Brimleydower's 5e: Thornleaf Tales (Inactive)

Game Master Kagehiro

World Map (in progress)

Thornleaf Map Editor

1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Feel free to go ahead dot this up.




// Thornleaf, Estfalk //
     // Thunderstorm, Dusk, Cold: 42° //
          // Kepeskear (Stormday), 37th of Springsfall (Vethan Calendar), 1002 RR (Reskar Reckoning) //


A frigid drizzle has dominated much of the week—Vetha's presence is felt keenly this Springsfall. A massive shelf cloud appears on the southeastern horizon, gliding over Sea Lion Bay and careening towards—or perhaps through—a small town that appears no more than a speck beneath the foreboding mountain of a storm that is soon to engulf it. The storm's head is a billowing cascade of cloud mass that reaches heavenward to mingle with an endless sky of rainy white and gray, while the ominous mass of roiling dark that comprises its underbelly promise a night of tumult and flooding. As if to punctuate the thought, a festoon of lightning begins to curl itself about the approaching storm. A chorus of thunder peals follow shortly, and those few unlucky enough to be caught outdoors swivel their heads toward the horizon and the ill fortune it harbors.

Cutting a lazy path through the sprawl of grassy foothills that comprise the region, The Fletterfluss River is already swollen within its banks, a swift and muddy churn of waters replacing its typically lazy current. Already the river's flooded height is such that no vessel, not even a river skiff, can clear the curved arches beneath the Rotstein Bridge. Upstream, the Fletterfluss already encroaches on the threshold of the infamous Red Murder House, its sole resident working at a frantic pace to produce a large enough ditch-and-mound to save his dwelling from ruin.

Very little traffic moves about a trampled and muddied slog of streets that snake haphazardly through the village. The market stalls stand bereft of both goods and people. One would not be remiss to imagine the oppressive weather the culprit, for even the ring of Cragger's hammer on steel is absent from the Cragworks this evening. Instead, the smith's "song" of diligence is replaced by an increasingly angry rumble of thunder. Thornleaf seems to cut a very bleak image at present. The Crown Inn, however, tells a very different tale altogether.

Though popular in general, The Crown is absolutely brimming tonight. Lundwin, the burly, balding, and mustachioed innkeeper, struggles to keep pace with the shoulder-to-shoulder tide of patrons competing for the proprietor's attention to sate their appetites for booze. In this case, their appetite for brandy is of particular note, which is a thirst seemingly shared by much of the inn's sprawling common room. Much like the bar, the handful of tables and booths in the place are swarmed by guests and customers, the three serving wenches rushing about the place as stressed and frantic as the barkeep. Even though Rosetongue's performance is now hours behind, the clamor for the Brandy Bear's specialty is far from subsided. Ruach finds himself mobbed by newly won admirers, while Argyri is left contending with a crowd of thankful, brandy-breathed sots.

As we pick things up, Rosetongue and the Brandy Bear have made their debut in Thornleaf. You guys have concluded your transaction with the barkeep for the brandy. I'll go ahead and toss in an extra 40 gold pieces to reflect earnings from selling brandy to the innkeeper. Ruach has already spent the larger chunk of the evening entertaining with lute and song, such that the vast majority of those in the inn are enamored or otherwise positively disposed towards him. Barazi hasn't earned as much attention. Maybe a few of the bolder young men in Thornleaf have tried to strike up some conversation, but for the most part the inn is preoccupied with the musician and the bringer-of-brandy.

Belbajak and Deresh, feel free to slot yourselves in as you please. You can have been present for the whole shindig, recent arrivals, or newcomers to the scene. For the most part, the scene is on its way to winding down as people become increasingly drunk.

The common room is mostly full of local laborers, the majority of which being artisans of some stripe or shopkeeps, probably a few off-duty militiamen. Beyond that, there's a few non-local sorts lingering about at various places within the inn:

  • A tall, scarred eldin'orc woman in burnished halfplate with no heraldry displayed, probably in her late 30s.
  • A rotund dwarf fellow with too many rings and too many beard braids, reclined at a table with a seemingly endless supply of pleasant-smelling stogies that have been wafting throughout the inn since he arrived.
  • A pale, elven fellow with drawn back long, blue hair who seems to flinch at everything going on around him—seems relatively young, but it's hard to tell with the fair folk.
  • Probably more curious than the rest, a Hrimlander goliath using a barrel for a seat. Her skin is snow white and her fiery hair is pulled back in many braids that weave into a much larger one. Goliaths tend to have natural markings on their skin that resemble tattoos at a glance—hers are thin, jagged edged lines that curl around her temples, the back of her neck, and disappear beneath a sturdy, weathered grey robe.
  • A finely dressed human man with a cloak (hood pulled up) studying a drink he hasn't touched for an hour with a worry-creased face, probably in his late 40s.

Other than that, go nuts. The very nature of this setting is going to lend itself well to some sandboxing. For the most part I'll be dangling some things in front of you and designing around where you lead. If I feel like things have hit a wall, I'll build a brief railroad.

Barazi sat off to a side of the Crown, having grown used to staying out of the way unless Ruach needed her to do something for the “show.” These repetitive demonstrations were very confusing to her, it seemed they did the same story and songs every night and people would offer their “coin” every time in thanks. It made no logical sense. Neither did the idea of coin. Why bother trading for something that has no value only to be traded again? Why not just trade the items directly?

