One hundred interesting stories that a retired adventure can relay to the players.
You fellas make sure to bring ink and parchment, you hear! I remember back, oh, 35 summers ago we found a crypt too big to tackle at the time so we decided to make a map. Only old Bark toes, well we called him Bark toes on account of being a druid his real name was Faelwyn (Sounds elvish but he was a Dwarf, damnedest thing really)... but anyway, old Bark toes had buried all our paper! Said it was only proper respect for Father Tree. So we had to hunt down a rabbit, tan the hide, then burn the map into it. Took 3 days, and that map reeked up my pack something fierce!
Hah! That reminds me of a particularly harsh winter when a dwarf I traveled with thought it’d be fun to explore a cave despite us being low on rations. Needless to say by the time spring rolled around I was plus a few Bullywug bites and minus a short bearded friend!
I wouldn’t eat that if I was you. I was once treated to the spectacle of what I thought was a Tabaxi coughing up a hairball. Turns out a Remorhaze egg had been incubating in her gut from some dodgy stew and she quickly became its first meal.
You think this is bad weather? I’ve seen it rain so hard that you’d swear it was coming from the ground and the sky at the same time. My boots filled so fast I had to walk barefoot to the nearest shelter I could find. Nearly stepped on a gas spore.
Well, let me tell you: you can take the mightiest knight or wizard in the kingdom, and they'll duel a demigod or storm the gates o'hell. But you throw enough angry chickens at'em, sooner or later they'll go DOWN. Buy me a top-shelf whiskey and I'll tell you how it happened to the high priest. It might come in handy later on.
That's a good story, but I bet you never saw a goliath hurl a gnome into the maw of an angry froghemoth, the hard part wasn't getting the gnome out of the creature, she did that much herself. The hard part was getting the stink o' frog guts off of the gnome.
Things are different these days, they are indeed. I was a Red Arrow, didja know that? Travelled all over these lands, usually in small bands but sometimes they were hundreds of us. Thousands! Everywhere we went we'd work to make people proud of their own accomplishments. Make 'em happy, even if they said our arrows were orange! And if they stole from others, or said unkind things, why we stabbed them with our cold blue spears to let the people know how to behave like proper folk!
This? Just a bit o' mead from home. Like wine, but made of honey; there's a bit of rose in this one, I think. Want a taste? (If offer is accepted, the mead is described as being pleasantly sweet and smooth, if a bit dry. May cause heartburn for those with hearts.) Good stuff, innit? My uncle's favorite; it's basically all he'd drink. We'd usually get that mead with the juniper berries mixed in, but my uncle preferred the rose mead. Said it tasted better. Dunno if I entirely agree, but that's what he would bring over. Heh...I remember one year, he came by, strangely empty-handed. My mum (his sister) asked where the mead was. That's the thing, he said, they said they was out. Some damn fool had made off with the barrels, leaving none for the rest of us. He suffered through the juniper mead, but he sure as hell wasn't happy about it. But then comes next week, right? He comes by with two kegs of the stuff. THEY FOUND IT, he said. He said he'd been walking along when he heard a commotion off the path, went to go check it out. And, sitting on top of a cart, drunk as hell, were the thieves. They hadn't even properly made off with the stuff, they were just sitting there barely off the road. Damn fools. My uncle seemed proud of himself. Man loved his mead. Maybe a little too much...
Hah! That's nothing! You want to know what 'up shit creek without a paddle' really looks like? Lemme tell you a story: Me and four of me mates (or so I thought) were going through the mountains with a big load from... I won't tell, because I might actually get back to that pile o' gold one day. But! We were going through this wicked cave, and suddenly drow, the dark bastards, jump out of the shadows and start shouting at us in broken common. Now, we're alone in the mountains, one weeks travel from any civilization, and ambushed by a crew of drow. That's the shit creek, now where's me paddle gone? Well as if the situation wasn't bad enough, there's a cave in that separates me from me mates (got Spencer's leg too), and now I'm alone against a dozen pissed off drow. Now, how I got out of that situation with only a dirk and a shovel to my name, is a story that there isn't a cup of mead big enough to buy from me.
So there I was, tied up. Not 20 feet from this sorceress and her gaggle of cultists. As the I was cutting my way through my bonds, and trying to signal to my mates that we need to stop this. The cultists were Chanting, the clouds were getting darker and the villager in the middle of the throng was getting really nervous. But all I could think about was that damn sorceress. Anyway, that's how I met my first ex-wife.
That ain't nothin' to be scared of. You ever been chased by an undead thunder lizard, vomiting zombies? I tell yah, that'll change the color of your pants and maybe even your religion!
So you should have seen it: Me, the most beautiful woman you ever saw and a table that turned out to be a mimic. Her palms were stuck to the surface for reasons I as gentleman shall not get into, and I was swinging my sword with one hand and hitching up my trousers with another. Anyway that was the last time I snuck into the Wizard's college storage cellar to fool around.
