dread. The dread of a hundred kingdoms falling. A dread worse than mere death or danger. The dread of a coming apocalypse.
The half-elf turned and even in the gloom of the moonless night, I recognized his face. For my mother had shown me this face when I was a boy, in the final moments of her life. She met a violent end--but that, I will speak of another time. I had believed she showed his face to me because he was my destiny. But perhaps she showed me because he would be my doom.
In my shock, the glamour slipped. Only the half-elf saw me. And I recovered so that when he turned back I was once again disguised as senseless stone.
Perhaps that would have been the end of all if I had left it alone. But destiny carves a path before itself, one we mortals are incapable of altering. Such I have come to believe, though perhaps only as means to absolve myself.
They completed their ritual by draining the youth of his blood, to the point of death. And many do die. But the half-elf did not, and Shar claimed another acolyte to her worship. How peaceful he looked in that moment, on the precipice between life and death. They bore him off on their shoulders into the night, leaving me with mad yew and my own dark thoughts.
The very next day I sought the Temple of Shar. It’s no simple place to find, even in permissive Waterdeep. Her worship is outlawed and her followers jailed when discovered.
You may well ask why I troubled myself. Why I could not leave well enough alone, as the humans are wont to say. I was compelled by both curiosity and dread.
It is a strange thing to say aloud, but the image of the half-elf’s face was all I had left of my mother and even as it repelled me, I also felt closer again to her somehow in finding him. I had to know the meaning behind it, to recover even this small remnant of her memory. If you have lost someone, perhaps you understand my meaning.
It took some days and many false turns but in the end, I located their temple. Simple chance finally led me to the right direction--or destiny carving its path before me, take your pick.
If I was worried about what I might say to the half-elf when I met him, I needn’t have, for he recognized me immediately.
“The gargoyle of a druid I saw,” he said, by way of greeting. “So you weren’t a vision from my Dark Lady, after all.”
He always spoke like that.
I answered that I had seen the ritual, and feared for his life. I asked how he had come into the service of the Dark Goddess and he told me his story. It was a brutal, tragic tale, and he told it without remorse or sentimentality. When again I pressed him--why did he devote himself to Shar? He answered that none other had claimed him, only the Lady of Loss. As though his life were simply a ripe apple falling senseless from a tree.
In my pride, I thought that by removing this youth from Shar’s faithful would heal him, that I could restore the balance to his soul. That I could heal him.
I took him to the Emerald Grove. The power of that place is ancient, its healing magic is more powerful than you ken. Not just Silvanus’s power, though that resides there too. I believed the grove would restore him and would avert the darkness that lay ahead.
In how many legends to mortals hasten along the very events they sought to prevent? Well, here is another.
For a time, I believed that Ketheric was healed. The light returned to his eyes, the blood to his flesh. By day, he walked the forest with me and I taught him such that I know: more than most will learn, but still precious little compared with the forest’s immensity. Every tree is a world unto itself.
And I loved him. Desired him. Claimed him. It blinded me to the truth. For Shar would not be so easily forsaken. She was jealous of her supplicants and for Ketheric she had great designs.
I believed he had left Shar behind in distant Waterdeep. In Ketheric, I thought I saw my destiny to bring him back into the light.
Only arrogance and perhaps lovesickness can explain why it took me so long to realize why the forest grew darker over those seasons. Parasites thrived and the trees fought silent battles within the buried paths beneath the earth. Plants that once were allies became bitterest enemies and starved each other out, poisoning one another’s roots. Pestilential insects devoured the warring plants. Even the water was tainted, sickening creatures and the druids in my grove.
Kagha saw the truth first. And if perhaps you wondered why I allowed her to stay, here is the reason. Because Kagha’s heart may be as hard as ironwood, but she is unflinching in the face of the truth and I--well, now I know that I cannot always trust my own judgment.
She unmasked Ketheric, finally made me see, but by then it was too late. He had seen the power of the grove, and he desired it for himself. For his Dark Lady. Ketheric escaped my judgment and Kagha’s wrath but I knew he would return.
