Season 1 Notes and Details

Hey Folks!

Now that Season 1 has finished, it’s time to shift into our next phase. This page will have all the things we made for Season 1. Enjoy our little archive!

When we first started the podcast each character was created randomly. Each player, in isolation, generated their characters by rolling stats in order, then selecting races and classes to fit the stats they rolled. Oh course, their background was still left to chance. On the first episode wee randomly generated the starting town of Yorick. A few weeks ago, in between Ep 3 and 4 the DM sat with each of the players to randomly generate cities and stories in each character’s back story.

Ep 5 takes us to the first randomly generated city in Nathan’s backstory, the city of Gildyrn.

Once all the content in a world building session is shown on the podcast we will release that world building episode and show you where all this stuff came from!

Stay tuned! We will let you know when we drop one of the world building episodes.

 

And Now, a lore dump!

Most places of historical significance are simply pieces of land. They did not choose to be great, or could even understand what was happening around them when greatness occurred. This feeling cannot be understated when standing amongst the high grass of Briar Glen. During the wars the Briar was often overlooked. An unassuming collection of trees and hills. But on that sunny day, so many years ago, almost entirely by accident, or strategic plunder, three generals happened upon one another.

 

Bodyguards drew blades in the presence of their enemies. It was the bright light that stopped them. From the heavens four avatars of the gods stepped forward and proclaimed the endless slaughter was to end. Moradin, Bahamut, Pelor, and Sehanine joined together to prevent the destruction of their favoured children. All in their presence bowed by their divine will. In the same flash, they were gone, and only the slight breeze remained amongst the now silent rulers of Dwarves, Elves, and Men.

 

From then on the alliance prospered. The dwarves, now able to focus on creation, conquered new feats of arcane crafting. The Elves, free to pursue culture and magic, reached for the heavens while wrapping it on song. The Humans, with their endless creativity, combined both and traveled the sea.

 

And then the new world was discovered. 8 islands, 6 of which are centred in a impassable ring of reefs, were the new focus of the alliance. Now, almost as is the idea of war was ancient history, communal work to colonize the New World began. Shortly after, the magic flowering plant known as Arcania was discovered. So unique was this plant it required it’s own genus to even be studied properly.

 

That discovery overloaded arcane research. We made leaps and bounds into the future with the help of that purple plant. It seems as no real shock either that the lands rich with Arcania formed The Confederacy in order to protect their interests.

 

Much like Briar Glen, Shade Root seems to be a pleasant enough island, in the middle of islands, which will have great historical significance.  The island may not notice, the rest of the world has.

 

Arcania-by-cryss

Arc, by Cryss

https://twitter.com/princryss

Minor Spoilers for Ep 16. These are the homebrew magic items made for each player.

the Nullifier:

Artefact Warhammer

+1 Warhammer with 5 charges. It can cast the following spells: Counterspell (3 charges), Dispel Magic (range reduced to contact with the hammer) (3 charges), Detect magic (1 charge). The weapon uses a +4 to counter/dispel magic higher than 3rd level.   

The Nullifier can use 5 charges to destroy magic items with an attack roll. If the attack hits, it does no damage and destroys 1 magic item of the wielder’s choice.

The Nullifier does double damage to constructs.

The Nullifier regains 1D4 charges each day at dawn.

 

The Rising Storm:

+1 Great Sword

This custom made Great Sword hums with cracking electricity.

As a bonus action you can change the damage type of The Rising Storm to either Slashing, Thunder, Lightning, or Force damage.

When you critically hit with the Rising Storm you add 1d6 of lightning damage and 1d6 of thunder damage.

While wielding the Rising Storm you gain resistance to Thunder or Lightning damage. During a short rest you can change your resistance type.

Lightning Rod, while wielding the Rising Storm you can use your reaction to catch any incoming lightning damage. You consume ¼ of the lightning damage. If the damage consumed is 4 or more you regain a first lvl spell slot. If the damage is 9 or more you regain a second level spell slot.