No crud, there I was at the Battle of Deepwater Isle, standing in front of the walls to Waterdeep. A hundred Sahaugin were storming up the bank, angry as a cat in a pond. We held them back, dropping them 3 to 1. Problem is, that wasn't fast enough and they just kept coming. Well, the Blackstaffs showed up on the wall behind us. Yah ever see what a Fireball does to aquatic flesh? It scared 'em, scared 'em right good but I tell yah, you never smell something so bad as burning water goblin! Except maybe troglodyte...
That's some nice shootin' there. Did I ever tell you about the time I one-shotted an orc with my sling? See, we was jumped on the Trade Way, just a simple escort job. This little warband of orcs jumped us on the road, lookin' for an easy take. Didn't expect we all had steel, yah see? We cut 'em down quick, but one slipped away, with a sack of valuables under his arm. That greenskin nicked an ox, no lie, tryin' to ride it for all its worth. He was bouncing all around and not gettin' too far. I picked up a rock off the ground, loaded my sling, one shot in the back of his head and he went tumblin'; dead before he hit the ground.
That's a fine bit o' gold there. Reminds me of the time I was prospecting for gold up north of Neverwinter. Mount Hotenow was still having its rumblings and we were pickin' pieces that size out of the rivers!
Oh don't complain about this little drizzle. Did I ever tell you about the time I was sailing back from Chult? Musta been only a couple years ago. We had 3 ships, full of old relics, when a bad squall kicked up. Swells were 30 to 40 feet and rain was crushing down on us in sheets. We barely stayed afloat, and what's worse; Everytime the lightning flashed, we saw tentacles rising up from the depths. Only 2 of our ships made it back... (Looks off distantly, glassy-eyed in memory)
Now that's a fine bit o' cloth. Almost reminds me of Owlbear fur. I tell yah, ain't nothin' better for keepin' back the winter chill.
I once wrestled 20 trolls with my bare hands! Yep, you should have seen those 15 hobgoblins, they were no match for me. Once they saw my muscles, those 10 kobolds ran for the hills!
You'd be surprised how many times an adventurer met their end from overconfidence. I saw a man that cut a giant in two with a single slice die after insisting the river only looked deep.
Never ask a paladin about how their oath works unless you want an hour long moral philosophy lecture complete with some shameless proselytizing.
Took us nine days to find that phylactery. The lich was pretty pissed when we showed him it. That was the fourth time we killed that ancient relic disguised as a man but that was the first time any of us saw fear in an undead's eyes.
Get bent, young-blood. You don't know nuthin' bout no adven'turing. I know so, 'cause if you'd tell me a story 'bout what yuve seen and I passed my wine jug wi'out noticin' then I'd cut my luv'ely beard! And I. Dunt. Cut. Muh. Beard. Or share teh wine...' (Now the PC's have a chance to RP their characters telling a story of the experiences their character has had.)
Say now, this reminds me of the time old Zollio rode a giant monitor lizard round the upside of a bridge to get a clear shot at the turtle dragon harassing us. Yessir, he was a sight to behold. Fell the whole way down and still managed to get the killing blow off that bow of his. I can't remember how we made it out of that one.
So... you heard of the pale elf Drost Durden and his white tiger? He defied the laws of the over-light mountains, descended from their snowy peaks, and became a hero of the people. But thats just what the stories say, he is probably as cruel as the rest of them. (Note, there is a Dark Elf there listening to this story who looks very... very... very tired at listening to this)
See this scar on my chin? The first deer I ever killed, I must have been 14, no 13. I waited for hours in a tree. Shivering in the cold, hungry as a dog. I pissed myself. Finally a young buck casually strolled up to my tree. I was so cold, I was scared my staccato breathing would scare him off. I raised my bow and my hands were shaking. Luckily it was directly under me. I couldn't miss. I let go and the arrow stuck him good in his side. It jumped up and buck a few times like a roaring bull. Then it hopped around in a a zig zag and almost seemed to lay down for a nap. I was young but I knew to wait a moment before approaching. I slowly climbed down the tree. I slipped the last couple feet. I sauntered over to the deer. I slowly kneeled down beside him. I took a moment to admire the steam coming off his body which some druids believe is the deer's life essence leaving this plane. I leaned in close to his face and I thanked him for his meat which I was about to consume. The deer pulled its head back and butted me right in the face. His antler leaving a deep gouge in my chin. He jumped up took a couple steps and again collapsed under its own weight. At 13 years old, I provided for my family that cold night.
When I was your age, we had no idea that there were any other 'planes'. You were born on the prime material, and that's the way we liked it!
When I was your age, we walked thousands of leagues to dungeons! Uphill both ways!
Let me tell you something, young adventurer. Treat well you're boots for they protect you more than you know. That being said, I will never wear another pair again. I traded my boots for route sandals long ago, and let me tell you, I ain't putting on another pair of boots! I'd rather die! What do you mean I've used the same phrase twice in one sentence?
If you suspect that you're gonna run into gnolls, just piss yourself! Hyenae respect the scent of piss. Makes 'em feel like they're messing with the property of someone powerful, ya know?