Three years passed and in that time, Ketheric became a force. More than a mere man. He was a legend and followers flocked to him, drawn to his power. More than power; his absence of fear. For since that night that Shar had taken him, I had never once witnessed him frightened of anything. That was the source of his terrible charisma, I believe, why people followed him into madness and marched to their deaths on his order, with happy hearts. That they, too, could be so fearless.
He took the Temple of Selune first. The priests there fought hard and long but Ketheric would not be thwarted and his forces seemed limitless. The stories are still told of the terrible butchery committed in the Shattered Sanctum, and I will not repeat them.
They rode out from the Shattered Sanctum to terrorize the country. That is when we first spoke of the Rite of Thorns, for there was no question of protecting the surrounding land from Ketheric’s army. Then the Harpers came.
I could tell you all manner of stories about the long history of the Harpers and the Emerald Grove, but those romances only imply the true foundation of that ancient alliance: one born of dire necessity against unassailable darkness. Which is all to say, the Harpers and the Druids have joined when all seemed lost.
So it seemed to us then. With the power of the Shattered Sanctum and an army of faithful, Ketheric completed a dark ritual, one that required a fountain of blood sacrifice. The Shadow Curse. A plague on the land and all that lived there, committing their souls into bondage to Shar.
He completed the ritual and cast the land into darkness before I could finally end him. I held him as he died, and he looked just as he did on the night in the Waterdeep graveyard. At peace, finally, in the arms of his Goddess. The only one he ever truly loved, I still believe.
That fight nearly took my life. As for the others, I marched them to their graves. Of all the druids and Harpers who fought on that day none survived. A handful of Ketheric’s dark justiciars escaped, scattered. Of those, all have fallen to madness or early deaths.
Only I now remain witness to the horrors of that long night.
Halsin found it hard to hold his lover’s gaze for shame. Now he knew of his failure, his blindness. He would scorn him, as Kagha had: weak, arrogant, feckless.
Instead, Langoth took his hand in his own, kissing his rough knuckles. Forgiveness so sublime, so unexpected that his eyes pricked with unshed tears.
“You did what you could. And we will end the curse when we reach Moonrise Towers. That I promise you.”
Halsin closed his eyes. “Thank you.” In the wood a thrush sang, as though to remind him of something he had long forgotten. Something like hope.
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today was a quiet day beginning with french toast and ending with pasta with d&d in the middle.
joel is watching videos next to me, occasionally grabbing my hand and kissing it, as i sit trying to decide how to write out what happened in d&d today.
okay. d&d from here on out.
okay so amber is our dwarf and she's wonderful and lovable and has a semi-satiable bloodlust. sebastian, the only other one in the group with a normal name, is a half-elf watch wizard and is hopelessly in love with amber.
we discovered that there are doppelgängers in waterdeep. that are causing crimes. so the rest of the party went to find gems and crystals and rings that will help us do our research. meanwhile, amber (i'll say "i" and "me") spent the week working.
amber's elf coworkers who make absolutely shit mead pushed over a giant vat of beer that amber had been working on all week and broke her equipment, meaning she had to spend her week's pay on repairs and cleaning. she begged her boss to get rid of them, pointing all the times where they've been antagonistic and hateful and racist towards her, but her boss rebecca said the contract they had was binding. going home amber cries to her friends about the incident and locks herself in her room with a bucket of cleric'ed beer. meanwhile, sebastian decides to White Knight™ this situation. he gets cherish (a pirate-raised teenager who's a fuckin riot) and they're going to Fuck Up Those Elves and get them to leave.
stay tuned for the next installment of Get Amber to Fall In Love with Sebastian! (i sent this to my sister.)
redemption, our red tiefling thief, hearing me crying, came in after a bit and asked me if i'd like to help him plan and commit grand larceny. i said sure.
