Bloody Misfits Farewell: The Night

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The hour grew late as the feast went on, and one by one humans, halflings, dwarves, drow, and elves alike left to find their beds until only the servants remained to clean the hall.  Well, the servants and one barbarian woman passed out in a corner with a huge wildcat that growled at any who came near.

Berriam sighed as he crossed the hall towards the snoring female and her overzealous companion.  He had been in the middle of getting ready for his own rest when his steward had quietly knocked on his door and asked if he would not mind speaking to the cat and letting it know the servants meant no harm? He was growling at any who came too near and giving the cleaning maids quite the fright.  So here he was, barefoot, hair tied loosely back, a plain cotton tunic and woolen breeches, about to ask a giant, fickle predator to stop ‘protecting’ it’s mistress.

“I need to find more sober comrades,” he muttered as he drew near.  Fluffy had seen him enter the hall but, not wanting to leave his sleeping mistress, had waited for Berriam to approach them before greeting the elf lord.

//Berriam!// the tiger was excited to see him, getting up and rubbing vigorously against his leg. Used to such enthusiastic greetings from the dire tiger Berriam was able to keep himself from being knocked over.

//Shadow// Berriam responded, calling the cat by his true name rather than the nickname most others used. He knelt down so he was face to face with the cat and began running his fingers through the tiger’s ruff.  Shadow’s eyes half closed as he began to rumble. //You no sleep?//

//Mistress sleep. Shadow watch. Shadow protect mistress from elf strangers// the great cat opened his eyes to glare towards the servants watching safely from afar, the rumbling turning into a low growl.  Berriam hastily soothed the cat.

//Mistress safe Shadow.  Elf strangers Berriam friends. They no hurt mistress. Shadow no growl elf strangers// Shadow laid his ears back.

//Too many strangers near mistress// he huffed.

Gods Berrriam’s head was starting to hurt.  This ability to communicate with animals was not intended for such a lengthy conversation.  He thought quickly.

//Wake mistress? Find her den for sleep?// Shadow’s ears perked up and he stopped growling.

//Yes!  Den for sleep.  Much better for mistress//

Shadow turned and nudged Elga with a paw as large as a dinner plate.  The woman mumbled something unintelligible but otherwise did not stir. Nuzzling her shoulder, Shadow managed to get his head under her arm and partially roll her over, where she promptly began to snore again.  Shadow looked over at Berriam with an almost sheepish expression.

//Berriam wake mistress?// he asked.  //Mistress drink too much rotten grass and fruit water. Shadow can’t talk to Mistress now until next sun//

Only Shadow would refer to the finest wines and ales in his cellar as ‘rotten grass and fruit water’ the ranger thought to himself as he bent to the task.

“Elga? Elga my dear?  Time to get up,” he called loudly as he shook her shoulder to no avail. Undeterred, he tried again. “Elga wake up! Humbrol has the Ever Lasting Beer Barrel and he needs your help to drink it!”

“Huh! Wha! S’ok! Fer glory and…skull…bears…” Elga started awake and sat up blinking blearily around her before focusing on Berriam.  “S’bed times?” she slurred.

“Yes, bed times, come on,” he held out his hand and helped the woman to her feet, ducking under one arm as she started to sway.

“Ok now let’s go.  One foot after the other leaning on me yes?”  Elga nodded as she frowned in concentration as she stepped forward. Shadow stood up and pressed gently against Elga as they walked, bracing her from the other side.  //Shadow helps// the cat flicked his tail across the back of the legs of human and elf.

Nodding to the servants to continue their work, Berriam and Shadow carried and supported Elga down long hallways and up several flights of stairs.  The trip becoming easier the more they walked as Elga swiftly sobered up.  The one good thing Berriam and the other Misfits had learned about being around a barbarian on a drinking binge was that they sobered up quickly.  Finally, they arrived before Elga’s chambers.  Not quite able to juggle opening the door and supporting a still-drunk Egla, Berriam turned to her companion for aid.

//Shadow open door?// he asked.  The cat obligingly lifted a paw and levered the door handle down, pushing as the latch disengaged. //Grateful.  Berriam set mistress to sleep, let Shadow in//

Shadow huffed his acceptance and laid down outside the door as Berriam stumbled into the room under Elga’s weight.  Thankfully the room was large and spacious so he did not have to worry about crashing into anything.

