The Party and Travels Out West
I showed up for work and Papa presented me with a Guest List for the night. "Only let those whose name appear on the list in. Period." Papa's word is final so I brace myself for the many who I must turn away.
I spy Patch getting ready to wait tables. Across the room, Elgar! checks and rechecks the supplies at the bar. Tiberius looks none to pleased to be working behind the buffet line but no one says no to Papa. Shay stands patiently near the bar, waiting to deliver drinks while Drkstarr amuses himself until tables need clearing with some silly box he bought.
The first guest arrives and introduces himself as B. B. Bumblee, Sr., "The Black Death". I learn that this is the BBB behind BBBBD. He runs an import / export business.
The next guests are Mistress Fionna and Guy. She smiled sweetly as she made her entrance while Guy surpressed a grumble. I fear that the lovely lady may have a crush on me.
Two figures emerge from a flaming chariott. I worry for the stables. The first introduces himself as Sivley and he is a Freedom Fighter from Nordstradt. His companion is Spike.
I turn away a small group of orcs. They would ruin this party. Besides, their bribe was not enough to put them on Papa's list.
The Bishop shows up next. He is a dangerous looking fellow who boasts of people under his control. I place him near the kitchen so that Drkstarr can knock some sense into him if need be.
I almost don't see the next visitor. The goblin introduces himself as Gen. Gorgo Gorgo. Funny, I have no idea where Gorgo is? He speaks of fighting and arenas and living forever.
A group of tipsy elven maidens stop by but are not on Papa's list. I try to enchant them but they are racists and will not mix with my kind. As they leave, I wonder if they have heard of Elgar!? But alas, they are gone already.
I am enchanted by the next guest's eyes. They seem to be whirling gem stones, changing colors in a most hypnotic fashion. I am uncertain how long I stand there, gazing into his eyes before he politely points to his name on the list. He smiles as he wanders in.
ZZ von Slick and Jeeves show up next. A most militant fellow, he seems obsessed with seeking out weird monsters, finding their weaknesses, and then destroying them (the monsters, not the weaknesses). He is a bit over-the-top for my tastes.
A woman on a blue horse appears. She dismounts (the horse) and the horse simply fades away. She introduces herself as Welinda Wolfhampton in a polite but firm way. This lady knows how to make an entrance!
I double-check Papa's list and all the guests have arrived. I decide to lock the doors so no passerbys will be tempted to come in and join the festivities. It appears at first that there are more guests than were on the list but I conclude that I must be mistaken. With no further services required of me, I decide to mingle a bit.
I find the gentleman with the amazing eyes quickly. His name is Dodec Ahedron. "What a strange family name" I wonder to myself. I chat with him on end and manage to lose track of time as I stare into his eyes. The tales he tells me makes my head spin!
I glance up and notice that my friends are also engaged with Papa's guests. Drkstarr is chatting it up with Gen. Gorgo Gorgo. They seem to be hitting it off quite well. Sivley and Elgar! are discussion Elvish issues. I believe Elgar! made an impression on Sivley. Patch finds a friend in Welinda. They have made plans to meet again. And I notice Tiberius wasting his time with Mistress Fionna. Doesn't he know that she likes me?! Silly knight.
Then I notice Papa in the corner, smiling. And I wonder if he didn't plan this whole evening to end up like this?
Papa asks us to go and pick up something for him in Phoenix Crag. I have often visited The Crag (as I call it) so I yearn for the adventure.
As we're gearing up I hear Shea propositioning Patch. As randy a lass as Patch is, she still resists his pleas. As she walks away I hear him say, "Once you go short you never go back". Perhaps that is why Patch resisted?
We begin to gear up for our desert trek. Drkstarr and I go in search of matching desert fatigues. Although he is a bit stouter in shape we are roughly the same size and I can only imagine the fear we must strike in our enemies. Plus, we have bonded, more than once I might add, and I believe our fellow adventurers find it disconcerting. But, then again, perhaps they are drawn to it and just don't know it yet. Only time will tell. I still can not determine what the look is Patch gives us when we emerge from our tent.
I saw Tiberius buy a new purse for Patch. Perhaps that is an edict of Ix? For I know some of our land's history but not much of the intricacies of it's pantheistic beliefs. My eyes have only recently been opened to the hidden mysteries of the universe!
We discuss amongst ourselves the best way to transport water to and from The Crag. I was about to suggest an ingenious method of relay involving trained camels when Shea shows up driving a wagon. Not very clever but it is an effective way to haul cargo. We stock the wagon with several barrels of water and finish our shopping.
Drkstarr disappears for a bit, some religious matter. I'm certain he'll tell us when he's ready.
Our journey to Tolltown is completed within a week. The journey is largely uneventful except for the usual sexual exploits and the lone, wandering monster which I was able to stalk and slay without rousing my sleeping companions. I shall have to elaborate on that adventure some day!
