What's that? It's been like six months since my last true Sci-Fi Fantasy Friday or Fantasy article? Since that is the case, I would like to begin by apologizing to my readers that enjoyed those articles. This last semester has seen me in a creative slump. And, as of today, as I write this article, I think I am still in said slump. Yet, for you and for myself, I will dig down deep and give you something interesting.
Today's subject is about a new Dungeons and Dragons game. In fact, this game is so new that I only began it on Tuesday. Before I get into it, I want to assure I will be continuing The Action Society & YŌKAI soon. If you have a preference over which one you would rather see continued first, please leave a comment or send me a message about it.
You can see the last chapter in both below.
Now, back to today's fair. I have been talking about doing something based on my Advanced Dungeons and Dragons experiences for quite some time. I would love start scribbling down "The Bumble Bootsbane Chronicles", but I am saving that for when my fiction is better tempered by experience. Rather than get into a year-spanning epic about the D & D character that most mirrors my heart, I want to tell the tales of Bolt Blackwood and his compatriots. This campaign is special because it is the first time I've felt I've played a dubious player character and, as a result, things were pushed in interesting directions I've never experienced.
Warning, some names of people and places have been changed for creative license reasons and to mend up the holes left by a poor memory. To read the first chapter, click read more below or the following link.
For added context, reference Community "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"
ADVANCED BASTARDS & BUGGERY
CHAPTER 1: An Advanced Introduction
The stale scent of grease of ale hit me, like a wall of iron, as I entered The Pig and The Squirrel Tavern. Pushing my way through the other foul smells of drunken louts, I made way to the bar, and set down some copper pieces in front of one of the fattest bartenders I had ever seen. The man moved behind his counter with an agile grace of a man who had grown fat with age, but not with idleness. He sat a mug of syrupy beer in front of me, for my trouble, and before he could read my face, hidden behind a balaclava, I had made my way toward the table in the back end of the bar.
It didn't take long to find who I was looking for; the Nortman. He sat in a corner, drinking from what looked like his sixth mug for the evening; five more emptied mugs lined his table. Such a man could probably drink that much and more without feeling a bit of the tipsy. Over two meters tall, he weighed over twice the average man, and it was in muscle. I recognized him as my Nortman by that facial expression; his brow furrowed, his lips locked tight in a thin frown, and his eyes looking a thousand leagues away. Such men always seem bored without a blade in hand.
"Osric?" I called his name as I sat down across from him, pulling down my balaclava, revealing my sharp features with a smile.
The Nortman looked up, a small smile cracked his stoney face, and set his mug down with a slam, "Bolt! Bolt Blackwood!"He laughed, as he spoke the last syllable of every word fell like the clatter of steel onto stone, "It has been too long, friend."
"Indeed. There is little adventure to be had in The Wood." I explained, "I figured I might find you here since last we met."
"Aye, that would be the truth, friend."He answered, warmly, "I have tried a few jobs, but there is too little combat in the city guard. There is no honor in it."
"And no fun either,"I said as I leaned over, stroking my black goatee, "But I got something interesting; a real classic, Ossie, my friend."
"A kidnapped maiden rescue. The best part? He is offering a reward of two-thousand five hundred Dons as a prize for her return." I said as I handed Osric the scroll with the details.
Osric's icy blue eyes moved slowly across the words. He then looked up and replied, "Very interesting, but two men is hardly enough for the job."He explained, then looked around the tavern.
"You must've made some friends, Ossie," I encourage him to volunteer some names.
I watched as Osric didn't say a word and led me with his gaze. Sitting in a nearby corner, were two men in robes; one the left was a dark-skinned fellow probably from the East, was busy eating some porridge, an iron holy symbol of some such god around his neck. To his right was a a slightly older and taller fellow, with thinning hair and goatee, the color of spider's web, and sitting under a pair of thick eyebrows were eyes as striking as amethyst. Those eyes were busy scanning the pages of a thick tome.
"A magic user and a cleric?" I grinned, "Are they trying to draw attention to themselves?"
And, as if my words tempted fate, a man ran into the bar, and out the back,"You didn't see me!" A group of guards, metal breastplates and cudgels in hand, made their way through the place. The leader of the group, looked around, and made his way to the table of the two men in robes.
"You two! You see a man run through here?" He barked at them.
The cleric shook his head and the magic user ignored him. The guard banged his stick on the table, "Oi! I'm speaking to you!"He grabbed the magic user by the blue robes he wore, over the table, and face to face.
Osric leapt up, as did I putting a hand on Osric's sword arm to slow him, and felt something bump into my side, "Hey!" I looked down. A little female halfling in black leather, three feet tall, bowed apologetically and scurried past us. I wished I had done the same as that moment of distraction allowed Osric to slip past me and he had grabbed the guard's shoulder.
"Pardon me," I watched as Osric squeezed the man's shoulder. I sat back down before the man could turn around, pulling up my balaclava.
The guard turned around to see who had touched him, "What the hell do you w-"The man's words trailed off as he stared up into the face of the giant Nortman. He tried to regain his composure, face turning red embarrassment and anger, "What the hell do you bloody want?!"
The guard buckled as the Nortman squeezed his shoulder harder. He then replied, "We didn't see anyone."He released the guard's shoulder, "And besides, he was busy reading, isn't that right, Iv?"
The tall magic user nodded in reply, "My face was buried in the book, yes?"
I watched the piggy little black eyes of the guard as he considered his options. A fight with a magic user and a Nortman or leaving. He chose the later, "Very well, alright," the guard pulled away, gesturing to his men to head out, "But if we see you doing anything suspicious or found you had anything to do with that, you're dead."
The guards left and, before they had hit the door, I had hopped into a seat at the magic user's table.
"You know that could've gone badly, friend," I explained, as I took a swallow of my beer, "You owe my friend Ossie, here."He gestured to the Nortman.
"I suppose you may have a point," The magic-user, Iv, shrugged, "But I know Osric. Who are you?"
"Bolt Blackwood!" I introduced myself, reaching over to shake their hands, which they did oblige, "And you are?"
The cleric replied, his accent was indeed foreign, "I am Armand and this is Iv. I am a man of gods and he is a man of words."
"Magical words, I am sure," I joked, "And would such men, finding themselves in the company of a man of the north and a man of the wood, wish to join their fellow friends in a business venture to save a fair maiden." I passed them the scroll, pulling down my balaclava, to be more friendly.
The magic user and the cleric lit up when they hit the reward line. They nodded and before they could speak,"Then, a round is on me." I reached into my pocket to pull out some coin and couldn't find it. I searched my other pocket and was about to grow furious, when, with a small clatter, the coins were sat in front of me by a small hand. I looked down to see the halfling had swung up into our booth. A thief, of course.
"And I suppose a woman of the pocket will join as well?" I laughed, as I ordered the round, and we celebrated the joining of our skills into a party.