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.

…Couple of Pirates…

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So this one I actually got pretty bored with.  The Mercenaries is the third of nine in the DDTS and it focuses largely on a dark stranger who cobbles together a crew of pirates and former pirates to head to the same place as the rescue party of Paladins for an opposing reason: kill Eidola.

But the whole premise in the beginning doesn’t make any sense!  It seems like all the characters we’re introduced to here are just thrown into the story for the hell of it.  It’s not until the end when the mercenaries meet up with the paladins that things become a bit more clear. We still have no idea who hired the hit on Eidola, but we learn the identity of the dark little man who was contracted to take her out.  None other than Artemis Entreri.

Well…suggested here and confirmed in later books.

So yeah…while the beginning was kinda blech, the ending was awesome!  Just the merest HINT that our resident favorite assassin has returned is enough to guarantee that things are going to get interesting…

Lets see just how interesting as we continue on hmm? Errand of Mercy, book 4 in the DDTS by Roger E Moore is next.

The paladins sent by the Lord of Waterdeep to rescue his kidnapped bride have arrived in a kingdom of the Utter East. The monarch seems friendly, but the kingdom is beset by menacing fiends. Before the ruler agrees to help the knights in their quest, there is just one small task they must perform.

..Some Holy Men…

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Now this, this I was excited to read.  I always love it when characters make a comeback, no matter how big or small.

The Paladins is the second of nine in the Double Diamond Triangle Saga (DDTS) and brings back some old friends for me.  Khelban Blackstaff was brought forward as Lord Mage of Waterdeep in The Abduction, and now that the Open Lord has fallen into a magical coma and his bride to be has been kidnapped, it is up to the Blackstaff to mount up the rescue party to find the lady while he deals with the lord.

And for some reason the rescue party is like 90% paladins.  There is Miltiades and Kern from the Pools sagas, as well as Piergeiron’s daughter, a paladin who has lost his face, another paladin who might be a disguise for someone/something else, and a young noble lordling off on his first adventure.  And that first adventure is to Undermountain to find a portal that will send the party to the Utter East, the one place that defies Khelben’s scrying attempts at locating the missing bride to be.

All they have to do is take a group of paladins through the dank streets of Skullport and circumvent a conjured army of demons to reach the gate.

No problemo.

Nothing really stuck out for me with the Paladins, aside from my excitement at seeing the characters Miltiades and Kern again.  We’ll just have to see how book 3 The Mercenaries by Ed Greenwood goes.

A shadowy figure hires a group of unemployed pirates to aid him on a dangerous mission. But the mission has a hidden purpose, and somewhere behind the scenes it connects to the kidnapping of a young bride from Waterdeep.

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