Nevertheless,she was somewhat excited, though a bit anxious, when others would approach her. She would smile and say what Ruach had taught her was the formal greeting in these humans’ language, ”Hi! Me Barazi!” and stick her arm out stiffly to hold hands. Very few actually did, which made the custom seem a bit bizarre.

Seeing another elf in the room, however, proved the first time since she had been taken from her home that she had met another true-blooded member of her race. Ruach and Argyri had warned her of talking with strangers, but this was too good of an opportunity. She made her way through the crowd over to the man, and squatted down on the floor next to him. ”Բարեւ ձեզ: Իմ անունը Բարազին է: Ինչ ցեղ եք դուք:”

”Hello there. My name is Barazi. What tribe are you from?”

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

Belbajak enters the rowdy Crown and delicately shrugs out of his soaked heavily embroidered leather cloak and wide-brimmed leather hat that he hangs on an exposed nail near the door and closer to the floor than ceiling. He was full from his supper at the burrow but thirsty for drink and entertainment. "Hellu the Crown!" He welcomes himself to an inn where everyone knows your name.

The first things you notice about Belbajak are his bright emerald eyes and infectious smile. Standing a little over three feet tall, he is an average-sized forest gnome who wears a forest green tunic that is heavily embroidered too, over a chain shirt that peeks out. His orange hair and chin strap beard stick out in every direction. He wears a dagger on his belt and well-worn, sturdy leather boots that are covered in mud.

"Belbajak!" A chorus of locals respond. He deftly weaves through the crowd smiling and nodding and high-fiving and performing other oddly unique rituals. As he arrives near the bar, one of the locals moves away from a particularly high stool. He carefully ascends his perch to a waiting glass of brandy.

"New brandy," the smiling Lundwin answers before the question. Belbajak salutes and sips enjoying the warmth run down his body like a slow bolt of lightning. He turns on his perch to survey the room with a wild smile and twinkle in his eye wondering what the evening will bring.

There's a grand chair set before one of the Crown's carved pillars, close to the fire but not overly so, and in this leather upholstered throne Deresh has ensconced himself, one leg hooked over a chair arm, the other curled beneath him. Half turned to the fire, lute in his lap, he plucks strings quietly for himself alone, trying some of the melodies that Ruach had played, exploring the songs and extemporizing variations upon their themes.

An easy smile rests upon his Forn'orc features, and his florid yellow shirt is opened near to his sternum. A number of necklaces and charms hang over his chest, gleaming in the torch and firelight, and are matched by the rings that glimmer as he fingers play over the strings.

Deresh plays a flourish, losing patience with his own tinkering, and then looks up, eyebrows raised, searching for some new form of entertainment. The Crown is a finer establishment than he'd expected for such a modest town, and the brandy is equally fine; not knowing when next he'd stumble across such a quality venue he's determined to make the most of the night.

For that matter, there are a number of fascinating strangers on hand. This is no mean and mind numbing collection of dull witted farmers. From the jocose gnome that had just entered and taken possession of his throne at the bar to the wild looking elf who was accosting her relation to–


Deresh rises to his feet, abandoning his luxurious chair with a flicker of regret, and weaves his way through the crowd on nimble feet to pause before the goliath, whereupon he doffs his floppy hat and bows low over its feathered brim.

"My lady! Stay your annoyance! I pray, suffer my predilection for overlong introductions with steadfast forbearance! I saw you here, looming like an alluring crag over the small folk of this inn, and thought to myself: Deresh, never was there a cliff face more in need of scaling. Might I join you, fair stranger? Might I offer you a glass - or mug - of whatever it is you are drinking?"

Smiling warmly, Deresh pulls out a seat and leans forward, twirling his hat about one finger so that the blue feather flutters through the air.

"Your name, gentle lady? And if I may, what wondrous chance brought you to the Crown, and thus into my orbit?"

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

After a few sips of his brandy, Belbajak orders a second from Lundwin on his tab. He hops off his throne-like stool and gracefully weaves through the crowd with his two drinks.

Stopping at the dwarf, the gnome sets down the second brandy near the dwarf and says with a joyful smile, "Hello, master dwarf. Your cigar smells wonderful all the way at the bar. Its intoxicating flavor has pulled me over to you. How about a trade? A glass of the new brandy for one of your delicious cigars. I personally favor a pipe, but your cigar seems too good to resist tonight."


Sensing Barazi's approach, the blue-haired elf almost seems as if attempting to recede into himself. He hunches forward, tucking his shoulders in and his chin down. His gaze avoids meeting Barazi's at all costs. His eyes remain wide and alert, though his brows draw closer and lower. This strange elf might be the most fearful person you've ever encountered. His trappings are decidedly mundane, simple and dull, patched garments that have seen heavy travel but offer no hints as to the elf's origins. A heavy satchel is affixed to his side, but he seems otherwise unburdened by any noteworthy weapons or gear.

It is some moments before he even registers that you've posed him a question—in elvish, no less. His eyes, near to frantic, dart about the bar top in front of him, before he manages to more mumble than speak, "Ես Սելդուն եմ: Ես որեւէ ցեղին չեմ պատկանում:"

"I'm Celduin. I don't belong to any tribe."