sebastian and cherish go to the bar. which is a community center/temple of lliira, the temple of good cheer i think it's called. that's where amber works.
so. sebastian goes in and wants a beer. they obviously don't have any. the elves working say "try some mead," so he begrudgingly does so. it's fuckin nasty, of course, and he spits it out, saying as much. the elves behind the bar insult him, calling him a halfbreed and other insults, and one of them goes up to him, having taken offense to the "this is fuckin gross" comment and goes to punch him in the face. sebastian dodges, then grabs him by the chain maille and electrocutes him, sending him convulsing to the floor. then a Bitch vaults the bar, grabbing and snapping a broomstick on her way over, casts shillelagh on it, goes to smack him and misses, and then slips on the still-wet floor (they squeegeed the beer to amber's side of the bar). another vaults the bar toward sebastian and cherish goes and jumps the bar the OTHER way and grabs the cash box from their side. the dude that got zapped gets back up and goes to slug sebastian, missing. sebastian punches the guy in the nose, shocking him again, and blood starts pouring from his nose as he's almost down. the girl with the stick goes to smack and hits him, but before sebastian can attack again, cherish has destroyed the mead barrels (a la "this looks important!" *YOINK*) and yeets the wrench she used at the last and does THIRTY FIVE POINTS OF DAMAGE and she goes down like a sack of potatoes. the last of the three people attacking sebastian goes to punch and misses, sebastian goes to smack with the stick misses, and then the other dude casts sleep,which DOESNT FUCKING WORK BECAUSE i SEBASTIAN IS A HALF ELF AND CHERISH MADE THE SAVING THROW. cherish leaves, because her goal has been accomplished: to grab the cash box and take off. sebastian smacks the dudes kneecaps and then smacks him again and he goes down.
keep in mind there's a table of five regulars over in the corner, sho started chanting "fight! fight! fight! fight!" as soon as it looked like shit was about to hit the fan. three of them - a human and two dwarves - failed the sleep saving throw and the other two have fey ancestry so they can't be put to sleep.
anyway, rebecca, the owner of this fine establishment, comes down and yells "what the hell is happening here" just after the last dude goes down - there were two other elves, wood elves, that didn't get involved and yeeted themselves out the fuckin place as soon as they realized they were Not Getting Involved lmao. anyway, sebastian tells her what happened and she goes and gets her bard husband, who comes down in his pjs with a lute. rebecca casts zone of truth, and he tells the same story bc truth. for the first time in thirty years, the temple gets locked - but not after the husband beefs sebastian up and they drag the elves out into the street with their meadery shit and wakes up not leader and says "you tell your brother that you're not welcome back here. ever again. if i ever see you again, i'll tell me wife." and they get up and YEET themselves out of town. the husband THANKS SEBASTIAN, and he goes home.
amber went with redemption and caused a sobbing distraction with a bucket of beer, and redemption got in, robbed the place, and got out with zero problems. amber eventually stumbles home, sees everyone else around the dining room table, and sebastian tells her that she won't have to worry about the elves anymore. she dismisses it because she's drunk off her ass, ruffles sebastian's hair and goes upstairs and passes out.
when she goes to work the next day, she'll discover what happened. that conversation and the ensuing tension will commence next week.
i told this all to my sister. she said:
i love this game.
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Yes, I am alive and so is my campaign. :’D
So, apparently I forgot I wanted to do a kind of sum up of my sessions here. So this post will be a bit bigger.
We're catching up from the beginning.
Starting with the updated version of my party (since our fire genasi had a change of looks).
Adventure started with some easy "escort some newly-weds" mission. They got off in Waterdeep right down to Phandalin where they stayed a night and made their way back. Found a broken wagon and inspected it.
Insert stolen cragmaw-hideout encounter from Lost Mines of Phandelver.
They rescue some kind of minor noble and cleared the hideout, sparing one goblin who helped them.
Big rescue party in Waterdeep, drinking games and fun stuff. Shady soldier guy askes them if they want to go on an adventure, since his homeland always needs adventures. They all drunkenly agree.