I've never been a fan of 'preparing' spells. Back with the clergy of my youth, if you wanted a disease to be cured, THAT'S TOO BAD! YOU HAD TO DIE, JUST AS AMAUNATOR INTENDED!
I never much cared for dwarfs. To stalky. Too hairy. What are gonna do with all that hair, hm? I don't trust it.
Listen well. You need a danger word. I don't care about safe words or what you do with them. A danger word. Some things out there change their shapes. Mimic us. Hide the truth from your eyes. We had a rule. You found a way to work the danger word into conversation if your suspicions were up, but not your patience. 'Eaglepeak'. That was ours. 'Weather here is nothing like Eaglepeak.' or, 'The food here is worse than Eaglepeak.'
One day I wondered off from my caravan to relieve myself in private. Just my luck I was ambushed by bandits at the worst possible moment. Then for the first time in my life I was happy to hear the raspy scream of an owlbear. The bandits all ran in opposite directions, the owlbear had pecked on of them really good and was in the process of turning him into a pincushion with its pointy beak. I pulled my pants up, again at the worst possible moment, and I slowly turned around and walked away, once I got far enough to not hear the pecking of flesh I ran.
There we were, trapped on the bridge between the Harpies and the 4-armed Pirate-Gorillas, when Smendrik the Adequate (as we called him then) got the bright idea to cast Featherfall and Burning Hands through a barrel while we all stood on top! How we got the barrel is another interesting tale, you see it four years prior to then that we came across...
One time we met a Dwarf who bragged that he could disarm ANY trap. So we find something that looks suspicious and we let him prove himself. He's sitting there for 10 minutes trying to disarm a weird little square of tile and a gout of flame shoots out of the wall next to him and sets his beard on fire! He runs around smacking himself trying to put himself out until our cleric finally extinguished him with a water spell. He stands there for a bit, beard half burnt off and drenched in water, looks at us and says 'just avoid that tile'.
One time, a long while ago, Trudy and I were trying to nab some merchant’s permit from a fancy party and Trudy got made. So, to sneak her out, I hid her underneath my ball gown. We were both lucky my corset was big enough. Of course, leaving so suddenly would have been suspicious, which is how I spent 3 hours walking around a party with my sister under my dress. Thankfully, no one offered me a dance.
Never step through a portal. Not once, not ever. My party went through a portal that was supposed to be a shortcut into a wizard's tower, right to the top. Promise of some quality wands in that tower, made us step through without thinking too hard on it. Five years later I came back to the Prime Material with no friends and no wands. I don't talk about those years. Just don't trust portals is all I'm saying.
I won't stand for slander against Warforged. They got souls and I won't hear no arguments about it. No talk of 'tinmen' or 'automatons' at my campfire. You take that backwards thinking to your little farm and hang up your sword, because you ain't fit to be an adventurer. You fight with a 'forged at your back, or you listen to them talkin' about the friends they lost in the first war, and you would know. They might be more human than you or me. Certainly more human than an elf. Don't get me started on those knife-ears.
Never wake a sleeping Gnome. I'm not kidding about this. Sure, you know not to wake a Barbarian, liable to get your arms chopped off, but Gnomes are worse. They can cast spells before they're fully awake, see? Still half dreaming. You haven't regretted a decision quite like getting polymorphed first thing in the morning.
That flintlock you have there, may I see it? Ah, this reminds me of the rifle used by the infamous Tabaxi mage-slayer Odd Song Sung. I tracked that master assassin across this land, to-and-fro. Through battlefields and ruined cities older than you can fathom, yet she always stayed one step ahead. The last time I saw her, atop a tower above the street of Mordhau, eschewing her sights to read the charms she hung from the barrel of her weapon with fine chains as the winds of death shifted through them. I charged up those stone stairs faster than I have ever moved in all my days. But when I burst onto that damn platform there was nothing save for a single scrap of parchment held under a lose stone. 'Goodbye my friend' it said in a curling script, 'it has been an honour fleeing you'. I never saw that Tabaxi again.
When you're in those swamps, never, I repeat, never follow the lights, I've seen what happens, some might drown in the muck, others might get ambushed by lizardfolk, those are the lucky ones, the unlucky ones, they get torn to shreds the fog itself ripping them to shreds like a butcher, so fast they don't have time to scream...I've seen things, are you sure you still want to go out there?
... and so there 'e was when Oi' saw 'em, bold as a blacksmith strikin' hot-steel, 'e struck that demon on the fore'ead wif 'is fryin' pan! Oi'll ne'er outlive the day! Oi' outlived 'em tho' tha's fer sure, poor bloke 'uz ripped in 'alf shortly thereafter, e' wuz! But Ser Percivale 'e bought tha' rest'a us poor blighters enough time for Brofver Caedsmuire to Banish em, and tha's th' reason Oi' carry this f'oine fryin' pan on me belt, see? 'Sides from bein' 'imm-a-nent-ally prack-ti-cal', it's one-a-them 'Me-minty.. Me-minnow.. Me-mento Mor-as' and prack-ti-klee an ''oly relic'!