Though perched atop a barrel whose surface is significantly lower than the stools and other chairs in The Crown's common room, the goliath still manages to loom over most of the other patrons. Even from Deresh's standing, leaning position, she manages to return an eye level glance back to the half-orc's long-winded introduction. She watches passively at first, an emotionless visage that might as well be carved from stone. A brief moment passes before she exhales a brief snicker from her nostrils and a hint of a smirk graces her face.

Turning to Lundwin the barkeep, she calls out with a cavernous voice, "I think the Fornling wants to buy me more milk, master Lundwin." The barkeep does not respond by meeting her gaze, but grins to himself as he goes about serving the endless array of thirsty souls still proffering empty vessels in his direction.

Deresh's eyes briefly flit to the pale, white liquid occupying the bottom quarter of the goliath's drinking horn. Her smirk has shifted into more of a grin by now, and she rises to her full height, just short of eight feet, to return Deresh's flourish of a bow with a jestful one of her own. A silver medallion, previously unseen, is jostled loose of its position beneath the confines of her gray robes. Suspended beneath her chin as she bows is a softly swaying chunk of obsidian carved into the shape of a shaggy wolfhound.

"No need for the flattery, friend. I am called Drifr at the Threshold. Drifr is fine." She extends a rough, calloused hand for a friendly shake. Remaining at her standing position, it's difficult to get a measure of her true physique or any other accoutrements, as her gray "robes" are really more of an immense shroud that encompasses most of her figure. The outline of other shapes and protrusions beneath the shroud are evident where the shroud rests against them, though more than that is impossible to discern.



"Master courier," the grinning dwarf begins, cigar still pinched between his pearly whites, "such an agreement is happily met."

You're not quite sure where he produces the stogie from. In one moment his hands are clasped across his not-inconsiderable girth, booted feet crossed and propped up on the table before him while his wooden chair leans against the wall directly behind him. In the next moment, a free hand pinches the end of a cigar that he offers directly to Belbajak.

"Any good news make its way through the Sweetwater these days?" The question is half-growled as his lit stogie remains in his mouth, though perhaps a bit disarming for Belbajak to have this unknown individual speaking in familiar terms to the gnome. The dwarf obviously occupies a high station in whatever domain he pursues, his garb and demeanor marking him as someone well acquainted with the luxuries of wealth. His vibrant, green eyes seem full of mirth, however. At the very least, he does not seem to—at face value, at least—pose any threat other than stogies or pleasant company.

A quick roll to identify as best I can the provenance of either the silver medallion or the obsidian wolfhound. Do they have any significance beyond the decorative? Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion are all at plus one, so please apply the rolls below to whichever is best suited.

Silver Medallion identification: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Obsidian Wolfhound: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15

Noting his fear, Barazi tried placing a calming hand on his knee. "Կարծում եմ, ես այլեւս չեմ էլ կարող: Ներողություն եմ խնդրում ներողություն խնդրելու համար: Ես պարզապես չեմ տեսել մեկ այլ էլֆ, ես չէի ուզում բաց թողնել, թե ինչ է տեղի ունեցել այլ ցեղերի հետ: Եթե դուք մենակ մնաք, մենակ մնացեք:"

"I suppose I don't either, anymore. I apologize for intruding. I just haven't seen another elf in so long, I didn't want to miss a chance to learn what has happened to other tribes. If you would rather be left alone, I will not bother you further."

Barazi's eyes well with tears of sadness at the memory of what happened to her own people, and a single drop trickles down her cheek as she stands, lowering her gaze to the floor to hide her own sorrow.

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

Belbajak's joyful smile droops a bit when it is obvious the dwarf knows him. His full smile returns when accepts the cigar. He looks around subtly for a light.

"Ahh, master dwarf. It appears you have me at a disadvantage, as you certainly recognize the Sweetwater family resemblance. To whom do I address and thank for the cigar?"

If appropriate, the gnome asks to join the dwarf and asks, "So, what brings you to Thornleaf?"

Barazi turns to leave the elf to himself, as he clearly preferred to be left alone. As she makes her way towards Ruach and Argyri, she spots the green skinned man with a kite sticking out of his pack. She wipes her tears away and turns to the man, and points at the instrument excitedly. ”Play? You play?”

Deresh O'kar wrote:

A quick roll to identify as best I can the provenance of either the silver medallion or the obsidian wolfhound. Do they have any significance beyond the decorative? Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion are all at plus one, so please apply the rolls below to whichever is best suited.

The medallion doesn't seem to be anything of particular importance. It's an oblong disc upon which is engraved some Hrimlander runic knotwork. The wolfhound obsidian carving looks to be a holy symbol of Gwelgysh—a lesser deific entity along the lines of a churchgrim. Assuming she belongs to that faith officially, it would indicate a position as a cemetery guardian or gravekeeper.

Just as a general note and gentle reminder, making unskilled knowledge rolls isn't something I'll typically allow a chance of success. Bards are a noted exception here, however, as they gain access to class features that play off of unskilled bonuses.


Celduin, as Barazi correctly surmises, seems to be downright allergic to the notion of conversation, but as she mentions his ancestry as being of particular interest to her, he gleans an avenue for extricating himself from the ordeal.