 

A Sharp Wit:

+1 Rapier

This enchanted rapier channels a bards charisma.

While wielding A Sharp Wit a bard can choose to use either their Charisma or Dexterity bonus to attack and damage.

If you choose to use Dexterity the following comes into effect:

1)      A sharp wit acts as your arcane focus, allowing you to cast spells from it;

2)      You gain a second reaction per turn that can only be used for opportunity attacks;

3)      A Sharp wit deals either slashing or piercing damage.

If you choose Charisma the following comes into effect:

1)      A sharp wit acts as your arcane focus and gives +1 to spell attacks;

2)      You gain the use of the Firebolt Wizard Cantrip;

3)      A sharp wit allows you to reroll 1s on any psychic spell attack damage dice.

 

Sage Advice

+1 Great Axe

This enchanted Great Axe has many chips from centuries of battle.

Sage Advice deals double damage to objects.

Sage Advice has the “thrown” property with a range of 30/90.

Sage Advice lends its centuries of experience to the wielder. While attuned to Sage Advice

 its wielder gains the “Great Weapon Master” and “Alert” feats.

 

The Reaper Pact:

The realms are filled with creatures who wish to cheat patron’s. After completing some service to yours, your patron felt it was time to collect on those who tried to escape their bonds. You are charged with collecting those debts on behalf of your patron.

1st cause fear, inflict wounds

2nd ray of enfeeblement, blindness deafness

3rd vampiric touch, speak with dead

4th Blight, death ward

5th Enervation, contagion

Lvl 1: A weapon and a purpose

You become a living embodiment of your patron’s desire to collect their debts.

Your pact choice, either blade, tome, or chain, becomes a symbol of your office under your patron.

Blade: Your pact weapon now has the ability to trap the souls of those you kill. When you kill a creature marked by your patron with your weapon you will capture their soul for your patron. You regain hp equal half of the damage you dealt to the creature this turn.

 

Tome: Your book of secrets now serves as a means of communication between you and your patron. The tome gives you a direction and a distance to your target at all times.

 

Chain: Your familiar becomes a master tracker. Your familiar has advantage on perception and survival checks to find your target.

 

Lvl 6: The beginning of an end

At lvl 6 you gain resistance to B/S/P from attacks from your target.

After a long rest you can choose either nonmaigcal B S or P damage, you gain resistance to that damage for the day. At lvl 10 you can choose 2, at lvl 14, you gain resistance to all three.

Lvl 10: A shade

At lvl 10 you gain incorporeal movement. You can pass through other creatures, and objects as if they were difficult terrain. If you end your turn in an object you take 1d10 force damage.

You no longer have an HP maximum. You no longer roll for HP.

You no longer regain health from long rests, potions, or healing magic. Instead the only thing that will sustain you is the life force of other creatures. When you kill a creature you regain half of the damage you dealt to that creature. If that creature is marked by your patron you regain hp equal to half of the HP maximum of the creature.

You are now vulnerable to radiant damage and can be turned like undead.

As an action, you may spend your HP regain spell slots equal to 4 x spell slot level. If this action takes you to zero HP you will cast the spell before going unconscious.

Lvl 14: A purpose beyond death

At lvl 14 death is merely a nuisance for you. When you reach 0 hp you don’t roll death saving throws, instead you a dismissed for a time before returning to the material plane at a place of your patron’s choosing. You return after 2d20 hours. You return to the material plane with 10 hp.

Your spirit can be corrupted to the point you are unable to return. Keep a running tally of the necrotic damage you have taken. If you take your level x 100 worth of necrotic damage through the course of your adventure your spirit is disrupted to the point you are unable to return.

Lvl 20: the Grim Reaper

This feature replaces the warlock lvl 20 ability. Your Patron bestows on you the ability to summon the Grim Reaper’s Scythe.

You are proficient with the scythe, it is considered a +3 scythe, and deals 3d8 + your Cha modifier necrotic damage. You can use an action to Mark a target you know the full name of in the same way your patron gave you targets. You can only mark 1 target every 7 days. You regain health equal to the damage dealt by the Grim Reaper’s Scythe.