I used to be a blacksmith, but I got run out of town after a string of unlucky lasses had bairns which looked a mite too much like me. I ever tell you the time I had to shoe the Lord of the Nine Hells' Mare? A Nightmare they calls 'em, and she tweren't no mare, I tells yah... well, anyway she were a mite skittish, and so I took hold of her bridle and trotted her a bit, and I tell you each stride of hers was seven leagues, and dragged me along for the ride, and each time she would stop at the house of a lonely local lass and t'wouldn't budge a step afore I had made a call, then after that mare she'd take another step (with me for the ride) to the next maid's cottage, and on and on you see...
My party would agree but I was the worst bard they ever had. Let me tell you a story to illustrate how bad I was. So here we were taking the time to refresh ourselves in the city when we find out that the town is using some weird magic to keep the place going, some type of sinister version of Druid magic. So there we were investigating when my party member ups and attacks one of the guards because they were in our way despite all of us agreeing to be discreet. So in a panic and also because I felt bad for the guy I casted healing word in hopes of maybe getting the guards off our back by being nice. Well I took out my flute and blew the flattest note my ears have ever heard and I saw that man cough up blood because regardless. If that situation wasn’t so crazy I would’ve laughed my head off that I actually hurt someone with healing word but hey you live and learn and I needed a lot to learn.
Wanna know how I got these scars? Biggest dragon you've ever seen...probably the ugliest too. Anyways me and my mates were hacking him up when he took a wild swipe at me because I insulted his gecko mother. So there we were, me in his claws at least 500 feet in the air. I wrench myself free, climb up to his back and give him a good one two, ride his lifeless corpse all the way back to the hoard. We crash and I am launched noggin first into this beautiful baby I've on my back right now. This greataxe cut me up nice that day, but all the best lovers do that's what I always say!
You want to know where I got this sword huh? What if I told you I had to go the ninth hell and debate Asmodeus? Or the depths of pandemonium where I lost at least two friends and forgot one other? Mayhaps I got it from the githyanki pirates that killed my dog so I killed them all in return? Or maybe it was fashioned from the brain stem of the beholder that insulted my previous sword size? Perhaps I got it from the ancient vault of Dren'Dar the conquerer after we defeated his ancient blue dragon lover? Or perhaps I got it from Freaky Falzahad's Magic Emporium down the street? You'll have to buy me two or three more ales to find out, friend.
Trust me pal, the best part of adventuring is the food. You ever had dragon stew spiced with the ancient herbs found in a tomb and the marrow of a direboar? Ugh... Speaking of direboar...the tenderloin with a little high altitude mashed potatoes gardened by an centaur? You havent lived friend. Or granita (fruit ice) made by various fruits you had frozen during a fight with a white dragon? Refreshment for days. I could go on for years my friend, but I have another dish calling my name, until next time!
I lost this hand fighting sirens a mile off the coast, oh... ten years back, I reckon. I keeps a leather pouch of the bones to remind me of my mortality; each drilled and filled with a mix of tin, lead, and a shaving from a single sterling piece, blessed by a priest of Saint Quimbles; and etched with the runes. Shalls I cast them and divine thy fate?
Best not to deal with nobility who ask for discretion in carrying out their tasks. Better yet, best not to accept a blabbermouth into your ranks. Best not travel to the shadiest part of town and loudly announce your search of information on an assassination plot. Best not to blindly follow the kind old gentleman out of town, as he knows the assassins' hideout. Best not to let your guard down and invite an ambush on your friends. Best not leave them to their deaths in desperation towards saving your own skin. Best not let your past force you into a life of running and hiding. Best not to deal with nobility who ask for discretion.
There we were, about to be over-run by the damned, our backs against the fallen portcullis, when out of 'er satchel Sister Bloeddwyd Angelique pulled forth the candle prepared by the Holy-Matron and blessed by the Light. When she lit her taper, the candle shone forth a light fit to blind us! She placed the candle in the lock of the portcullis and a great flash and shout of a hundred wrathful angels blew us an opening! I'd not be sitting here telling you the tale were it not for her!
Never underestimate a Kobold, ye hear? Me brothers in arms wound up as food in thier cook fires, and I'd be there too if'n I didn't high-tail it the moment I saw those first traps! Oh, aye, you call me a coward, but I'll ne'er go down any hole where'st I's s'pect them scaly buggers to be lurkin'! You's best be doin' the same as I, and mind yourself! Mark me words!
Aye, nowhere, no place in this world leaves you weary as the blasting fields. Scores of brave men and women have been swallowed by the harrowed place. For what? Glory. Ha. Riches. What vanity we had. The earth rumbles with every step you take. The smell burns your eyes and the air takes your senses. Me and my mates, brave as we once were, never feared it though. We should’ve. We should’ve feared the jets of fire that shot out like columns holding the sky above. But we didn’t. No. We marched, knowing the dangers. Knowing the risks. Knowing the rewards. Damn our arrogance. If we weren’t foolhardy enough to turn at the sight of that place, we certainly hadn’t the mind to beware the creatures that called the place home. That’s where I found out how true horror felt. How it seeps into your bones.