Once in Tolltown we find ourselves staying in the KillerGorilla section of town (which my mind has just begun to comprehend) and it is, by far, the finest establishment we have ever seen. I find that even the help (especially the upstairs maid) are extremely friendly. I shall have to have my pillows fluffed more often!
My companions and I take to the Market early and wind up with some unusual buys. I couldn't keep track of all the items but I did notice three large tails from some creature(s), a thirty-foot broom, a claw of some large beast, two tiny stones (which the normally stoic dwarf seemed to take delight in), a box of locks, and my own box of the finest red writing paper I have ever seen. Patch also secured two maps to the Phoenix Crag (though I doubt I would need one) to help us should we lose our way.
We begin our journey for The Crag the next morning. Elgar! seems to know almost as many people in Tolltown as I do which I find uncanny as he has never been here.
Almost immediately we are beset by eighteen kobolds and one large, hirsute, odiferous giant! The giant is an easy target and clearly the leader of that band of misfits. Tiberius, Drkstarr and I charge in with our horses while Patch and Elgar! launch arrows at the giant.
The three of us on horseback (two in matching desert gear) agree to attack the giant. We will have to maul a few kobolds along the way but so be it. We draw our enchanted weapons and hack at the kobolds as we close distance on the giant.
Elgar!, The Orc Slayer, lets loose a mighty assault on the giant and severely wounds him before he can engage him. Although it could have been my imagination I would have sworn I heard the name "Elgar!" being whispered amongst the kobolds.
We close ranks with the giant. The battle is, thankfully, swift. The giant connects with Drkstarr and Tiberius once each but his blows are easily deflected by the mighty heroes. Both heroes land mighty blows which finish the giant off. I hack the fallen thing once more to be certain it is dead.
We turn about to face the kobolds but they are already scattering, with some of their numbers lying dead on the desert ground. Their blood runs cold against the heat of the desert.
Drkstarr and Patch remove the giant's enormous penis. I think this will leave a message to any who dare cross paths with us!
We begin our journey again and travel all day. As dusk approaches, we can not locate our shelter. Patch is looking at her map with confusion and frustration. Tiberius pulls out his map and states that we are near but we must hurry if we are to make it. We follow him as he pushes his horse ahead. Just as the sun in setting we locate the shelter and charge in, just as the denizens of the desert begin to come out. I can not resist the urge to take a peek and see them. With the doors in my mind opening up I feel as though I am seeing them for the first time! They are both beautiful and horrible and it troubles me to sleep.
That night, Patch sits with Tiberius and whispers to him. Eventually, with a bored look on his face, Tiberius takes his leave. Patch looks downfallen. I fear she may have come under his spell. But thinking of what she and Tiberius might have done gets my own juices flowing and I turn to Drkstarr and whisper to him as I gently rub his leg. He falls under my spell and we spend the night getting reacquainted with each other. In fact, I was saddened to see the deep red of the sun as it began to rise in the sky. We held each other as the sun spilled its glow over the sea of the desert.
The party agrees that if we push ourselves we can make The Crag in two days. That seems right to me. Besides, Drkstarr and I may not be well rested but we are refreshed.
We can see the butte of Phoenix Crag rising before us for many hours prior to our arrival. It rises tall and mighty off the desert floor. I have seen other hills which would be so majestic against this pillar of strength. The crown is a contrast in texture and shape to the shaft. It will be good to see the desert spanning below me as I sit atop this spear of rock.
The sun is beginning to set as we approach The Crag. We are, in fact, the last people to be lifted off the desert floor and up to the top. The Crag is abustle with activity and I am certain that we shall enjoy our brief stay.
We are led almost immediately to Papa's cargo whereupon we find a very large crate on it's own wagon complete with a crew of nineteen men and women which include a caravan master and guards and crew members plus two support wagons and twenty oxen! With the cargo in such excellent hands we decide to explore the city a bit.
Drkstarr and I find a quaint establishment and begin to party with the locals. A strange smoke is being passed around and it brings enlightenment to those who partake (which, sadly, fades when the effects of the smoke clear from your body). Drkstarr and I notice an extreme lack of morals here. We decide to take advantage of that (instead of starting a bar brawl) and start what turns out to be an excellent orgy. At one point I wonder whose mouth my toe is in but I decide it really doesn't matter as I continue to explore the exposed body parts around me. Like snakes in a pit, our bodies writhe and wiggle with delights known to only a few. In the morning, we check each other for any signs of disease (one must be very careful not to catch Gurples as it can be difficult to get rid of) but we do not notice anything unusual (besides the feathers which turn out to be left over from the previous night and not growing in as was originally feared).
When we locate the rest of our party, Patch looks very satisfied but does not wish to discuss the events surrounding her pleasure. Shea always looks the same so I'm not certain if he is happy or not. Both Tiberius and Elgar! are eager to get on the road. Elgar! is attempting to explain his plight to our waiter when Patch slips away.
