Posted by : David Guyll April 06, 2014

Cast

  • Augustine (human paladin)
  • Jaya (bard)
  • Mouse (gnome thief)

Mouse's knife spun through the air, striking the spider between all eight of its eyes. As it crumpled to the ground its rider hopped off; it only had two eyes, both of which were glowing an intense green. Mouse did not know much about duskies, but this probably meant it was angry.

The spider had gotten in a few bites, but Augustine seemed no worse for wear. Really the cramped tunnel was giving him more trouble; he had little room to move or effectively bring his halberd to bear, even without Jaya nearby. To make matters worse the dusky had a bow that it was not only skilled at using, but judging from Jaya's increasingly sluggish movements the needle-like arrows were coated in poison.

Still, it was just one dusky. It was not like it could kill them all, Mouse thought, he would flee long before they got anywhere near him.

That was about when a swarm of spiders surged up over a ledge behind the dusky.

Mouse sighed. The things he did for lust and loot.

But mostly loot.

Mouse had encountered the woman during the previous night. The church had finished burning down, and the villagers decided to throw the trio a celebration. Not for the burning of the church, but because they had vanquished the only gang of bandits that seemed to be aware that Pinesdraw even existed and were desperate enough to stick around. On one hand they were nice enough to foot the bill, but on the other hand they had also footed the booze.

Fun-fact: Pinesdraw is not known for anything, not even its poverty.

Even so it eventually did the trick, and after a lengthy and hard night of "celebration" the trio woke in various locations and stages of undress.

Jaya never made it out of the Tipsy Gnome. In fact she never even made it from her table. She was woken by the owner as he went about preparing food and humming to himself, and as her mind cleared she realized that the owner was humming a tune that she had somehow cobbled together while drunk. Normally this would be good for a bard's reputation, except that this particular song pertained to the local baron and cast him in an...unfavorable light, to say the least.

It was about then that Mouse came through the door, looking fairly pleased with himself despite his disheveled appearance. She glumly asked what he was so happy about, and immediately regretted it when he recounted how he had not only met an indescribably beautiful woman during the party, but also spent the night with her beneath the stars.

Now, this was mostly true to varying interpretations.

Mouse did meet a woman, and she was indescribable insofar as he honestly could not provide a concrete description of her. In fact no one could: neither Jaya or the tavern owner recalled seeing anyone matching the albeit vague qualities he could remember.

He had also spent the night beneath the stars. At some point the pair had left the tavern and went into the woods, where she told Mouse that her child had been stolen by cruel fey creatures known as duskies. She asked him to retrieve the child, and in exchange she would give him anything.

Of course Mouse could barely remember a word of the conversation, and might have written the entire thing off as a dream if he had not woken to find a message carved into a tree, signed with a heart. His pants were also around his ankles, but that was probably just coincidental: it would not have been the first time.

Not that it would stop him from embellishing the encounter to Jaya, the details of which were mercifully cut short when Augustine arrived.

Jaya's hopes again flared. Augustine did not normally drink, and as the gaps in her memory continued to recover she remembered that he had not only been quite drunk, but also bragged about his skills with his lance that he could "sadly not demonstrate without a horse", which in retrospect might have been a disturbing double entendre.

In any case he had to have done something worthy of a song, and with her not being drunk it would surely be a snap to compose something catchier and far more humorous than what she came up with last night. She would work on it today, sing it later that night, and in no time everyone would quickly forget about last night's melodic mistake.

He had gotten a free horse, or rather a horse had "found" him.

No double entendre, just a horse that he called Whitestar, because aside from a spot of white on its forehead, it was completely black. He had apparently showed some people how to ride and taught them jousting techniques—again, nothing sexual—making him if anything the life of the party.

She groaned, and banged her head on the table.

Then Mouse started talking.

She banged her head harder.

He told Augustine about the women, child, and duskies, omitting only the undefined reward. The duskies were said to live in the mountains north of the village, and Augustine being Augustine could not stand by while a child was potentially in danger, which was what Mouse had banked on because honestly he had no idea if the woman was lying or not, a detail he also omitted.

Even though Augustine had a mount Jaya and Mouse would need transportation, so they pooled their money to rent a cart and donkey for the cost of owning and headed out. The journey was long but smooth up until they reached the foot of the mountains, which was less foothill and more labyrinthine badlands, and they were forced to abandon the wagon to continue. They did not wander long before encountering thick, ropy strands of webbing dangling from the walls. which became more abundant the further they want.

Where there were webs there were spiders, or some bizarre amalgamation of spider and other seemingly random creature. Whatever was responsible would also likely be quite large, so Mouse decided to convince Augustine to burn them. Not because he could not reach them, it would be a simple matter to toss a torch, but because this way he could blame it on him if whoever created the webs was intelligent enough to hold a grudge.

The opening of a cave was revealed as the burning webbing fell to the ground, and figuring that they had to start somewhere scaled the wall and climbed inside. The tunnel was cramped for everyone but Mouse, but thankfully they only had to crawl short distance before spotting glowing, purple light along the wall of a larger chamber. They could not see the source of the light, but could hear sibilant whispering.

So, probably duskies.

They argued about what to do until a small, dark-skinned creature riding on a spider scrabbled over the ledge leading into the larger chamber where they could see the light. Its eyes glowed a dim green, and it was carrying a bow with needle-like arrows.

Yep, duskies.

Behind the Scenes
Another really, really awesome session. So awesome in fact that we are going to start an hour early just to cram in more game time this Monday.

Melissa and I bombed our Carouse rolls; I chose to hear of an opportunity (meaning that I got entangled), while Melissa chose not to get entangled, but since things "got out of hand" she has to find a way to deal with the fact that her disparaging, very catchy song might eventually reach the baron's ears. Ben got a bit more lucky: he chose to befriend a useful NPC, which ended up being the horse Whitestar since he had trouble coming up with something.

Fitting for a paladin, though I am curious if/how his "entanglement" will manifest down the road.

We also rolled a lot of misses, which accounts for a good chunk of the XP Melissa and I have accrued so far. I figure by next session I'll break enough of my throwing knives to level. Not sure what I will take. There is no Multiclass move for the thief, which is a bummer because I think as a gnome it would make sense to snag a wizard move so I could cast invisibility and other illusions.

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