We all know that there are Forces in the world that do “strange” things.
Magic flows, but can be impacted by these sources. The Gods get bored, and play with mere beings like pawn pieces on a game day.
For me, it was following my daily life, but then everything went dark and woke transported to a small, bustling burg. It seems to be a small quaint town, a little rustic with the smell of fresh ocean on the breeze.
A setting completely unfamiliar to a mountain dwarf like me, Kotesha.
When I came to, the blackness fading, there was a cow standing nearby with its hindquarters in my face. Gathering my goods, I scrambled over the thatch fence and noticed a cart filled with produce heading down the small roadway. With bells ringing in the distance, I start down the road with haste, to try to catch up with the cart.
When I catch up, I hail the drive, a youthful appearing male human.
When I inquire, he tells me we are in the township of Wells, a place I have never heard of.
I tell him that I am from a mountain village and we deduce that the nearest mountains are about a week away.
Oh, the whims of the gods to have transported me so far. I will obviously need to find an Inn or a boarding house until I figure out why I am here and how to transport back home.
Through our conversation, the Bradbury is a local Inn recommended to me by Tommy Lee, as I learn the cart driver’s name to be. He informs me that Mr. Rigby owns the Bradbury and that Beth – who works at the inn, puts on a good spread, especially her stew.
As I prepare to part and head to the small town, Tommy gives me a warning to be careful and stay safe, although it sounds like a common departing call. I pause, concerned and we talk some more.
It turns out that his Grandpappy moved to the Wells, in search of a better life.. but it is his father who is the better business man. As we talk I learn that I am not a week away from home, but that I am in some land called Gildor– and that in this land if it can kill it probably will kill you.
Blue skin, tall, fast stride. with horns. Cloaked figure passes me by. I am concerned that it will kill me, but it passes me by as if I do not even exist. I pause and ponder, wondering if this figure in a white cloak was a solid real figure or maybe just an apparition. Strange, strange beings in this land, I will have to tread very carefully.
I continue on into the town, where there is a central well and smell stew wafting over the breeze from a large building on the other side of the square and head that way. That blue skinned creature had been talking to a portly gentleman with a full beard and then once again over takes me. I give him the road, for which I am glad because his stink fills the street and all of the air. I work hard not to gag and give offense until he passes.
I prepay for a room for a week and an extra gold for prepay for food and bath.
The proprietress sends a small boy- Jeremiah- with scaly skin with snake eyes to lead me to the room, has a tail. Scampers up the stairs and I follow.
The Room is somewhat small, not much bigger than the bed. A single window looks over the front of the building.
Jeremiah shows me how a table folds down out of the wall, which the action of a small lever seems to control. Jeremiah warns me to keep the window shut at night and to watch out for the blood sucking insects that sometimes swarm. It seems that this land is not at all friendly to the settlers who are trying to claim it.
Jeremiah departs and I hop up onto the bed. It is a nice stiff bed but a little dusty. As I sneeze, I hop down off the bed to look out the window. I can See the road extending, and several farm houses.
As a lapidary, I pull a Banded Agate, Carnelian and Eye Agate out of my collection and onto the small table, meditating for a bit while I wait for my stew to arrive. I find myself meditating on what strange game the gods are playing in this land.
When he returns with my stew, I notice my Eye Agate lifted by Jeremiah sneaky fingers, but he leaves the copper I tipped him in return. While the value of the eye agate is much more than a copper, that copper was likely the most cash he had every had free to spend and he gladly left it in trade. His intent was good and he was much in need of confidence and some kinship, as his work clothes and holey shoes certainly indicate, so I do not pursue the matter.
Suddenly there is some shouting and the music kicks up the volume from down below. My floor vibrates a bit, and I grab the carnelian, just as it vibrates off the edge of the table. Carnelian calls for bold action, so I grab my bowl and head downstairs with the wild rumbling of thunder and lightning outside.
In the common room, i find an empty seat over by the window when a tankard of Ale.
Suddenly, there is a Pale white face, bloody staring through the window. It strongly Startles me so I call out and jump up on my seat. Everyone else stares at me for a moment. I look out the window, but nothing is there, so I settle back down into my chair and motion over a bar wench. Apparently, this ale is not settling well in my brain- I order another bowl of stew and push the ale to the edge of the table.
As my bowl of stew comes ,the doors slam open and a figure stands in the doorway.
The chandlier glows with blue magical light, startling some in the room who have apparently never seen magic light before, but I note the motions from the blue gentleman at the bar next to the half orc. A Magician, or a Wizard? I am unable to tell. In the blue glow, I can tell it was indeed the figure I saw outside come crashing through the doors, framed in thunder and lightning . She takes three steps into the room and falls forward.
The Blue “person” rushes to her side and again, the blue glow flows into her.
Claire McCockle. I hear her name whispered as someone the townsfolk are familiar with her.