Ship sets sail right the next morning. Nobody even questions this dude. :^)
Five days of journey on the ship go by pretty fast, some light sea encounters, nothing of big interest.
First town of the new land, everything is super nice and super uneventful. Some farm animals are missing, they discover an ogre who took them. End the ogre and bring back the animals. Townspeople are happy and give them all sorts of gifts.
Adventure goes on. Travel to the next small town. On their way pick up a cursed brooch and a creepy puppet one player now swears is his childhood puppet (it's a magic item that'll stabilize you once per longrest, if you go down).
They meet some circus people on their way and get some info about the country.
In the town there's a festival in preparation. One to honor the fey and nature gods. They agree to help setting up some festival stuff and to collect flowers for decoration and a dress-making-contest.
In the woods they discover a temple with sun-cultists. They seem to be praying and the earth around the temple is already cracking and dry. Unsure what to do they ask the festival-organizer (a lvl 16 firbolg druid) to help. As they re-arrive, the cultists are gone.
Festival is a blast, they visit a fortune teller, give her back her cursed brooch and get some foreshadowing of plot details. Afterwards they get to draw from a remastered Deck of Many Things. Most of the cards they draw don't do too much, but the party druid loses 3 wisdom and gets a permanent -2 AC penalty. Ouch.
On goes the festival and our artificer shows interest in one of the girls they met. Cute RP scenes happen, they seem to fall in love, but everything is pretty shy and all fluff. She askes him to come visit the graveyard, but because it seems haunted, she doesn't want to go too deep.
Artificer sees some kind of ghost.
Mayor of the city tells the party of their former priest who died mysteriously on the graveyard and some weirdo living outside town who tells stupid stories like "There's a super huge red salamander outside of town." and that the characters might wanna check on him.
Party decides to check the graveyard first. Banshee encounter is pretty intense, but they give their best and kill her. Find her skull inside a well. "Yeah that's probably why she's here." I am assuming at this point, that they'll probably just bury her skull and go on.
I was wrong. Our paladin just crushed her skull with his warhammer. Yes, my party may be chaotic stupid. They bring the remains to the local priestress who scolds them. Paladin has a mild existential crisis on why he was so stupid, but eventually begs for forgiveness.
Afterwards they go check up on our weirdo outside of town. Find him and find the huge red salamander. It's actually a red slaad. They manage to fight him off, but two are now infected with slaad eggs.
Session is about to end, when our sorcerer asks to perform his magic trick (basically I allowed him a homebrew spell 1/shortrest, where he will roll on a 10.000 wild magic effects table).
So he rolls. And replaces his inner organs with rattling chains. (Insert a big face palm here). Session ends.
Okay, so basically this is where we are now. Next session will be in roughly two weeks. And I am super hyped.
They will advance to level 4, our sorcerer will be revived by his soon-to-be patron, since he wanted to multiclass into archfey warlock anyway.
I am very curious on how the party will react next session when I describe how on of them just lies there, without a heartbeat, cold and heavy.
It's gonna be intense.
I'll try to update more regularly but can't promise anything. :)
If you're interested I'd love to hear opinions and am willing to answer questions.
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The time my owl destroyed/saved Waterdeep...
Background: This event occurred during my first ever campaign and exposure to D&D. Our DM was the one to introduce us to the game and like Alice down the rabbit hole the rest is history. I still play to this day (Damn you DM).
Our campaign was in the Faerune setting but the story was home brewed. Our party consisted of:
High-Elf Divination Wizard (me)
Dragonborn Cleric (was a half-elf but died to our BBEG and got resurrected)
Drow Ranger (was a wood-elf but died in the same circumstance as our cleric)
and a Human Warlock (we met them through our DM but they could only make it to occasional sessions)
(Side note: After the campaign we realised our Warlock only ever made it to sessions with the BBEG and this was one of those times)
So our story had brought us to Waterdeep and led us to infiltrating a dinner party at the Castle where our BBEG massacred all the attendants but us and beckoned us to challenge him the catacombs below where there was an ancient shrine to the Goddess of Lolth, the Spider Queen. Through our parties collective research we had reason to believe he was trying to summon this great power either for himself or to just let loose amongst the realm. We make our way down after making sure the king was safe and fight.