His words come just shy of seeming venomous as he says, "Go bother the blacksmith if you want an elf to talk to. I just want to drink in peace." Almost as if expecting a harsh blow in return for his words, he half-flinches again, but Barazi's departure is well accomplished before he notices her absence. He seems relieved.


Smiling broadly once more, the dwarf relinquishes the cigar from between his teeth and relocates it to his hand—still lit—with another display of subtle and somehow rapid motion that leaves the gnome wondering if his hands even moved at all. He presses the burning end against Belbajak's own stogie now, holding it generously while the gnome lights it. The flavor is a decidedly simple profile, but it somehow manages to evoke unbidden feelings of nostalgia. For a brief moment, thoughts of musty tomes and the dance of lamplight race through Belbajak's mind. As the feeling recedes, the dwarf's visage remains mirthful, though his eyes—suddenly seeming like two embers in a deep cavern—are affixed to Belbajak's.

"Korlem Bitterbellow," he begins, extending his meaty hand for a friendly handshake, "at your service. Thornleaf is but one stop among many in a life of travels and travails. And a rather pleasant stop, I might add. Pleasant enough that I endeavor to stop by any time I'm passing through, as your Sweetwater patriarch knows well."

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

"Well met, Master Bitterbellow." Belbajak nods and then takes a drag on the cigar. He savors the flavor on his tongue before slowly exhaling. "Thank you again. This is excellent."

After a comfortable pause, the jovial gnome asks, "So, you know Papi? He hasn't been on the road in a while. Are you one of the founders?"

"Drifr," breathes Deresh, leaning back in his chair and crossing an ankle over the other knee, "A name that falls most pleasantly upon mine ear, a boon, a benediction." He smiles, the expression languorous, and spins his hat around his finger so that the feather continues to whisper through the air.

"And I am afraid you shall have to suffer through another barrage of flattering comments. Such is the effect that your mien has upon my impressionable soul. Unless of course you wish to stand before the barred gates of your essence, depriving me of all entry like a grave keeper might ward away the errant and naively curious."

His smile grows a fraction more broad, and then he raises his empty flagon in the bartender's direction. "Yet crushed as I am no doubt soon to be, both by your cutting disregard and your mighty foot, I shall assay a toast if my flagon be refilled. A toast to strangers well met upon the road of life, to beings of utterly different natures who are thrown together, limbs intertwined, gasping and confused and yet tickled by curiosity as they extricate themselves slowly, with great care and affection, to regard each other with eyes clouded - perhaps - by the desire to drink deep of all new and thrilling experiences."

His flagon filled, he brings it to his lips, clearly enjoying himself at his own expense. "To you, my dear Drifr at the Threshold, and the fortune that has brought us together."

Deresh, Barazi’s last post was to you. Though my phone changed lute to kite. But, it was you to whom she was speaking.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Apologies, I wasn't sure. I'll post a response soon.


"Let's just say I knew the old codger before 'old' or 'codger' were apt in the describing." Korlem's attention shifts for the first time away from a fixed study aimed at Belbajak and to something more wistful and vacant. Whatever the revery might have been, he soon shakes it off with a silent chuckle.

"I fear I've attached my name to the founding of nothing that would interest yourself or 'Papi'. I'm afraid the truth of the matter is far less than one's imagination might conjure up, and as simple as I have deigned to speak thus far: I am one wed to the horizon with no home of his own." Something about his answer strikes a note of melancholy in Belbajak, despite the warm smile that remains affixed above Korlem's braided, voluminous hirsute. "However, my wanderings have led me through this delightful place enough times to lose track of the counting. Your clan is a friendly sort, and you are not the first I've shared an evening with."


Drifr continues regarding Deresh in a manner reminiscent of a mother smiling down fondly at a young son or daughter who had offered her a hand-picked assortment of flowers. She seems momentarily dumbstruck as the carefully placed words flit away from Deresh's tongue, "... like a grave keeper might ward away..." with perhaps more effect than the bard had dared to hope. Still oblivious to the fact that her holy symbol dangles on the outside of her shroud, she utilizes her immense length and reach to bend briefly over the bar and snatch up one of Lundwin's recently acquired jugs of brandy. In place of the jug she leaves a gold thresh (Regional standard currency with a closed gate and open gate on the faces) and refills Deresh's cup herself.

"Are you a soothsayer? Did omen set the path that led you to this place? I've never met any one with a gift for prophecy, before. How does it work?" Her persona has shifted remarkably to that of a bumpkin witnessing some wonderful work of magic for the first time, eyes wide and sporting a full smile for the first time since Deresh approached her.

DM Screen:

Insight: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

History (Magic users): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16 on Korlem Bitterbellow or someone with his description

"So, Master dwarf. What's your entertainment for the rest of the evening? Telling a story, hearing a story, crowd watching, hearing more music? It would be a genuine pleasure to join you, unless you would like some peace, in which case I will merrily take my leave." Belbajak sincerely smiles.

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

I was wondering when this was starting and apparently I missed it completely somehow. Dot.

