Chapter 1: Meet the Party
The challenge of every bard is accuracy. Telling a story without manipulating the facts or stretching any details. They train us bards for months upon years upon decades to master the art of storytelling. An art passed down from generation to generation since the beginning of civilized society. Kings had scribes, Warlords had.. well.. Bards and the church had the dedicated monks to scribble down any story that came around. This is the foundation of the Bardic Academy taught to every student that gets accepted (or forced in some cases) to take on the great honor that comes with being a Bard.
They train us for every eventuality. From dragon attacks to war zones we are taught survival strategies, note taking tips and above all the ability to recreate a story from memory. They have prepped and trained us for many things but what I have witnessed in my travels nothing could have prepped me for. I mean, how could I have known they were going to create a god?
Our adventure starts in the town of Gondo. A small village known for its surrounding ranches of cattle and large exports of dairy. Recently defective Orges from the Stone Giant army have been pillaging the treasures and cattle from the ranches. Scraping together what they could they put up a bounty in the local tavern, 100 gold to whoever can bring back the heads of the Orges. They could keep whatever valuables they found in the vile as long as they returned the cattle.
The party that entered the town on this fateful day was known through-out the land. They had saved Sadere from goblins, solved the murders in the massive city of Magnus, traveled to the north and reclaimed Fort Ransack from Orges then returned once again to slay a dragon back in Sadere. They were known as heroes across the land traveling with riches galore and blessing every village they encountered with prosperity. This is the story that has been told from town to town for the last month and finding this party had been a nightmare. I had just finished following up another dead end and was settling down to drink away my failure at the bar. Right as I had given up very large, green and loud half orc followed by the rest of his group come barging into the tavern.
“How much for dogs!” The half orc shouted at the occupants of the tavern causing everyone there to turn and stare. He had a dog in each hand and was scowling around obviously looking for the owner of this tavern.
A man came from the kitchens waving his hands, “Now whats all that shoutin ab-.” He got that far into the sentence before the large half orc had crossed the room to speak to him. The orc crouched down to look him in the eye.
“How much for dog stay in room.” The orc said forcefully towards the man who was now fighting every urge in his body to not run and hide.
“Uh, umm… uh…. 1 gold for the room and 5 gold for each dog?” He asked in a nervous tone hoping this offer would satisfy the looming orc. With a grunt the orc nodded and dropped 20 gold onto the counter then headed to the nearest table to sit. The whole tavern watched in amazement as this orc sat down on a chair and did not break it. Admiring his bulging muscles I took the chance to examine this massive orc. He was as if you had shoved 3 orcs into a single body and part of me wondered if his other half was hill giant by any chance. He called himself Super Mutant, a name he wore well.
The rest of his party was already seated discussing the travel plans. Examining the legendary adventurers I had a chance to take some quick notes. Lazuli Ven was the easiest to pick out of the group (aside from the Orc). Lazuli had her broom by her side, crab on her head and octopus on her shoulder. I watched as the octopus got close and seemed to bubble into Lazuli’s ear every so often only to be quickly interrupted by the clapping claws of the crab on her head. Beside Lazuli sat Zee, the party cleric, who was also of orchish decent but substantially smaller than the bulging mutant at the far end of the table. Zee Doktor was his name and stories of how he has brought back creatures from near death came to mind. Although with the power this party possessed I doubted they would need his expertise to often. Beside Doktor was Noctys Armen Tyrnel, a rogue by the look of his bag which bulged with shapes of coins and trinkets. Sitting upon the bag was what looked like an Orphan. A child that people say Noctys rescued from the Giant attack in Sadere.
Sitting in his own chair is the legendary Sandy Ravage. Legends say that Sandy has punched a stone golem in the face and killed it with a single punch. When he fights he uses his personalized weapon, a chair that folds and unfolds in an instant. He named it Pain and introduces it to every adversary he encounters. Beside him was their most recent addition Richard Miz, a magic user who can cast hundreds of magic missiles in an instant. He never misses and his aim is uncanny, second only to the arrows of Shardrin Lafey. It struck me as odd that Shardrin did not join them at the table. Examining the room I found him in the corner, leaned against a wall and watching his party discuss battle tactics.
“I want meat” Super Mutant said loudly to a bar maid passing by. She nodded quickly and rushed to the kitchen hoping to appease the hulking mass of Orc. As the rest of the group placed their orders for food Super Mutant fed the meat to his dogs, petting them softly as they gnawed the flesh off the bones. Zee got up to read the bounty board while they waiting for food to come and pulled down the ranchers bounty.
“Lookzs at theis” He said as he put the paper on the table for everyone to see. As they passed the paper around you could tell that they cared more about the reward rather than the problem. “Eazy job for eazy pay yee?” Zee said to the group with a smile.
“I like killing as much as I like getting paid.” Lazuli said as she read over the job. “Kill afew Orges and make a quick buck.” She said as she passed the paper over to Noctys. Noctys looked at the paper, then at the Orphan then quickly passed the paper on.
“It settled zen!” The Doktor said as he rolled the bounty up. “In the morning we travel to the Ranch and solve this problem!”
Authors Note: I hope you enjoyed the beginning of Encountering Wednesday! This series is designed to share the many adventures of my Wednesday DND group. They originally were Dungeons and Dragons Encounters until our local game store shut down. Now they are a rag tag team of heroes who do whatever they can to survive. The players are currently running through a module called: “Rise of the Runelords” written by Paizo. This series will be solely about their personal exploits rather than the adventure itself. I hope you enjoyed chapter 1 as much as they enjoyed playing it! See you next week!