The fight takes place in the grand temple that has been hidden away and forgotten by time with scriptures and writings of the Spider Queen’s wrath etc. etc. flavour text, blah, blah, blah. At the back of the room is a large stone structure where a ritual is taking place and a portal is beginning to open up. As we fight and the portal becomes more stable and we notice large beams of energy ripping through the terrain and presumably into the city above.
We collectively begin to panic with our spell slots and HP depleted and the portal still in a decent condition and our BBEG almost about to TPK us. Our DM was currently going through the Clerics action so myself and the Warlock strategized.
Wizard: I’m all out of spell slots and one hit from going down.
Warlock: Me too I burn’t everything in Round 2 of combat, all I have is Eldritch Blast and Create Bonfire.
Wizard: I’ve only got Firebolt and I don’t think that’s enough.
Warlock: Does (DM) not give you guys any items?
And that’s when it hit me.
——————————————————————————————————————————–Backtrack: About 10+ sessions ago (2 or 3 months ago IRL time) we had been going through the Forest of Wyrms on a previous endeavour and looted a dungeon where we found a ‘grey powder’. We rolled investigation but couldn’t deduce anything from our low roles, typical. Moving forward a few sessions when we first arrived at Waterdeep my Wizard went to an alchemist shop to inquire about the powder. The gnome shop keep inspected it and became slightly hostile offering ridiculous amounts of money for the powder and no questions asked. My Wizard cast Sleep on the guy and left but only knowing it must have some value to it. The party tested it and we found when in contact with fire the powder was highly explosive.
Cut back to.
Wizard: I have this grey powder.
Warlock: I have Create Bonfire! We can combo this!
Wizard: Yeah but my Str is crap so I can’t throw the pouch and its out of Mage Hand’s range………but I do have my familiar.
Warlock: OMG that guarantees it! We won’t need to role anything it’s just movement!
Wizard & Warlock: *begins hysterically cackling at the idea of a kamikaze owl winning us the fight*
DM: *gives us a shifty look as our laughter draws his attention but he is still dealing with the Cleric*
Wizard: Alright, lets do it.
DM to Warlock: What would you like to do?
Warlock: I cast Create Bonfire in front of the portal.
DM (perplexed): Right…..ok….
*DM turns to me*
DM: Your turn, what would you like to do?
Wizard: I give Avalon (my owl) the pouch of grey powder and send him into the Bonfire.
DM: *his eyes glare as he begins to put the pieces together* The whole pouch!?
Wizard: Yup. (The party as a collective kinda realised whenever we had tested the powder we only used a pinch and it did do substantial damage to infrastructure so when I say I use the whole pouch the party kinda loses their mind)
With that our DM narrates as my Wizard says farewell to his beloved owl and gracefully swoops up to the ceiling of the catacomb before diving beak first into the small bonfire. Everyone is knocked unconscious momentarily from the initial blast but our Cleric stabilises us. We notice the BBEG has vanished and presumably escaped gravely wounded but the foundations and ground beneath us begin to crack and tremble. The portal begins shaking violently and shooting beams that tear through to the city above before crumbling apart. Our party book it up the stairs and manage to reach the entrance of the castle. We look over the city of Waterdeep as it lays there in ruins. Half the buildings levelled and roads torn apart. OOC our party celebrates our clutch victory with me and the Warlock high-fiving over our genius plan.
But before we are around long enough to explain ourselves to the authorities we head north to Neverwinter for the final confrontation of our BBEG.
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I’ve wanted to make a Big Cool piece of our D&D party…also as a thanks for putting up with my DM shenanigans >:)
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