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

Ruach is dressed as the kind of adventurer one might see in a drama, or hear about in song. He wears a scale mail chest plate over a thin gambeson and thigh length green tunic of fine cut. His shoulders are covered in a green cowled mantle, with black leather cut-outs, embroidery and dagging along the edges. He wears flamboyant green and yellow trousers, covered with cut outs and embellishment. His ankle-high boots have scandalously curled toes.

Ruach has left his cased lute, and longsword propped against the wall within easy reach of his chair, where he has been accepting drinks and making small talk for hours from the grateful locals. He makes to stand up, and stumbles back into his seat. Shite. Drunker 'n an orc what fell in the brewer's vat, he thinks to himself.

"Oi, Barazi!" Ruach shouts at his elven companion. "Leave that man alone. Or at least bring him over here. Let's see if he can really play that lute he's carrying around." Ruch gestures at Daresh and an illusory hand briefly appears in the air, beckoning him drunkenly over to Ruach's table.

Barazi looks confusedly to Ruach and back to the green skinned man, but sees the hand Ruach conjures and get some the implied meaning behind it. She wraps her hands around the orc’s arm and says excitedly ”Come! Come!”

It takes Deresh a moment to flow with this abrupt change of attitude, but he is nothing if not willing, so he takes up his newly filled cup of brandy with a smile.

"A soothsayer? Who can say whether soothsayers are aught but fortunate in their prognostications? If I was but fortunate in being brought into your -"

That's when the wild elf appears by his side, with her fey-haunted eyes and intense manner. He half turns to accomodate her within his field of vision, eyebrows rising, and for a moment can't for the life of him think what she means.

Play? As in - children's games? Or -?

Then he realizes what she's pointing at and feels himself the fortunate fool. "Play? My dear elfen lady, I was born strumming chords with one hand and singing an aria that deafened the heavens. I -"

It's not often that he's caught flat footed twice in such quick succession. When the illusory hand appears before his face, beckoning him toward the bard, and the elf takes him by the arm and hauls him to his feet, he looks back at Drifr with hapless apology. "Did I foresee this? Not at all!"

And then he's stumbling in the excited elf's wake, trying to balance his brimming cup of brandy as he weaves through the crowd, only to set it atop Ruach's table with a palpable sense of relief as he pulls his lute around and plays an unsteady waterfall of notes, buying himself, in the process, a moment to take in his new companions.

Perform: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10

"Greetings! Your performance before was a thrilling experience, and one I did not look to enjoy this far out in the wilderness! My name is Deresh O'kar, seducer of titans and willing flower to the bee of outre experiences. I am honored to have been summoned to your table!"

He signs off on this declamation with a much more forceful and confident strum of his lute, a branging, brash cascade that for but a moment lifts up over the general clamor.

Perform: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

Ruach nods to the flowery fellow. "Aye," he says in acknowledgement. "Name's Ruach, but they call me Rosetongue. Let's play a wee game then," Ruach suggests, reaching for his own instrument, crafted in the elven style. "Let's see what you can do, mate."

He strums a series of notes, and waits to see if Deresh can follow along.

Deresh throws his feathered hat up onto the back of his head, kicks a boot up onto an empty chair and with a smirk plays the slow opening notes right back at the inebriated bard.

"I learned my way around the lute from Helsinger Fremonte the Divine Bustier himself," he says, pitching his voice nice and loud for the benefit of those listening in. "Of course he was in jail at the time, but I believe that helped hone his notoriously wandering focus on that task at hand. Me!"

Barazi sits beside Ruach on the floor, sitting on her knees and leaning back so her haunches are against her calves. She watches the impromptu show quietly. It wasn’t the graceful Elven music she grew up with, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

Ruach ignores the orc's boasting and continues to play increasingly complex series of notes to see if he can follow. Might have to recruit this boyo, if I can put up with his palaver...

Perform: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

Perform: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

Deresh quietens down as the playing grows more complex, staring intently at the strings now as he seeks to play as quickly as Ruach.

Alas! The speed undoes him; while he's able to follow the chord progressions, it's a passable imitation at best.

This doesn't faze him, however; he laughs, delighted by Ruach's skill as he straightens up, and doffs his hat. "And that is why you are being showered in gold coins for your performances, while I sit by the fire with my cup of brandy. To you, good sir. Yours is a wondrous talent."

With that, he sips from his cup and smacks his lips. "Are you staying in Thornleaf long? More importantly, what do you know of that stunning goliath lady over yonder?" So saying, he turns and raises his cup in her direction, hoping that she hasn't already forgotten him.

Barazi looks from the green skinned man to Ruach, lost in their conversation. But she does note the man’s focus on the large lady he had been with previous. Barazi studies his face a bit before asking him, ” her?” as she seems to be trying to think of a proper word. She then says excitedly ”You her breed? You breed her!”

"Girl," says Deresh, leaning in close with a gleam in his eye. "As the priest said to the prostitute, by all the demons in hell I would if I could." And he gives her a wink.

With a sigh he straightens up and sips his brandy. "But damn. I didn't even bring my climbing gear tonight. A large lady like that needs proper equipment if she's going to be scaled, if you catch my meaning."

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

Ruach laughs raucously. "We do be a traveling troupe, mate. We play fer the culchies fer a night or two and then we're off to the next kip. And yourself? Bonny lad like you might find a place in our merry wee band...."

Ruach raises an eyebrow, "'Tis unless you'd rather be off after chasing that bloody huge colleen there," he continues, indicating the goliath.