“Well that’s a problem,” Berriam muttered as he caught sight of the bed.  It was strewn with the contents of Elga’s backpack, her clothing weapons and armor piled in a disarray across the plush bedding.  “Alright my dear lady, do try not to fall over while I take care of this.” Slipping out from under her arm Berriam began moving items so his friend could sleep. Finally having cleared everything off, he turned around to help Elga into the bed.

“Come along now my dear, you must get your beauty rest before you return to your people…in…the…” Berriam’s words trailed off as he looked up to see Elga hopping on one foot while she tugged her boot off the other, which just so happened to be the last article of clothing she had on.  Berriam just stared at her for a moment as he tried to decide what was more surprising: that she was able to keep her clothes on for this long or the fact that he was still surprised by anything this woman did.

“Elga,” he finally asked. “Why are you naked?”

Elga made a rude noise as she weaved towards the bed. “Can’t sleep with my clothes on silly,” she muttered.  “Oh!  Wait no, can’t go to sleep yet.  Need to find an elf for the night.” Changing course and making her way around the end of the bed with a surprising amount of grace for a drunk naked barbarian, she made for the door but Berriam wisely intercepted her.

“And why dear lady would you need ah…how did you put it…’an elf for the night’?”

“This is my last night as a Bloody Misfit!” Elga proclaimed dramatically.  “I must partake of debauchery to the highest degree!  And this means drinking, feasting, fighting and fucking! I have had ample of the first three both here and abroad, and am at a loss for the third.”  She made to move past him again but the elf lord stood his ground. “Berriam,” she sighed “you have two choices.  Find me a bed mate or stand aside while I find one for myself.”

He shook his head. “At least put some clothes on first-“

“Nope!” Elga said cheerily as she made another attempt to get past him. “I shall find that lucky elf in all my glory!  Unless you want to be that elf?” she winked saucily at him.

Berriam sighed and held up his hands in defeat.  “Fine, I know better than to argue with you when you’re like this.  Just…sit down before you fall.  I swear you are the only barbarian that can get black out drunk and still be as eloquent as me,” he muttered as he steered the woman back to the bed.  Elga giggled as she flopped down on soft mattress and laid back across the bed, drumming her heels off the floor as she began humming a nameless tune.

Berriam made to leave but hesitated at the door, one hand on the latch as he gazed at the woman laid out across the bed before him and  His eyes ran along her naked form. He remembered once when he was wounded she carried him to safety to be tended, and held him in the night when nightmares plagued his fever dreams, stroking his hair and murmuring comfort into his ear.

She was such a paradox.  A human with higher than average intelligence. An educated barbarian prone to prose.  A warrior who thought first and fought second. Her body hard and corded with muscles honed from fighting, but she still had the soft feminine curves that drew the eye of most every male around her.  She could take lives in the morning, swinging her axe with abandon to fell her foes, and tend to her comrades with the softness of a mother’s touch in the night.

To the hells with it, he thought as he felt himself stirring.  He slid the lock on the door in place before he could change his mind.  Elga looked up as she heard the lock engage, a look of confusion on her face as Berriam began crossing the room towards her, tugging off his tunic and letting it fall behind him.

“Berriam?” she asked as she sat up.  “Why?”

“Why not?” he asked with a shrug pulling out the tie that held his hair back, letting it fall around his face and shoulders. “You said to find you a bed mate or take his place.  I’m taking his place.”

Elga’s face closed and became guarded, but before she could voice a protest Berriam reached out and gently cupped her face in his hand.

“Believe it or not, you are a beautiful woman Elga Serpentbane,” he murmured. “Beautiful, fierce, and wild.  Any man would be honored to lay with you, and a fool to turn such a chance away.  And I am no fool.”

He leaned in to kiss her, using his forward momentum to gently push her back down across the bed until he was stretched out on top of her.

“Besides, you are among my most special and honored guests,” He purred, trailing his lips down her neck, punctuating each word with a kiss, “I would be remiss if I did not dedicate myself to ensuring your full enjoyment of my…hospitality.”