We are packed and ready to head out when Patch returns and tells us that she has arranged for a parade for Elgar! as he makes his triumphant return to the desert. I am not certain if she is being serious or cynical but Drkstarr, Tiberius and I decide to make the best of it: we tell the locals that he will be throwing money. Elgar! is both pleased and concerned that we have suddenly taken to his plight. Apparently, this will cost him more than he anticipated.
Shea is as usual: Shea.
As we head out and the parade starts, we inform Elgar! that the locals are expecting him to throw money. He complies while Drkstarr and I slip into the crowd to catch some of Elgar!'s coins.
The parade is a smashing success. The crowd is chanting his name as they count his coin. Drkstarr and I join the caravan as we are lowered to the desert floor. The cargo guards seem confused by the whole ordeal.
With the caravan it will take slightly longer to return to Tolltown. We have plenty of supplies to make it back. One night Patch and I both attempt to seduce a guardsman/woman but without success. Damn those militaristic trainings!
As we approach Tolltown, Drkstarr, Tiberius and I ride ahead, to spread the word of Elgar!'s return. Our companions wish us well though I am not certain how enthusiastic Elgar! was? We are unable to rouse a full parade but we do line the streets with well-wishers (and money-grubbers). Again, Drkstarr and I blend in with the crowds as best we can and try to recover as much of Elgar!'s money as possible. From both events we managed to give a total of 5 silver pieces back to Elgar!, although I am not positive that Drkstarr's method of delivery is the best: as soon as he caught a silver he would hurl it back towards Elgar! One such missile should have felled Elgar!; but perhaps the elf is hardier than we thought.
We are able to resupply ourselves before returning to Papa's. As usual, we tend to go a bit overboard. Tiberius obtained 100 yards of silk and Shea was kind enough to put it on his wagon. Patch found some interesting metal cats that, once properly wound, would jump about of their own accord. I located a merchant selling wigs and bought several, one specifically for Drkstarr because it matched his own hair but was much longer. I was approached by many elvin maids for sexual favors but I was too tired from the previous night's adventure to please them. I promise them that there will be a next time and they scamper off. Only then did I think of my companion Elgar! and how he might have liked to have met them.
Our new sponsor, Elgar!, puts us in a very posh inn. This may be the finest quarters I have ever seen. Drkstarr and I insist on being near Elgar! to act as his personal bodyguards. That seemed to both assure and concern Elgar! for some unknown reason?
That night, we party. It may be our last visit to Tolltown for a while. Patch goes down her own path. I am not certain if she made money or spent it but she did return with a red-light flush to her countenance. Drkstarr and I again head for a bar. We lose track of each other, though, amid the din and gyrations. Judging from his version of events, I believe I had more fun than he. Tiberius reads while Shea goes bowling (a dwarf thing, apparently).
In the morning, we begin the trek home. I believe all of us are a bit weary of travel at this point.
In the afternoon, we come upon a group of Bison Riders. I do not know which smells worse, the bison or the riders! Anyhow, Elgar! can not leave well enough alone and begins to speak to them of his mission. Through their limited common language, the riders seem interested in what Elgar! has to say. They appear to know of Elgar! though I doubt their sincerity. Still, Elgar! seems pleased that these riders are interested in what he has to say so the rest of us humor him.
That night, Elgar! and I notice four shapes approaching us in the night sky. We alert the party. As they approach, we are able to better determine what we are facing: four wyverns with humanoid riders. As they approach, all party members with missile weapons prepare for the worst. The riders also appear ready for conflict. They shout down in some barbaric tongue and Elgar! responds by gesticulating towards the West. This was, apparently, the wrong answer as they ready for an attack.
Quick as you can, my fellow adventurers launch a missile attack. Elgar! throats the leader whose body plummets to the ground. Myself, I fatally wound a rival. Patch and Tiberius miss their mark but the other riders take the fall of their leader poorly and turn (wyvern) tail.
Upon examination, the leader was covered with strange tattoos and bone jewelry. Just to gaze upon him made my newly awakened senses reel. The bison riders are stunned at our bowmanship and seem all the more eager to follow Elgar!, at least into town.
We were met by Papa and that strange mage-fellow from a previous adventures. Papa was very excited when we returned with his cargo intact. The mage-fellow began to walk around the box, mumbling in the arcane tongue (which I recognized immediately) and making the necessary gestures with his hands. Suddenly the sides of the box fell to each side and we were all stunned to see a creature too big to have fit in that space within! The mage continued chanting only this time the creature shrunk to the size of a pussy. Papa approached with a cage and put the creature inside. The creature remained asleep throughout this process. One can only image what dreams it must have dreamed!
Papa took us all into the basement, through the 'new' door, past the lion guardians, down the corridors until we were on the lip of the goblin city. He then opened the cage and let the creature out whereupon he turned to us, smiling, and simply said "run". Never before have I run so fast! I wonder if the goblins had time to marvel at the creature as it expanded and proceeded to attack them?
So ends this chapter of our adventures. Until our next foray,
Lt. Brandt Ravenscraft, Esquire