I was a hired by a small band of naïve adventurers to guide them through the mountain passes in early winter. We should have turned back when the skies began to darken. But the gold... The storm hit hard and a thick, heavy blanket of snow covered every discernable landmark. The storm continued without end. I soon lost my way but, I kept that to myself. Because, the gold... Wolves took two of them in the dead of night, one froze to death after falling through the ice, and the last one? After six days in that frozen hell, I was the only one to walk out. But the gold...
(While tuning a lute) Have I played 'The Mouse and the Magister' for you yet? That used to be my specialty. Never failed to get the people clapping and the gold flowing. Now how did it go? 'La de da... mouse...' That's not it. When I played this for the Queen of Names she made me a knight on the spot. That's a true story. You can call me Sir, please and thank you. 'La de da de da... mouse...' Damn... Let me just play 'Sunrise Over Waterdeep' for you again.
I'm telling you, first time I fought one it was called a Water Normal. That was many moons back now, you can believe that. Water Normals, used to pop out of wells in villages, just about every harvest, sure as the crops. Then a few decades go by and they're not so regular, we start to hear them called Water Uncommons. Over hunted, see? Nowadays you almost never see them. You worry much when you get water from a well? You're welcome. And so, yes, Water Weird, because they are now.
Just sos you know, you can dance with the dead in the pale moonlight. It ain't the dancin' that's the problem, it's the leavin' after. Their grip is a might bit stronger than a clamp o' iron. It probably wasn't worth the gold my pals bet me to do it. (He/she shows off a huge scar). You should've seen the other guy, though.
We once convinced a kobold colony to mine out a block of stone in the ceiling of a dragon's lair, dropping in on their head. Dragon problem done just like that, though, those damn kobolds did drive us out before we managed to take a share of the dragon's hoard...
I only loved one man: Bernar was his name, and what a fine man he was. He could swing an axe like a twig, and drank brandy like it was water. I had to leave him, however... I took a contract to hunt down a hag. Turns out my suspicions were right.. it was my mother in law!
Now, I COULD spend the next turn of the hourglass telling you lies about the best way to wield a longsword; lies I learned guarding the Duke, and learned were lies when the Masked Menace cut the Duke's Demon-possessed head clean off; but since you're buying me a drink, tell me a bit of your travels?
Throws his drink at the painting of a wealthy nobleman. Noble my rear end! I've seen that man make love to a sheep after just 2 cups of mead. That ironbrained oaf still owes me 30 gold pieces too. I won it fair and square in a card game. He said he was good for it and I let him off the hook at the time but I should've taken his thumb as collateral and I woulda been justified to do it too. The healer I ran with at the time could've put it back on 3 weeks later in just 10 minutes I tell ya.
That sure is a nice weapon you have there, young adventurer. But it's not about the size or value of the weapon, but the way that you use it. The older adventurer reaches for something strapped to their back and brings it into the younger adventurer's vision This here is 'Pointy.' My party and I were asleep in the forest one night, when I woke up surrounded by goblins and the sounds of screaming and crunching. No weapons, no armor, and my fellow adventurers were already as good as dead. The only thing nearby was this one strong, arm-span long, and unusually pointy stick. It must have been sent by divine beings that cast pity on me because it seemed to shine as I quickly reached for it. I picked it up, and I just started jabbing it at every goblin that came near me. Quick thrusts. I aimed for the eyes. I was there all night, and, just as I was about to collapse from exhaustion, the sun started to rise, and the goblins, many of whom were missing at least one eye each at this point, retreated. Ever since then, I have always kept Pointy with me to remind me that the most humble of tools can have the greatest of effects, to remind me of my lost comrades, and, well, in case of goblins.
Speaking of alcohol, if you ever go to the Pinepoint Inn down the street NEVER drink more than one pint of their Hunter's Meade. I know it may be delicious, but I did it a couple of years ago and I woke up in a cave surrounded by a group of Kobolds who apparently started worshiping me as their new regent. Took me three weeks to get out of there! I can hold my liquor, but I'm never drinking Hunter's Meade again.
The Icy Wastes are cold, cold, cold I tells ya! Only madmen and the darkest of evil travels there! I lost a hand and a leg to the cold, after I followed the Lost Prince and the Crusade to find the Egg! We found the Egg alright; it was beautiful, like a singular jewel, just sitting there on the altar of the Icy Temple, glittering for all to see! Then the men began to scream and freeze into place! I ran away, dragging my frozen limbs, of fifty men that went in, only three returned, and the Prince was not one of them!
A cloaked and masked lady once hired us to take her deep into the woods, then bade us keep our distance while she spent the night alone atop a hill crowned with a ring of faerie stones. She never told us her name and commanded us never to speak of it. But do you remember the festivities when old Queen Gennereth turned out not to be barren after all? And isn't her daughter a rare beauty, like something you've never seen? Makes you think.