 

While this is being play tested you cannot multiclass.

 

The Collected Works of Carric Naillo:

The Amblecrown Chronicles

Chapter 1: Beginnings

I firmly believe that every good story begins somewhere in the middle then jumps back to the beginning leaving the reader wondering how the writer will craft all the wonderful story elements together in a massive reveal.

But, alas, this is not a good story. It is, however, my story and it deserves to be told.

I am Thaedious Amblecrown, lover, swordsman, writer, artist, playwright, and Duke of Amblecrown, consort to Her Majesty Irena Vermile, Queen of Erandfell, Light of the World, and Descended of King John himself. It’s a mouthful to be sure, but then again, so I am.

My story begins in Erandfell in the house of Amblecrown, on the shores of the Shining Sea in late autumn. They say when I was born I didn’t cry, rather I wailed and sang a wordless note that rattled the very windows in my mothers chambers. Everyone knew then and there that I would be a talented bard. I’d spend my days fumbling around the courtyard of my family estate lulling the hunting dogs to sleep with a lullaby that I had just learned from my wet nurse.

My first experiences with stringed instruments were much like walking. At first I stumbled, but soon put one foot in front of another and weaved melodies that haunted the halls of the Amblecrown Estate for days. By the age of five I was writing songs to the match the words I was just beginning to learn. My favourite was the first rhyme I conjured by accident during bath time.

O Bath time

This duck of mine,

As a friend you’re fine,

But I miss that lass named Trine

With golden hair and blue eyes

That lass named Trine

But here I am,

With this duck of mine

During bath time.

  • Thaedious Amblecrown, aged 5

 

I didn’t know what a lass was, nor did I know who Trine was, but I knew she would be important. The rest of my childhood was more of a preamble to adolescence rather than a forming of my future character. While others were learning to fight with swords and bows and arrows, I spent my time wandering the streets, heralded as the young prodigy able to play any instrument and sing the knickers off passing by ladies and the occasional man.

Then, like a charging bulette, my loins ripened to the fruit baring age. By thirteen I was on first names basis with half the brothel’s in Erandfell, and some of the royal houses, who shall remain a prudish Lion crested idiot who deserved everything that came to him, disapproved of my God giving talent for music and fuckery.

Unfortunately, that dimwitted shell of a man, Prince Martin Everbrook, of Lyvander, the small lower nipple of the Free Cities of Men by Stonebridge, took issue with my courting of Lady Tessa Riverbend. Turns out the fair Lady Riverbend was to be married to Prince Everbrook and did not enjoy the fact I had tending to the lady’s flowers before he had summoned the gumption to do so.

Fortunately for Prince Everbrook, he had been training with a rapier for many years and towered over me. So, using the talents that brick headed mule had, he challenged me to duel over the Lady. Who was I to refuse such a slight! Me, the heir to Amblecrown, master of song and spirit, was not going to turn down a fight.

The contest was lively, I assure you. Some tell the story that I was knocked prone with in five seconds and then pleaded for my life. Others, who are correct, will remember that while I have been knocked prone, I was not pleading for my life. I was, in fact, pleading for his. I begged him to stop! But no, the Prince’s honour was stained and only my blood would cleanse it.

So I did what any man of my talents would do, I crowded his mind with whispers of death and ruin. How was I know he would bleed from the ears and then collapse! Poor boy couldn’t handle a simple spell. With the Prince dying on the ground the guards collected his unconscious form then threw me in jail.

I really should have paid closer attention to the laws. No magic during duels.

My father pleaded the local judge for a lenient penalty. Some money changed hands and my fate was sealed before the gavel drummed three times.

I was to be exiled from the Free Cities.

All of them.

 

Chapter 2: Same Great Verse as the First

 

I found myself on the road. It is a long walk from the free cities to, well, anywhere. I managed to make it comfortable enough by humming tunes to myself. Simple diddies really, I managed to write a few into the roving epic, “To woe a fae.” But I’m jumping ahead. Feeling rather tired of the road I stopped in the small fishing village of Saldor.