He scans the tavern. Where did Argyri run off to? Bowsie's always disappearing after I finish the craic.

Most of the inn's patrons are more than willing to give the musician command of the common room once again, though a proper performance it may not be. Tables and chairs are shifted to accommodate a forming throng of locals and travelers alike, the ring of cheery onlookers focusing their attention firmly on the melodious exchange between Deresh and Ruach. Despite any personal misgivings Deresh might have about his attempts to match the half-elf's flourish, it is still a competent display of musicianship—sufficient enough to elicit raucous cheers and general merrymaking from the crowded inn.

Across the room, Drifr has resumed a solemn perch atop her barrel at the end of the bar, absentmindedly running her thumb along the milk-stained rim of her drinking horn. While her attention mirrors that of the other patrons with regards to the musical performance, her plain-stone face betrays at least a hint of bemusement.

Meanwhile, Korlem allows his smile to deepen further as the pleasant sound of a pair of lutes being strummed rises above the din of dozens of drunken conversations, their slurred and half-shouted exchanges soon fading away entirely as the pair of musicians draws their full attention. The dwarf spares a sidelong glance in Belbajak's direction before briefly inclining his head toward the half-elf and forn'orc. Such is the enrapture that many fail to notice how violently the weather has begun to rage outside. Horizontal rain lashes the walls and windows of the inn as if being unleashed by a great geyser—the windowpanes now appearing to command a view of naught but roiling waters against their surface rather than the marketplace that dominates the square just beyond. Lightning falls so near to Thornleaf that the peals of thunder shake the very walls of the inn to its core, as if a storm giant stood at the threshold attempting to batter down the The Crown into a pile of mud and rubble.

"I thought to avoid the storm for a time. The entertainment is a nice distraction to coincide with that, I think. Stories, on the other hand..." Korlem trails off, his features turning momentarily wistful once more. Then, for the first time, somber.

"A miner labored daily, dutifully, as many others. A simple life, drumming the deeps with iron, if not rich or exciting. He fed his family and kin, he helped his neighbors when able, and found meaning in a humble life." The dwarf pauses for a draw of his cigar, exhaling a cloud of smoke that briefly constitutes the shape of a gnarled oak tree. It suspends in the air for but a moment before dispersing into the air above the table. He continues, "A fork in the road rose to greet him as it had many times before. He gazed down the winding trail that split the oppressive woodlands of his homeland, then turned to regard the other path that carried him to wage and subsistence: the mines."

He does not finish the tale, nor does he need to. Though a full thousand years splintered and gone, the stories of the Velgdanian Empire's founder are still well and widely known (especially to one so well read as Belbajak). A simple miner abandoned all semblance of his meager life and took up the sword without warning. Runnig Velgdane carved a bloody swath across the then-whole Cleftlands until he stood victorious on a mountain of his conquest. It was a conquest that would claim his life before he saw it to fruition, though he was posthumously regarded as the first sovereign of the Velgdanian Empire by the son and heir that succeeded him.

"Loath as I am to divorce myself of your company, perhaps a prod is the more fitting option, master courtier." Korlem's mirth has all but evaporated by now, his features severe, perhaps even stern. "Scouring works and delivering missives penned by the hands of others—is this the sum total ambition and potential of the one called Belbajak? I cannot help but wonder which fork you might take at your own crossroad." The dwarf's attention returns to the two performers still commanding the attention of the entire inn.

"Though I shall watch on eagerly and see. For such a threshold looms before you now, and it appears as though it has finished strumming its lute."

A blast of bright light washes the inn's common room in a blinding glow for but an instant at the same time the entryway doors swing open. A short shape darkens the doorway, still cutting an ominous figure as the lightning illuminates the whole of Thornleaf behind him. A howling gale of wind tears through The Crown, driving torrential rain before it. Lit fires in the hearths begin to dance and spasm wildly, while the few candles and lamps nearer to the door are snuffed out in an instant. Thunder crashes so loud and heavy that one might wonder if the Count's Tower had collapsed next door. All heads are torn away from Deresh and Ruach by the tumult to regard the new arrival and the double-doors smacking the walls and creaking ominously on their hinges. Another bundled—and utterly soaking wet—forest gnome shuffles into the inn and struggles to get the doors closed against the assailing weather. He emits a relieved sigh when he finally succeeds in latching the doors closed.

While the scene has sapped much of the buzz from the room, Belbajak recognizes Grindlethurm Sweetwater as the new arrival (One of the youngest of many of Belbajak's cousins, and newly initiated in the family trade, so to speak). Grindlethurm shuffles towards the bar, leaving a trail of wet and damp anywhere that somehow managed to avoid the blast of rain that accompanied the young gnome's arrival.

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

Belbajak listens intently to first the performers and then the dwarf with a smile on his face and curiosity in his soul.

Seeing his cousin, his brows furrow a bit. He stands up and bows a little angle toward the dwarf. "I thank you Master Korlem for your cigar and history lesson, and I must take my leave for the moment. My cousin has arrived looking as if he went swimming in the river. Please excuse me."

After a step toward the bar, Belbajak pauses and turns his head back toward the dwarf. His smile surprisingly broadens when he says, "I've never met a threshold that I haven't wanted to cross, yet." Then, he turns back and greets his cousin.