Before you use your spell casting powers to win the affections of a fair woman or gallant gentleman remember the tale of the wizard Geniinewab. When Geniiwewab heard that the fair maiden Alessandra's beloved crow was ill he trapped all the town clerics in a forcecage so that Alessandra would be forced to consult him instead. In an effort to demonstrate his magnificent power Geniinewab killed Alessandra's crow with finger of death and then used a wish spell to revive it. The night after casting that wish spell Geniinewab caught the flu. Since the great wizard was enfeebled by the wish spell and all the town healers were locked up Geniinewab died within a week.
Now, don't believe a word they say 'bout the moon being made of green cheese. I should know, I was there, me and my mates, you see, we sailed there one night when we were lost in a thick fog off the coast of Nuperie... Just remember when sailing, if you see a big fog bank roll in under a moonlit sky.. you should turn the ship right around and 'Nuperie' right out of there! Ha Ha Ha!
My faithful hounds!', they's call us, their Majesties would! Why.. hold on, my neck itches.. would you scratch it? These old arms can't quite reach behind.. ahh! Oh yiss, thats divine.. that thumping noise? Oh.. sorry.. my leg does that when I get scratched there.. well anyway, they used their baleful magics to turn us into the very hounds they imagined us as, the party and I, you see.. we spent a good six years in that state, hunting the nine-tailed fox spirits! How'd we change back? Well their Majesties got offed by a party of adventurers, and wouldn't you know it, we changed right back to ourselves... Petersen though still had that awful case of magical fleas!
Now now.. where's my pen and paper? I must certainly write down an account of your travels, they seem comparable or even to eclipse my own, most remarkable tales... most remarkable! Why, I too, recall coming up against savages, and thought my solution to be quite ingenious, you see, my party and I would replace the gemstone eyes of their idolatrous god with costume jewelry INDISTINGUISHABLE to the real thing... unfortunately, someone had already beaten us to the punch! The gems were fake the whole time! Oh, you should have seen Lord Perfidy's apoplectic face! He kept that face for the few moments of his life he had remaining after taking that savage's spear to the guts! Which, I daresay, still haunts me whenever I close my eyes for more than a moment...
...that little spark and glimmer in a person's eyes when you JAB your blade into their GUTS and they are seconds away from slipping out of this reality? Oh, my favorite look indeed! Yours?
Me? I knew th' 'Dread Pirate Roberts' back when 'e was just known as 'The Mildly Frightening Pirate Roberts'! T'was I what gave 'e and his 'ole crew th' idear to re-brand, I did! S'truth!
... And THAT is the story of how I lost my leg! You ready to hear the story of how I lost my... oh what? Out of time? I'm sorry Children, that story will have to happen at another time! Good bye! Be good now, Children! So long! Byeee! Now, mates, where was I? Oh yes, the story of how I lost my right eye! It's a sordid tale involving the most beautiful ghost lady-captain I ever did see! Our love was one for the ages! I had my eye removed and magically enchanted to only ever see her, I did! And that was how I came to lose my Left Hand! You see it was shortly after...
... and THAT, my friends, is why you don't go sticking ANY part of your AN-AT-OH-MEE anywhere near a mimic what looks like a KEE-YOOT little innocent stuff-ed an-ee-myool, no siree! Why that poor himbo over there lost more than one peice of his elf to that mistake! What? He looks fine to you? Why that boy is devastated! Devastated!
Now, I'm usually pretty good with the ladies, no lie, but I tell you when I, in a drunken stupor, asked the Goddess Ishtar for a kiss, and got one! Why, I was over the moon! That night we made sweet, passionate love... you should have seen it! raunchy humping motions... but.. I feel I can trust you with this, the next morning, there was a donkey in my bed!! I never did see where Ishtar went, and now mere mortals just aren't the same. Ever since then I've decided to limit myself to just ten, ten drinks.. maybe twenty a night, so's the next time I see that Goddess, I won't pass out and get to see her afore she leaves...
And on tha twelfth night, it 'as exactly as dark as on the 'leventh, but then BAM! suddenly tha' brightest light I never did seen came shinin' outta that tower and ALL the demons of Hell a'came a'riding out of it, it near sounded like.. the light made that much noise, jennle-men, I guarantee.
When we moved to break into the block wall bricking up the secret passage, we found the body of someone who died trying to escape. Their fingers were worn to stumps and the back of the blocks were bloody. Never did find out what scared 'em so.
All I'm sayin' is a good adventurer needs a good pair of gloves. Too many potion sellers don't wash their hands, and who knows what kind of poison is gonna get under your nails? And besides, if you hold your weapon without a pair, your palms will get all calloused. Mine are smooth as a baby's bottom, wanna feel?
If you're ever in the deep forest, and come across a clearing you've not seen afore, empty save for a ring of mushrooms, turn around, and walk away. It ain't worth your troubles, believe me. You know how hard it is to escape the Fae? Damned bastards took me for everything I had, and I'm lucky at that. And this damned mark on my hand never did fade, either.
