The Tale of Cesspool Dragon-knocker
(told by the bard Flynn Flamethrush)
(believed by some – though never proven - to be Cesspool using a pseudonym)
The brave and handsome Cesspool grew up within a family of Dragon-knockers – those that chase dragons. To be precise, those that chase dragons to their dens, and to be even more precise, those that chase dragons to their dens, yet seem to have the unfortunate luck of being a bit too late and having the dragon moved on to another lair. Some would actually call it fortunate luck. As the Dragon-knockers would say “We come a knockin’ – it’s not our fault nobody is home to answer!”
It is on one such family excursion that Cesspool met her. He had just turned eighteen, and had been traveling on dragon searches with his family for many years. Following a hunch of Bloodletter Dragon-knocker, the family’s eldest, they had trekked deep into the mountains of Northern Bresindale, and discovered a lair long abandoned by its dragon tenant. Though scant with treasure, there was enough left making the trip quite worthwhile, and as others of the family determined and acquired all items of value, Cesspool found himself drawn into a chamber hidden by shadows and rock ledges.
There, encased in a nimbus of soft light, but an inch off the ground, was a young female form. She was taller than Cesspool, perhaps four or five feet tall, beautiful, with short red hair, and blue eyes. Though the nimbus obscured her somewhat, Cesspool gazed in wonder as he realized she had a metallic-brass sheen about her, along with vague feline features. A look of despair was upon her face, and though it looked as if she was calling to Cesspool, she made no noise. In fact, Cesspool realized, since entering the chamber there hadn’t been a single sound, not even his breathing or the internal thumping of his heart.
He didn’t know why she was trapped here. Perhaps she had done something, perhaps it was a punishment, perhaps she had been kidnapped – but whatever had led to this, the imprisoning of this girl seemed wrong. A wrong he should right.
The Dragon-knockers, if you asked them, would say that they were a family of adventurers, searching for treasure as well as knowledge (which sometimes is worth even more). Since childhood, Cesspool had been taught the lore of Dragons, Constructs, and any creature and craft that fell under the realm of Arcana. He had also been taught the lore of magic, creation and its usage, and had a familiarity (though not perfection) of how to manipulate magical devices. Backed by an uncanny ability to hide when necessary, the Dragon-knockers had found themselves ideally equipped to enter dragon lairs (with the appropriate timing) and deal with the mysteries within. With these skills, Cesspool studied the situation in front of him.
He observed three runes set in the stone floor, and how a blue light bounced between them. He noticed a lens set at an angle that seemed to focus a stream of light from above, filtering it into a rainbow that led to the nimbus. And finally he considered a fine layer of silver dust that lay upon the ground under the girl’s feet. He pulled out his short sword, kissed it for luck from the Halfling deity Chaldira Zuzaristan, and considered the appropriate actions that would free the girl. Realizing he had nothing, he smashed the runes with the pommel of his sword while wiping the dust away with his other hand, then kicked the lens with his foot, ending with a spectacular dive and roll to the side, attempting to blend into the shadows.
At first, nothing seemed different. The young girl was still entrapped, now with a shocked look at what had just transpired. Cesspool stood up, moving from the wall, his heart beating strongly from the adrenalin of his actions… and then he realized that he could hear his heartbeat, an internal sound that had been lost since entering this section of the lair. The girl looked around, as she also realized something different was happening, and then slowly found herself lowered to the floor as the nimbus faded.
“Thank you Cesspool! How did you…” And then she was gone.
Cesspool looked around in confusion. Where had she gone? How did she know his name?
And for that matter, how did he know that her name was Absinthe?
Cesspool Dragon-knocker Male Halfling, 21 years old, 3ft. 8 in., 39 lbs
Master Summoner, Neutral (Chaotic Good) Sandy brown hair, green eyes
HP = 20 (d8/8+6 + 2 Con/lvl, + 1/lvl) BAB = +1, Speed = 20 ft. (15 ft. if med. encumb.)
AC = 17 (10 base, + 3 Dex, + 1 size, +3 armor) Init = +3 (+3 Dex)
Str = 5 (-3 )
Dex = 16 (+3) Ref = +4 (+3 Dex, +0 class, +1 racial)
Con = 14 (+2) Fort = +3 (+2 Con, +0 class, +1 racial)
Int = 14 (+2) Will =+4 (+0 Wis, +3 class, +1 racial)
Wis = 11 (+0)
Cha = 19 (+4)
Stat Bonus/penalty: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str
Small: +1 size bonus to AC and Attack rolls, -1 to CMB and CMD, +4 size bonus to Stealth checks
Fearless: +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear, stacks with Halfling Luck
Halfling Luck: +1 racial bonus on all saving throws
Keen Senses: +2 racial bonus on Perception checks
Swift as Shadows: Reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5, when sniping by 10
Highlander (trait): +1 trait bonus on Stealth, +2 when in hilly or rocky areas. Stealth = class skill.
Lessons of Chaldira (Chaldira Zuzaristan)(trait): Once per day, when you fail a saving throw, you can reroll the saving throw. You must take the second result even if it is worse. (Goddess of Mischief and Battle, realms = good, trickery, war, Shortsword = favored weapon)
1st level – Skill Focus (Knowledge – Arcana)
2nd level - Augment Summoning (free): +4 Str and +4 Con to summoned creatures