Saldor didn’t have anything of note about it until I rolled into town. The wharf was a welcome site. A few small ships, the smell of fish, and my first love, the Sea’s Bounty. She was shackled to a dark part of the docks while her current owner, a half drunk mostly dumb man of 47. The bounty has stolen my heart and I was going to win it no matter the cost.

After a brief conversation I discovered the elder sailor had a minor gambling fascination. I bet him my fancy lute and 3 months of free labour that I could beat him in a card game, any card game. He chose Mimicry. A fun little game that I didn’t know. The rules were surprisingly simple. Two players draw 4 cards from the deck and place them down in front of them. The goal is to match the cards in front of your opponent before they match the cards in front of you. It’s a tough game to master, but I managed it easily enough. After a few games I had him in a debt only his ship could crawl him out of. Between crying about his family I managed to beat him and win the deed to his ship.

The next day I sailed across the sea, having convinced some local sailors to join me in my quest, to get as far away from the free cities as possible. The free cities make many orphans.

I hadn’t truly learned to sail so it took some trial and error before learning to catch the wind. The Bounty was a patient teacher. At night she would rock me gently to sleep and in the morning greet me with the most dazzling sunrises. In fact one sunrise in particular was the inspiration behind Lady Bellaluna, the Enchantress featured in, “The Marvelous Mask.” But of course we are no where near the beginnings of my writings.

It was an idle day, the wind had died, the crew was restless, and I was a tad morose over the absence of movement. I wanted to cheer up the crew so I decided to sing them a jaunty little tune.  It was a wordless strumming of the lute that held no special connection to anything. Or so I thought.

You see a bards talents are odd, and sometimes you discover them at the most inopportune times. The magic rose up within me before I had a chance to fully understand what was broiling underneath. The feelings of being lost at sea, being rocked gently to sleep, and just existing burned in my soul. That fire was unleashed on an unwary, unknowing, crew. Their eyes glazed over and they began to sway with my rhythm.

The  best audience is an audience who dances. So I asked them to dance and they juked and jigged until they could no longer stand. Then I forced them to stand once more to give me the ovation I deserved.

No one sits when the Bard plays.

 

Chapter 3: At Sea, what a way to be.

Fresh sea air does things to a man. It was refreshing. The freedom to supplant the shackles of my previous life with the chains of my own desires was intoxicating. I took advantage of my new found leisure.

In the beginning games of chance were a passing fancy. My crew, now willful servants from the power that flowed in my veins, were crushed beneath my towering intellect. By the end of a rousing game of King’s Hands I owned every man for a year. This was the beginning of The Legend of the Bounty.

I could sail for months in every direction from the Free Cities. Our cook, the spoil sport, felt we needed to acquire some more coin lest we all die of starvation. Since that wasn’t a fitting end for a man like me it made sense to make for the Elven states. The Empire of the Sun and Moon were shrewd traders but always willing to do business. We made for Milimetheas, home to some of my father’s contacts. They were the rough and tumble sort, elves who didn’t mind getting their hands dirty when needed.

If we were going to make it before we resorted to eating one another we had better get a move on. I brewed up a fancy little spell that helped shift the winds. All you need do is convince the wind to join you in a song. Mustering up some guile and vigor I issued simple challenge to the quiet deck of the Bounty. The West wind answered my challenge. Gentle enough bloke, but you have to use his real name to make him come around. I won’t write it here, lest everyone go around calling him out but I will say he certainly is Civil. My challenge was easy enough, Who can blow the longest? If I failed I at least sped up our voyage.

My flute damn near broke from the 5 straight days of playing. Thankfully we made land fall before I was willing to admit defeat.

The West Wind agreed I truly was a blow hard.