I remember once back in my mercenary days, we were besieging this walled city... on a hill... on a peninsula. Perfect defensive position, right? Our employer was smart enough to know that a normal assault would have been suicide. So we just blasted the place with explosive spells. Days and days of hurling fire and lightning at those walls while trying not to get shot by their archers... I can still hear the booming in my ears sometimes. Eventually we brought a wall down and stormed the city. Damned messy business.
It was the third month of the Long Cloud, by our reckoning. I was out hunting when I saw some shady looking folk around what looked like an altar. I laid there for a little, listening to them chant gibberish, but I knew I couldn't take 'em all in a fight. Left a few traps for the bastards, though. Never found out if they were behind the whole thing.
Lemme tell you something kid, wizards are all fine and dandy... as long as they stick to the normal spells. But you ever meet a wizard who goes on about experimenting, and new forms of magic... you get out of there. Nine times out of ten that whole thing will end in a big explosion.
These ales are practically water! A true man's drink can only be found in the Crested City. They use their crystals, ya see, and grind 'em up and put 'em in the drinks. Stronger and better than any other! I need to get back there some day.
Aliases are healthy, kid! You give a false name when dealing with anyone that might want you harmed. Not to mention fairies and the like. I've got a dozen or so names you might find around the country! Of course this isn't my real one either. You really think my parents named me Mortimer?
I don’t take drinks or food from people I don’t know. Got me in trouble quite a few times in my youth. I thought myself as quite charming, and tried making conversation with a Hag my party and me were having dealings with. Asked about the pot of soup she had cooking behind her, and instead of an answer I got a bowl full of the stuff. Well, I couldn’t just back down from a challenge, could I? It tasted alright, and the she told me about the slaad eggs she had planted in it. Told me I had three months before it would erupt and kill me, unless we went and got the scales of a black dragon for her. Lucky for me, I could think on my feet, and so I stuck my fingers down my throat and puked the monstrosity out onto her! Oh, she was raging mad, and my party was about ready to kill me after we fought her. But it all worked out alright, didn’t it?
When the King did call for brave 'venturers explorin' the frontiers, I did answer the call. When the King did demand we'n all lay down our lives and clear these lands in 'is name, I did, and my wife and children too! And, when it were them what lost that life an' I forced to remain these 15 years past, what does the King and Crown do when dark-forces do gather and threaten all we have done? Does e' go reward our service? Does the Crown protect? Nay! The Crown abandons us! Mayhaps we should abandon the Crown...
Fire, I says; 'tis your best friend an' t'worst enemy t'at the same time! Sees this scar 'pon me face? Flask of oil 'xlpoded afore I could throw 'er when the party and I faced off against that dark wizard Woss'zname? Frank!? Frank me boy, what was that wizard's name? The one where I got this scar strangling the life out of with these two hands!? Oh, Frank's asleep I see. Too boring for you, eh Frank!??!
When Ser Porthe fell in battle off the far shores of Guthay, we saw fit to preserve the body from putrefaction by storing it in a cask of fine Canary that had previously been Ser's favorite. Seeing as not to waste any, as they likely took up quite a bit of the barrel, we shared a goodly portion with the fellow crew, before sealing. Now, I dare say, I scarcely can take a glass without remembering and mourning the fact that we still lack the golds required for their resurrection... Let's Toast to Good Ser Porthe! Ser Porthe!
I came here to drink and forget the heaps of trouble my spouse lays upon me on a daily basis. Oh fer certain, I marched with the Lord against that vile Hag and their coven, but no matter how far we marched we could never catch em. Each night we lost a soldier or more, when they ran from the camp screaming of night terrors, we usually found their bodies in the morning... tell you the truth, Id rather be there than back home with the fractious family, some days...
Loudest t'ing I never did 'ear, I confess, wuz tha 'splosion of tha Powder Stores on tha' Good Ship Lawbringer. Oh she brought tha law that day, I was on 'er, and she brought tha Law of Unintended Consequences! Shattered tha port, and collapsed tha channel, she did, and collapsed tha sea wall too! Lost us tha battle, and tha city when they gained entrance via tha hole. I managed ta survive, but I lost my hearing and was imprisoned and then enslaved for six years! Was a miracle and a steep one I paid for, when a travelling cleric healed me, and took me from that place...
You 'kiss the toe' yet? S'posed to be a ritual, you know. A warnin' against those who dont pay their tab. I got a deal I did! Thats my toe, I paid my tab with it! You wouldnt mind buyin me a drink now, would ya?
I tells ya, I saw FOUR, FOUR! masked Tortles down in those sewers! Meanest I ever came across. Scuffled with 'em once on a run for the society, see.. they kept shouting if I wanted a piece-a-them, well.. when I saws they were all armed, and with that tough shell.. well, I turned tail and ran. Now, don't go thinking me a coward now, when I found out they took down that Grell, that golem, and those masked warrior monks that worshipped it? Well.. seems I made the smart choice, friend-o; the smart choice!