Elga’s deep throaty chuckle swiftly melted into a moan and they did not speak again for a long time.

…Rampaging Demons…

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Pretty much what it says. Book seven of nine in DDTS, Uneasy Alliances sees the paladins and pirates team up and continue to battle their way through a demon infested city to destroy the Bloodforge and one of the curses on the lands of the Utter East once and for all.

Moving Right along…Easy Betrayals by Richard Baker Next.

 

 

 

 

 

A mixed company of paladins and mercenaries race back to Faerun after the object of their quest is revealed as a threat to peace and order throughout the Realms. But beware! The evil will lead them on a chase that ends in the last place any of them expected…

Bloody Misfits Farewell: The Feast

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Elga wiped her mouth on the back of her hand and belched, loudly and with great appreciation for the hands that had made the feast she had just devoured.  A few heads turned towards her, but the faces mostly smiled or smirked in her direction for the barbarian woman was well known within the valley and many tolerated her antics with wry amusement.  Much like a parent with a particularly winsome child. Elga gave a mental shrug as she drained another flagon of wine and let her gaze roam over the assembly.  It mattered not what the elves of Beriath’s Valley thought of her.  They were far too proper and while she was careful not to overstep her limits, she enjoyed tweaking their noses with her ‘brash and crude’ mannerisms. Served well to remind them that there was more to life than soft words and softer beds.

“Yes! Yes and then lady Surina, aided by yours truly of course, faced down the dragon…” Elga smiled as Sil’s voice rose and fell among the noise of the revelers.  No doubt she was regaling the elves with a tale of the Misfit’s adventures, and if she knew the little Halfling sorcerer at all it would be a tale that grew taller by the word. Now where…

Ah! There she was, at the far end of the hall surrounded by a group of wide eyed younglings.  The little female’s hands gestured and fluttered excitedly as she continued her tale.  Elga let her gaze continue as she sought out the rest of her companions from the Bloody Misfits.  Oh, there was Bargle and his wife Halia deep in conversation with…more wizards it seemed like.  She smiled and shook her head slightly.  Ah wizards, never passing up an opportunity to study and learn even in the middle of a party.  And it looked like Dietrich was busy trying to charm some local merchants into expanding their trade routes.  Nobleman first, fighter second that one.

Liberating another flagon that passed through her peripheral vision from the hands of a server, she heard the faint strains of a dulcimer and saw Surina attempting to ply her charms upon a noblewoman of the valley.  The bard may have been a drow but that did not stop her from trying to get into a lot of pants. And skirts…and nests…lairs…pretty much everything/one that they had fought or met in their travels.  A chorus of shouts from outside told Elga where the party’s dwarven cleric Humbrol and half drow paladin Torlold had disappeared to.  No doubt attempting to grow their churches through the power of conversion…via a good wrestling match of course.

Elga sat back in her chair, flagon in hand as she surveyed those assembled in Berriam’s hall.  She could not remember the last time she felt so satisfied or at peace.  Her belly was full, she had a steady supply of ale and fine elven wine, her Shadow was a warm presence dozing at her feet, and she was surrounded by her friends who over the past years had become more her family.  All she needed now, she mused as she eyed a passing guard, was a male to warm her bed tonight and everything would be perfect.  The guard noticed her appraisal and boldly returned it.  Winking at him, she turned her attention back to her drink.  There would be time enough later for that.  Elves did not need to sleep like most other races and Elga wanted to hold off choosing her bed mate for as long as she could, not wanting to miss a minute in the company of her comrades.

For despite the joy of the evening there was a bittersweet tinge.  This was their big send off after all, the last hurrah for the Bloody Misfits before they took their shares of the treasures collected on their journeys and settled into quieter lives.  Who knew when or if they would ever met again after this? No, she mused, she had a mate and with a little luck many nights of bed play after this, she would not choose that over these last few precious moments among those who she had risked everything for, and who had risked everything for her in turn.

“Here’s to you Kithri and Milo, where ever you may be,” she muttered as she drank a silent toast to the first Halfling sorcerer to join their group, and the only member of the Misfits lost to death, and the little halfling rogue who was with their party for too short a time.