"Hey Thurm! Wa'cha doin' swimmin' at night. Ain't healthy." He orders two more brandies for himself and his cousin to warm them from the inside.

Did Belbajak remember anything about a possible magic-user with Korlem's description?

He doesn't fit the profile of any prolific or historic figures Belbajak knows of. Dwarven arcanists are incredibly rare in general, however.

Sheet Half-elf Rogue (Swashbuckler) 42/42 HP 16 AC DEX,INT 2x:Init+7 P.Per 14, Insight 14, Invest 9 darkvision 2x:initiative, stealth, charmed, ∅:sleep

Just as the gnome attempts to bar the door a foot from outside stops him, and in comes Argyri, dripping with rain and howling with laughter.

"Hahahahahaha! What a time to step out to take a dump! Well, we don't none of us control when nature calls...and anyway it's nothing that some hot brandy can't remedy, eh?

"Lundwin, be a pal and heat me a healthy mug of the apple brandy, would ya?" As he speaks he finishes pulling back up his trousers and reties the sash that holds them up. Then he shakes his head--rain flying from his hair and beard like from a wet dog. (It happens to spray the already wet gnome and his previously dry cousin, though not maliciously.)

"And Rosetongue, you're playing my favorite song!" The Brandy Bear walks over to to his traveling companion. He puts a soggy arm over Ruach's shoulder and starts to sing along as best he's able.

Despite not remembering all of the words (or having any training at all) the booze loosens his lips and Argyri booms out a rousing verse.

With a grin to his friend, he says "Not bad, eh?"

Perform (sing): 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (18) + 0 = 18

As the song died down, Barazi’s focus was pulled to the raging storm outside.

The Air and Water elements are angry. They war with each other. There is something off in the balance.

She gently tugs at Ruach’s pant leg, an anxious look on her face. ”Ruach. Fight! Bad fight!” she says as she points at the nearby window.

She then sees Argyri walk in, and she hops up and runs to give the big man a concerned hug. She then says to him in their embrace ”Argyri! Bad fight!”

Deresh sits back, sipping on his brandy and enjoying Argyri's song. It's a dramatic night to be sure, with the weather filled with deviltry and the mood within the tavern rising to a fever pitch. Or is that the brandy getting to him? Determined to double down, he drains his cup and sets it spinning across the table.

Should he return to his lonely vigil by the fireplace? Resume his assault upon Mount Drifr? Or simply sit back and watch his new companions as they laugh and sing and play merry?

Sit back. It's the easiest option when your legs aren't feeling too steady.

However, when Barazi points animatedly out the windows, he perks up, thinking to see some kind of brawl taking place outside.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

"What're you on about, lass?" Ruach asks Barazi.

Growing frustrated trying to eek out her thoughts in human tongue like Ruach preferred her do, she turns from Argyri and replies ”Տարրերը միմյանց հետ պատերազմում են: Ինչ-որ բան բարկացրեց նրանց, նետեց նրանց հավասարակշռությունից:”

”The elements are at war with one another! Something has angered them, thrown them out of balance!”

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

Ruach brays like a donkey. "Don't you mind her, Derry," Ruach says to Deresh. "She's a bit of an eejit, so she is. Razi here thinks that the elements are at war with themselves, they are."

Ruach pats Barazi on the shoulder. "'S Just a bit of a soft day is all lass, no need to get all riled up."

Sheet Half-elf Rogue (Swashbuckler) 42/42 HP 16 AC DEX,INT 2x:Init+7 P.Per 14, Insight 14, Invest 9 darkvision 2x:initiative, stealth, charmed, ∅:sleep

Hmmmm, I was just outside taking a dump. Did I notice anything to worry about?

Grindlethurm starts a little at Belbajak's approach. He removes his cloak and gives it a couple of firm wrings, depositing a quick rivulet of water onto the floor that spatters in all directions. He finds a suitable perch for the garment, settling on the banister of the nearby stairs ascending to the private rooms to afford it time to dry. Accomplishing this, he shoots an exasperated look in Belbajak's direction.

"Addily(*) is havin' a right proper tiff with the sky today. The foot of the burrows is fittin' to be a gully before the night's through. Rotstein's looking like more of a dock than a bridge, the streets outside are practically rivers of their own, and everything that weren't tied down is a gift to the winds." He accepts the proffered brandy with a smile, saying "Many thanks, cousin."

Then, an epiphanic look washes over his face. He rifles around in the left interior pocket of a plain red vest, producing a sealed—and horribly crumpled—envelope. "Here, before I forget. Another runner relayed this through the burrows, and I drew the short straw. Although, the brandy's a nice consolation, I suppose!"

He presses the envelope into Belbajak's hand:

It bears the waxed stamp of the Veridical Enclave, which are one of the few satellite wizard circles that comprise the broader wizard cadre that reside within the Cleftlands. While the Veridical Enclave are housed on a neighboring island-duchy (Karstfeld), it is not unusual for them to rely on Sweetwater couriers when necessary.

Belbajak recognizes the handwriting before he even registers the words. Adelar is the Erzmagier (foremost wizard) of the Veridical Enclave. He's also a notorious spy who works feverishly in opposition to the Red Hand's slaver efforts in the Cleftlands. It would seem this is another thread in a similar tapestry, composed with code words Belbajak is familiar with...