Y'all ever heard of the snail that wouldn't die? Once we were delving in a deep forgotten dungeon, looking fo' loot and other bits. Well we found some, a great big chest that was lock'd like sumfin tough. Well our sneakthief open'd it and there weren't nothing but single snail, still living but it didnt have no food in there. Little thing started to crawl out towards the north, ignoring everythin' we did to it. Scared me silly, still never did get us no loot from that place.
... so trapped as we were and with days before help would arrive, we did what we had to to survive. I'm not proud of want we did, but I challenge any decent creature in the same position to do different. Anyways, I'll tell you something for nothing. Kobold doesn't taste anything like chicken.
Once knew human. Skinny little thing she was. Ranger. Good with a bow. Obsessed with herself. Beauty treatments, strange potions. You name it, she'd try it. Got herself hold of some paste with flail snail muck in it. Rubbed it all over her skin. The next morning, she started glowing all different colours. Real bright like. Never laughed so hard in my life. Like watchin a magic show. Took us weeks and weeks to find a wizard to reverse the effects. Sometimes, when she hiccuped, she'd still let out a little burst of colour.
All nobles are bastards, right? Only some are bigger bastards than others. Myself and a group of, um, compatriots got ourselves hired by a bunch of farmers to defend a town and a handful of villages from some hobgoblin raiders. Couple days in, we mange to capture one alive. Turns out the local baron was the one that hired them. He wanted to raise taxes and was using the raids as an excuse. Anyway, long story short, the baron ended up on the wrong end of a hobgoblin sword and the lads ended up being very well paid.
Take my advice son, steer clear of fey. Don't mess with the little ones and steer clear of the big ones. Don't talk to them, don't even look at them if you can avoid it. Carry some cold iron on you, just in case. And especially, don't bargain with them. No good can come of it. There's a reason they call me 'Tails' and it ain't because I'm a good story teller.
My arm? Did I lose my arm in the war? Well, let me put it this way young person. The next time a wizard tells you to keep your arms at your sides during a teleport spell, you do it!
(Hoarse voice) Harum... I haven't cough... haven't seen much of folk in the past year, bit out of practice talking. But been out on my own since I uh... lost my adventuring partners to a wolf attack. (scratches their neck, a bite scar is visible on it) Biggest wolf I ever seen, tore through four of us like we was thin cloth stretched over bales of hay. Bowled me over onto a rock, hit my head and was out for I don't know how long. (clears throat and it sounds like a low growl) Came to and that beast was gnawing on what was left of my buddies, muzzle soaked in blood. I must've made a noise because it suddenly looked at me, eyes ablaze... (glances nervously at the moon breaking through the clouds) That was the unluckiest and luckiest time of my life. It jumped me, slowed down I guess from being gorged on my friends. Got its jaws locked on my throat but I got a hand up in time, saved me from getting killed instantly. (holds out a hand with deep, ragged scars all along it, highlighted in the glow of the campfire) Figured I was done for but my other hand happened to fall on what remained of our priestly fella. Whatever god he worshiped must've put his dagger right where I'd grab it. I just stabbed blindly. Maybe hit something important 'cause the creature leapt away like it was seared with a hot poker. (pulls out a fancy dagger, more ceremonial than practical, its silvery blade shining. The speaker's voice grows more hoarse, a barking cough escaping their lips) Kept it with me ever since... just... in... caaaaasse.... (And the moon breaks from the clouds entirely, bathing the campfire circle in its pale glow as the speaker bends double with a howl of pain as their limbs start to contort...)
I got lost in a good book, once. Took me pages and pages to find my way out, and you ask me where my fingers on my left hand went? Paper cuts, I tell yah! Damn thing up and swallowed me whole while reading! Was my favorite book too...
Strange lad? You want to hear something strange? Well, I adventured with this mage for a couple of years. He was a bit ... odd. Kept to himself mostly, very private and shy. Insisted on separate sleeping quarters. Mumbled a lot. We all figured, y'know, magic user. Weirdness. Paranoia. Odd behaviour. Strange smells. It comes with the territory. Too much mercury and bat shit in spell components. Anyway, we get hired by this prince to get rid of a gauth and when we tracked it down, the thing just laughed and laughed at us. Then 'gulp', it ate our mage, all in one go. Then, it spat out three Batiri goblins. One. Two. Three. Whole and intact. Damnedest thing I ever saw. When the gauth stopped laughing, he thanked us for the meal and entertainment and said he'd be moving on. Turns out, the little buggers had found some kind of enchanted cloak and had been sitting on each others shoulders. Had us proper fooled.
Fundamental rule of adventuring my friend: always, always, always make sure your potions haven't expired. Knew this elf that left a potion of animal friendship in his backpack for a wee bit too long. We were trying to get past some wolves at the mouth of a cave, and he remembered this potion. Well, the wolves became friendly. A little too friendly if you get my drift. That poor elf, he had creatures coming at him from all directions. Spent the next few hours running around trying to avoid the attention of bears and bats and birds. Let that be a lesson to you all: test before you taste.