 

Chapter 4: Slip through the door

Sailing is fun. The freedom of the sea is intoxicating. The men are jaunty enough, the sea life playful, but something is missing. I thought I couldn’t put my finger on it until I ran ashore one idle afternoon while in port. Men reach places a lady just can’t, it’s basic math really.

But of course a man’s face never launched thousands of ships to get him back. A name had been echoing in my head for more than a few weeks now. The trip to Milimentheas was eventful, legendary even. But of course it’s bad luck to have women aboard so

Naturally the first stop was to find some company of the gentler persuasion. The usual fare wasn’t going to satisfy me either. Now a full fledged sailor, with salt in my veins and a permanent tan, I needed a full scrub and some care that came from more than just a simple evening with a lady.

I needed something mystical. Something not really a good idea but something I could write about. No sooner had I finished explaining to my First Mate that I needed something more than just a regular old roll in the hay did I see my swift exit. I didn’t, at the time, realize I would be leaving the Bounty behind.

But when three Fey Nymphs beg you to play for them you better agree. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. Sure, they will judge your music harshly but always remember, the fey have a soft spot for lies. Since they can’t tell them they love to hear those who can lie through their teeth. They see it as joke for the most part. Just…never lie to a Fey Knight. Troll Knights, for instance, hate lies with a passion. If they ever catch you in one you’d better run.

Anyways, after a quick set of songs, about ten or twelve, I had enough Fey under garments to be very fashionable dressed in the summer court. I wasn’t expecting to receive a nights rest in the fey wild, and yet I went anyways. I left the bounty behind and began my journey through the Summer Court. By the time I would leave I would be the only human to ever please a nymph so much that she bestowed some magic on me.

What they don’t tell you about the Feywild is that time works a little different. I would spend the better part of a year with those Nymphs, playing music and enjoying their presence, but when I would return to the material plane it would have only been a month.  I would, in time, learn to take advantage of that time difference.

After all, what can a man do with an extra couple of years?

Everything, he can do everything.

 

Chapter 5: Secrets in the Depths

 

What does one do when they have sampled the fruits of creatures made entirely of light? Where can you go when you have reached the peak of sexual gratification and musical perfection?

 

Well, down, it seems.

 

So I may have spent a few years lost in the feywild. The Summer Court is wonderful. They love like they have never known pain. The Winter Court is equally as wonderful. They have a comfortable numbness that I find is worthwhile. A group of people made entirely of uppers who are neighbours, and sometimes at war, with a group of people who are made entirely of downers.

 

Queen Titania and her Summer Fey are amazing. Unfortunately you may find they are rather clingy and could, very easily, smother you out. If Queen TT decides you are worthy then you may find yourself in the presence of Lord Victor Blackgate, a fancy enough fellow, who has some of the best connections in the two courts. When the Queens need to talk, either privately or just to gossip about their followers, Lord Victor Blackgate is the one who will make the connection.

 

Of course, I should mention that for all the love and hugs of the Summer Court, the Winter Court is equally mysterious. Bundle up if you go winterward. Vic should have helped you cross the ice flows leading into the vast wastes of the winter court. Just…mind the gaps in the ice. The water will chill you to the bone, quick.

 

You haven’t lived until you shared a bed with the Queen of Air and Darkness. You also won’t be living when you share a bed with the Queen of Air and Darkness. At least when you die there, she may resurrect you. If she does kill you, then you’ve got a choice ahead of you. Embrace the darkness and roll in its embrace. Or, and I recommend this, swear yourself into service. How else can you reclaim your rightful place amongst the mere mortals?

 

Thankfully the Queen of Air and Darkness knows more than a few masters of the undead arts. She reached out to an old friend, some sort of Dragon by the name of Droshuck Ileem. With a quick spell and a twist, I was back to life and ready to keep on going in the service of my new found Queen. What were my first set of orders?

 

Destroy the cities that sent me here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The monologue from “The meaning of a man.” After Marious escaped his Uncle Cornilious betrayal, Marious ponders his existence.

Act 1, scene 4, Enter Marious

 

“Born of a king, son of a lamb and a lion.