No red gloves. (Unsanctioned operation--operating illegally)
A pair of knives. (An elf slave)
Unsaddled. (traveling lightly--small numbers)
Spent torches and retired foremen. (Belbajak is unsure on this one, but it probably refers to abandoned mines in the nearby Flicking Crags)
24 copper upon delivery. (4 days until pickup at earliest)

Goods deliverable by the inebriate bear and minstrel due in Thornleaf. Make haste.

Apart from just being a really severe thunderstorm, nothing seems terribly out of sorts with regards to the weather. The isle of Estfalk is prone to being hammered by wild storms that roll in from off the coast.

* Addily being the child-God of storms, tempests, capriciousness, etc.

History: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

”Thanks Thurm. Enjoy the brandy.” Belbajak thanks his cousin while pocketing the note and pats him on the back.

He orders three more brandies and a key for a room upstairs from the barkeep. The room would have a table, a half dozen chairs, thick curtains covering the wall to muffle sound and hide eavesdroppers, and a sturdy oak door where confidential conversations can happen and business deals can get negotiated and sealed. The common room is not quite empty yet and still has many ears. So, he asks the barkeep to deliver the brandies to and invite Argyri and Deresh to the room, even though he doesn’t know their names. The barkeep makes as much money from these meeting rooms as he does with the bedrooms upstairs, so he’s well-practiced and well-motivated with these invitiations.

With another brandy in his hand, Belbajak winds his way through the common room to the stairs. He waits on the second step to make eye contact with his invitees when they receive and accept the invitiation before leading them upstairs.

FWIW. I had a Sweetwater local beer in Atlanta on Friday

One of the barmaids, a rotund woman of middling years with raven hair and freckles, saunters over to the small ring of people consisting of brewer, musician, and wilder-elf. She carries a thin tray laden with a variety of drinks in one hand with practiced ease as she comes to a stop inches away from Barazi. She forces a horn of brandy first into Argyri's hand, and then into Deresh's. Though unbidden, a third horn—of a sweet mead, rather than brandy—gets pressed into Ruach's hand, accompanied by a gap-toothed grin and wink from the woman. She almost turns to leave with the assortment of other drinks, but thankfully remembers why she approached in the first place.

"From master Belbajak—that gnome yonder that lingers yet on the stairs. He invites the lot of yous to share your drinks in private in one of Lundwin's meetin' rooms. Couldna say why, but Belbajak's a goodly sort 'round here, so I'm sure he don't mean no harm." Her voice manages a measure of reassurance, not unlike that of a kindly aunt, though her words are replete with a lowborn drawl. Sparing a final smile for Rosetongue, she turns and makes her rounds with other patrons.

Across the room, beyond the din and motion of now good and besotted folk, the fiery-haired gnome Belbajak maintains a smiling vigil near the base of the stairs. The second gnome who had made a somewhat tumultuous entrance just ahead of Argyri now occupies a stool at the bar, both hands locked around his own gift of brandy, rose-cheeked and exhausted.

Half-Elf Warlock 1 (Hexblade)

Ruach smiles back at the woman, thanking her by name. As she smiles before leaving, he deliberately undresses her with his eyes before returning a cheeky grin. "Later, luv."

Ruach turns to his companions, "Piqued me curiosity, he has. What say ye, lads? Let's have a drink and see what he has to say fer himself?"

Ruach stumbles out of his chair, horn in hand. He sloppily returns his lute to the case, somehow managing to keep all the mead in the horn. Gathering his things, he weaves his way over to Belbajak. "Oi!" he says by way of greeting, offering his horn for a clink against the gnome's glass of brandy.

Seeing Ruach move off to speak with the gnome that had been in and out of the bar during their stay here, Barazi turns back to Argyri and tugs on his shirt to urge him to come with them. She looks to see if the green-skinned-man was going to be coming along before moving just a step behind Ruach through the crowded tavern.

She stands quietly behind him, looking back to the window with no small measure of anxiety.

Sheet Half-elf Rogue (Swashbuckler) 42/42 HP 16 AC DEX,INT 2x:Init+7 P.Per 14, Insight 14, Invest 9 darkvision 2x:initiative, stealth, charmed, ∅:sleep

Argyri nods to Rosetongue but then sees Barazi's tense face. He smiles and grabs her hand. "I know you're concerned about the weather, but I was just out there, lightening my load. It'll soak you to the bone but I didn't see anything dangerous.

"Now the nice little fella over there has asked to drink with us...and refusing offered libations is true sacrilege for the Holy Inebriator. Let's chat with him now and then if you still want to go back outside I will. Promise!"

Forest Gnome | HP 9/9 | HD 1/1 | 1st 2/2 | Insp 0
AC (15)17 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +5, Cha +2 | Initiative +2 | Passive Perception 13, Darkvision

The grinning Belbajak nods to the acknowledgement and leads the troop upstairs. He unlocks the door and encircles the room to look behind the fabric covered walls as almost a ritual. Then, he pulls a stool to the table and takes a seat. He sips his brandy waiting for his guests to settle into their seats.

1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post / Brimleydower's 5e: Thornleaf Tales All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.