“What was that my dear woman?” Berriam asked from beside her, not looking up as he methodically cleared the plate that had been set before him.  The Bloody Misfits had been given seats of honor at the head table, but these two were the only ones left as the others had quickly eaten their fill and gone to find other amusements for the night.  The only reasons they remained was as host and lord of the hall, Berriam was only now truly getting to his meal after dispensing with all the formalities such a gathering entailed.  And Elga, after putting away three or four courses of food, was just taking a few moments to wash it all down before joining the others in the throng.

“To Kithri and Milo,” Elga saluted Berriam with the flagon.  Eying the container, Berriam deftly plucked it from her fingers, and ignoring her sputters of mock indignation, poured the remaining wine into their glasses, setting the empty flagon between them before picking up his glass and motioning for Elga to do the same.

“Kithri and Milo,” They drank to the memory of their fallen and absent comrades. “Hey Berriam, you mind bending over for me?” she asked innocently as they set their glasses down and Berriam gestured to another server for more wine.  “I wanna see how big that stick up your arse is.” Berriam rolled his eyes at her.

“Ha ha very funny” he drawled.  “Why are you not down among the rabbl- I mean populous with the rest of our comrades?”

“Why that would deprive you of the pleasure of my company,” she batted her eyelashes mockingly at him.

“I think I would survive,” They grinned at each other as the server set down a platter of flagons filled with various wines and ales in front of Elga.

“Ah ha!  This is more like it!  Elga like!” Laughing heartily, Elga swept up one container and drained it in two swallows before picking up the platter and bowing low to Berriam.

“And such a fine bounty you have provided my lord! Too fine for the likes of a lowly barbarian such as myself.  I must share this with others more worthy!” she mocked, her words starting to slur slightly. “Come along Shadow mine,” Elga bade her tiger to follow. Berriam chuckled to himself as he watched her weave away from the table, her dire tiger companion Shadow aka Fluffy close to her heels and helping to clear a path as people made room for the giant cat and his mistress.  Although an outsider would sometimes be hard pressed to see the camaraderie in the jabs they shared, such teasing was common between the two, for the elf lord and barbarian chieftain were probably the ones who understood each other the most among the rest of the companions.

They were all close and dear friends to each other of course, he mused, but as was the way of things in such bands, some people formed closer bonds than others.  Dietrich shared Berriam’s love of the finer things in life, but held not as much respect towards the wilds.  Sil’s tongue was more silver than the coins in Berriam’s coffers, but her heart always belonged to another which led her to many weeks away from the Misfit’s side.  Humbrol was a fellow cleric although fanatical in his devotion to his god, Torold was far too rigid, and Surina…Berriam hid a grimace behind his glass. Surina was just weird.  Elga understood his connection to the wilds, even asked him to train her as a ranger so she could form a closer bond with her companion and care better for the neighboring lands she called home.  She shared his love of fine food and drink, even as she poked fun of his fine clothes and rich lifestyle.

And, if he was completely honest with himself as he continued to surreptitiously watch her mingle and laugh with strangers and friends alike, she was quite attractive.  For a human of course.

A touch of his sleeve and a murmured ‘My lord?” drew him from his thoughts and back to the present.  There would be time enough later for remembrances and musings.  For now he had a feast to host.

…Cannibalistic Blood Cults…

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In book six of nine for DDTS, we are finally learning about depth of The Conspiracy (hint hint) that surrounds our heroes.  The lady Eidola is revealed as a doppelganger, who knows if the lady in question actually ever existed or was just a doppelganger creation?  As well as the fact that the squid king intentionally kidnapped ‘her’, not knowing what she really was in the beginning in order to lure an army to come save her and at the same time rid his country of demons.

Only thing is our heroes can’t really do much about that right now, as the denizens of the hells are breaking through and the parties have split up: some to track down the doppelganger, others to the fabled Bloodforge, both sides having to battle great forces to achieve their goals.

Things are really coming to a head now!  Up next is Uneasy Alliances by David Zeb Cook.