The lamb, draped in cloth and saddled with the crown,

Was thrown into the sea and drown.

The lion, fierce and deadly, caged and broken.

And the cub? Alone, in this sewer, hiding.

 

The prince who hides.

The boy who cries.

Tear stained cheeks red with cowardice.

 

O’ damned prince, what makes you?

Kord? Did you see how I ran?

Ioun, do know what rots inside of me?

My core has eroded as it Cornilious ripped it from me.

Bane, if I asked would you work through me to right this imbalance?

Perhaps Melora, great mistress of the woods, could grant me the power to dethrone the new king?

Bahamut?

 

Any one?

 

The echoes of your silence are deafening.

You stood idle while my family was moved from one square to another.

So be it. This game of yours has been played out and I will make the next move.

 

I shall seek out the only ally that remains, Polonious.

I hope his blade is sharp, my plan will see it bloody.

To work then.”

 

 

The Amblecrown Chronicles

Chapter 1: Beginnings

I firmly believe that every good story begins somewhere in the middle then jumps back to the beginning leaving the reader wondering how the writer will craft all the wonderful story elements together in a massive reveal.

But, alas, this is not a good story. It is, however, my story and it deserves to be told.

I am Thaedious Amblecrown, lover, swordsman, writer, artist, playwright, and Duke of Amblecrown, consort to Her Majesty Irena Vermile, Queen of Erandfell, Light of the World, and Descended of King John himself. It’s a mouthful to be sure, but then again, so I am.

My story begins in Erandfell in the house of Amblecrown, on the shores of the Shining Sea in late autumn. They say when I was born I didn’t cry, rather I wailed and sang a wordless note that rattled the very windows in my mothers chambers. Everyone knew then and there that I would be a talented bard. I’d spend my days fumbling around the courtyard of my family estate lulling the hunting dogs to sleep with a lullaby that I had just learned from my wet nurse.

My first experiences with stringed instruments were much like walking. At first I stumbled, but soon put one foot in front of another and weaved melodies that haunted the halls of the Amblecrown Estate for days. By the age of five I was writing songs to the match the words I was just beginning to learn. My favourite was the first rhyme I conjured by accident during bath time.

O Bath time

This duck of mine,

As a friend you’re fine,

But I miss that lass named Trine

With golden hair and blue eyes

That lass named Trine

But here I am,

With this duck of mine

During bath time.

  • Thaedious Amblecrown, aged 5

 

I didn’t know what a lass was, nor did I know who Trine was, but I knew she would be important. The rest of my childhood was more of a preamble to adolescence rather than a forming of my future character. While others were learning to fight with swords and bows and arrows, I spent my time wandering the streets, heralded as the young prodigy able to play any instrument and sing the knickers off passing by ladies and the occasional man.

Then, like a charging bulette, my loins ripened to the fruit baring age. By thirteen I was on first names basis with half the brothel’s in Erandfell, and some of the royal houses, who shall remain a prudish Lion crested idiot who deserved everything that came to him, disapproved of my God giving talent for music and fuckery.

Unfortunately, that dimwitted shell of a man, Prince Martin Everbrook, of Lyvander, the small lower nipple of the Free Cities of Men by Stonebridge, took issue with my courting of Lady Tessa Riverbend. Turns out the fair Lady Riverbend was to be married to Prince Everbrook and did not enjoy the fact I had tending to the lady’s flowers before he had summoned the gumption to do so.

Fortunately for Prince Everbrook, he had been training with a rapier for many years and towered over me. So, using the talents that brick headed mule had, he challenged me to duel over the Lady. Who was I to refuse such a slight! Me, the heir to Amblecrown, master of song and spirit, was not going to turn down a fight.

The contest was lively, I assure you. Some tell the story that I was knocked prone with in five seconds and then pleaded for my life. Others, who are correct, will remember that while I have been knocked prone, I was not pleading for my life. I was, in fact, pleading for his. I begged him to stop! But no, the Prince’s honour was stained and only my blood would cleanse it.