“her Husband is back..”
Barmaid says her husband died just a week ago, could not be him, although he used to beat her. The constable killed her husband, who was a farmer. Good herd of cattle and chickens on his farm.
The Blue gentleman- from Ithrain. Beth is enthralled with his ability to write, and asks him to do some writing for her.
Older gentleman is sitting over ale in a cloak and with some armor on. Starts to get up and heads for the Orc. Beth hollers at him to sit, but he does not. This strange blue gentleman speaks very loudly and his eyes light up, calling for him to stop. The yellow flame in his eyes seems to enthrall the gentleman in armour. Then he turns and runs out the door in fear.
Seems that Fred the constable, our older gentleman in armor had been drinking.
Beth shakes her head while telling us how Fred had to “put down” Clare’s husband last week- skewered him through and he (Fred) has not been the same ever since.
Blue dude shares strange fuzzy fruit with me. I fear it is rotten and grown a fuzz, but the carnelian called me to bold action so I take one and slice it in half. The inside looks oddly seeded, but smells sweet. I scoop some out with a finger and the tart taste is refreshing and delicious, so I continue to scoop some out.
The Orc comes over and talks to the blue man, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up . After insulting how the blue man eats his fruit, he says that they are delicacies only the very rich have access to. Apparently, in this land they are common fruit. Peeling the fruit seems a silly action and I scoop the rest from the second half.
Startlingly, the blue man invites the Orc to sit down.
The Orc/Human bastard tells he is from Kaspria – largest city in the planet. He seems to be a bit ragged around the edges and is resentful of his perception of the Blue Man’s wealth. I hold my breath and hold judgement, but sit uneasily while he is at the table.
The Blue Man – Aaron is his name- gets up to check on Claire, but I have him pause while I check the banded Agate. It spins silently until the watermark lines are perpendicular to me- Trouble for sure. Aaron shakes it off, so I question HaDash the Orc to assess if he is the trouble the Agates warn of. Just as I get the question out, there is a Scream from Claire.
“he is back, he is back”.
A while later, Aaron returns with my agate eye. It seems he bought it from Jeremiah for a silver so hopefully the lad is learning some business sense and building his confidence will come. He asks me for assistance, but I am reluctant to put myself in the middle of others troubles. But then he mentions there are childen at risk and I feel the call of my role in this game of the gods pulling me and I agree.
From Jeremiah I learn that the wood pile is out back and go out to find appropriate wood for a torch. I find the pile and prepare several torches.
There is a stunningly beautiful woman kneeling over Claire, but she is muttering and in a trance, so I back away, careful not to disturb her trance, hoping she is doing more healing.
Back at the table, Aaron tries to get me to put on some soft blue and flowered cloak as protection against the night insects, but I am not for such feminine oddities. I stuff it in my backpack and light my torch on the way out the door.
16 eyes glowing in the torch light is is going to be a long, tortuous walk to Claire’s place in the dark.
Everything wants to kill me indeed.
I hand the torch to aaron to free my battleax hand, note some ears moving in the darkness and we continue on, on the alert.
As we step forward, we start to get rushed by strange brown creatures — also small ones. Big ears, tail and big feet.. move by hopping.
No teeth visible, but creatures have killed without large teeth.. I take a defensive stance and watch as one rushes Aaron. As it gets close, the creature drops into a ball and rolls up at his feet… is this more magic, or normal behavior for these creatures?
I do not even get to finish the thought when one of the creatures rushes at me, leaps through the air and lands full force on my shield. Although I use my grounding stance, it still knocks me backward across the road.
A full on Tussle follows– I do kill one of the creatures, but the rest gather and just as I think the whole swarm of them will trounce us dead, they stream through and past us- into the night across the field.
This is truly a strange land. Not one to let good meat go to waste, I take the carcass back to Beth at the inn, with a promise of steaks for breakfast.
Note: Break in writing here as the action and conflict became intense.
The party arrives at Claire’s house and while investigating upstairs with Aaron, a gust goes past us and down the stairs.
As we track it, I find myself becoming possessed and the ghoul who possesses me seems to have a strong intent.
My own sense of self fades.. the conflict around me is a bit like watching through a gauzy curtain, and I find myself moved like a puppet… I am battling to make it out the front door.. but I don’t know why.
The next thing I know, I wake up on the lawn in front of the constable’s house–small welts all over my body and weirdly exhausted. if I can find the strength to bumble back to the Inn, I Must get Aaron to explain what happened and how I ended up here. I hope that this land does not also harbor vampires!!
Player Notes: Note that in the house I was possessed by a Ghoul and Was full on being driven to Constable Fred’s house by the Ghost of Claire’s husband. the ghost was banished out of me by the party, but not sure where it went. I nearly died, but was healed and will be fully recovered by next round.