 

 

Goodnight Sweet Barbarian

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Today is a very bittersweet day for me. Three years ago I had a bad breakup with my then-bf of 5yrs, and subequnetly my RPG group of the past 10. Two and a half years ago I moved out to Toronto to start anew. A few months later, one year since I had last rolled some dice, I sought out my first RPG, and coincidently my first DnD group. I found my group through the first friend I made since moving, and I went in determined to play something vastly different than the tanky melee fighters I had been playing to date.

When I get there, the group has 2 melee and 4 ranged characters, so despite all my determination and vows and whatnot, I choose to play another melee characters as I felt that would have balanced the group best. And thus began the journey of Elga ‘Serpentbane’ Greyskull, barbarian berserker. I was actually pretty disappointed I was playing melee again and entertained perhaps dropping that group and finding another so I could play a ranged/spellcaster class.

I did not realize then how much Elga would grow on me. Little by little she told me her story and grew from something slapped together at the last minute to slip into an already existing group synamic, into a full fledged character that I was able to bond with and grew to love. We had so much fun together in the Bloody Misfits, crafting memories that will last a long time to come.

However, all that came to an end today. Today was the last ride of the Bloody Misfits, all members have now retired to carry on their lives as best they can. This is also end of my first campaign and my first character since I chose to start a new life for myself, so it has made me a bit emotional. RPGs have always played a big part in my life, and DnD has helped me get over my most recent hurts so it’s hard to say goodbye.

Oh, I know the players will come together again one day (we’re running a Shadowrun campaign next). Logically I know we will have just as much fun or more in the next DnD group we craft together as we did in this one. But it won’t be my Elga. They won’t be my Misfits.
So tonight, I bid bon voyage and raise a glass to the passing of an important chapter in my life, in and out of game.

Farewell Elga. Sleep well Misfits. Perhaps one day we’ll come together again.

…An Assassin…

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Pirate and paladins finally collide here in An Opportunity for Profit, fifth of nine in the DDTS.

Last we saw the pirates they were trekking through the jungle being picked off one by one by a bone demon, increasing losing faith in their mysterious employer despite his constant ability to keep them all from being killed outright.  The finally make it to the realms of the Utter East and the city where the paladins are searching.

Just bad luck when the pirates first arrive in the city they try to clean up a bit at a public fountain and the paladins bump into them.

Worse luck for them, one of them recognizes their employer as Artemis Entreri, fabled assassin of the Realms, and through Wonder Woman’s Lasso of truth, wielded by non other than young lordling Noph, the pirate’s true cross roads purpose is exposed to the paladins, leading to some understandable animosity.

For the most part the two parties avoid each other for the nonce, at least until the pirates face off against the squid king and find out what he really is.

Almost done here folks.  Yeah I’m kinda feeling it myself.  Next is book six in the DDTS: The Conspiracy by J Robert King.

As the search continues in the Utter East for the kidnapped bride of Waterdeep, the forces of the paladins and the mercenaries converge. For the first time, the dark secret behind the abduction is revealed, and the searchers realize their quest is barely begun.

…A Kraken King…

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The paladins have finally arrived at their destination within the Utter East, but they find betrayal at their backs.  Literally.  The lady mage and daughter of the fallen lord Piergeiron has blown up the portal behind them in Undermountain that they had just stepped through, leaving them stranded far from home in a foreign land, and things are about to get from bad to worse.

For while the local king and his people are friendly on the surface, the origins of the kingdoms has a dark history of fell magic and fallen temples.  And to make matters worse, the lands are beset by fiends and the people infected with magical ailments, cursed by the very items their rulers use to protect them.

Brought before the king, they discover the local curse has twisted him into a grotesque aquatic creature.  A creature however, who is willing to assist them if they are able to help take care of the demons infesting the lands around them.  The paladins have no choice but to agree, both to achieve their mission and to return home.

Here’s another one that did not particularly grab me character/story wise.  I think I’m more invested in seeing the end game which is why I keep reading these.

Onwards and upwards my friends!  Book 5 of DDTS: An Opportunity for Profit by Dave Gross is next.

The pirates hired to assassinate the kidnapped Waterdeep bride are hot on their prey. Having landed on the shores of the Utter East, they face great danger–all without knowing the identity of their employer. Now, as the pirates make their way across the eastern kingdoms, fate sets them on a collision course with another interested party.

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