So I did what any man of my talents would do, I crowded his mind with whispers of death and ruin. How was I know he would bleed from the ears and then collapse! Poor boy couldn’t handle a simple spell. With the Prince dying on the ground the guards collected his unconscious form then threw me in jail.

I really should have paid closer attention to the laws. No magic during duels.

My father pleaded the local judge for a lenient penalty. Some money changed hands and my fate was sealed before the gavel drummed three times.

I was to be exiled from the Free Cities.

All of them.

 

Chapter 2: Same Great Verse as the First

 

I found myself on the road. It is a long walk from the free cities to, well, anywhere. I managed to make it comfortable enough by humming tunes to myself. Simple diddies really, I managed to write a few into the roving epic, “To woe a fae.” But I’m jumping ahead. Feeling rather tired of the road I stopped in the small fishing village of Saldor.

Saldor didn’t have anything of note about it until I rolled into town. The wharf was a welcome site. A few small ships, the smell of fish, and my first love, the Sea’s Bounty. She was shackled to a dark part of the docks while her current owner, a half drunk mostly dumb man of 47. The bounty has stolen my heart and I was going to win it no matter the cost.

After a brief conversation I discovered the elder sailor had a minor gambling fascination. I bet him my fancy lute and 3 months of free labour that I could beat him in a card game, any card game. He chose Mimicry. A fun little game that I didn’t know. The rules were surprisingly simple. Two players draw 4 cards from the deck and place them down in front of them. The goal is to match the cards in front of your opponent before they match the cards in front of you. It’s a tough game to master, but I managed it easily enough. After a few games I had him in a debt only his ship could crawl him out of. Between crying about his family I managed to beat him and win the deed to his ship.

The next day I sailed across the sea, having convinced some local sailors to join me in my quest, to get as far away from the free cities as possible. The free cities make many orphans.

I hadn’t truly learned to sail so it took some trial and error before learning to catch the wind. The Bounty was a patient teacher. At night she would rock me gently to sleep and in the morning greet me with the most dazzling sunrises. In fact one sunrise in particular was the inspiration behind Lady Bellaluna, the Enchantress featured in, “The Marvelous Mask.” But of course we are no where near the beginnings of my writings.

It was an idle day, the wind had died, the crew was restless, and I was a tad morose over the absence of movement. I wanted to cheer up the crew so I decided to sing them a jaunty little tune.  It was a wordless strumming of the lute that held no special connection to anything. Or so I thought.

You see a bards talents are odd, and sometimes you discover them at the most inopportune times. The magic rose up within me before I had a chance to fully understand what was broiling underneath. The feelings of being lost at sea, being rocked gently to sleep, and just existing burned in my soul. That fire was unleashed on an unwary, unknowing, crew. Their eyes glazed over and they began to sway with my rhythm.

The  best audience is an audience who dances. So I asked them to dance and they juked and jigged until they could no longer stand. Then I forced them to stand once more to give me the ovation I deserved.

No one sits when the Bard plays.

 

Chapter 3: At Sea, what a way to be.

Fresh sea air does things to a man. It was refreshing. The freedom to supplant the shackles of my previous life with the chains of my own desires was intoxicating. I took advantage of my new found leisure.

In the beginning games of chance were a passing fancy. My crew, now willful servants from the power that flowed in my veins, were crushed beneath my towering intellect. By the end of a rousing game of King’s Hands I owned every man for a year. This was the beginning of The Legend of the Bounty.

I could sail for months in every direction from the Free Cities. Our cook, the spoil sport, felt we needed to acquire some more coin lest we all die of starvation. Since that wasn’t a fitting end for a man like me it made sense to make for the Elven states. The Empire of the Sun and Moon were shrewd traders but always willing to do business. We made for Milimetheas, home to some of my father’s contacts. They were the rough and tumble sort, elves who didn’t mind getting their hands dirty when needed.

If we were going to make it before we resorted to eating one another we had better get a move on. I brewed up a fancy little spell that helped shift the winds. All you need do is convince the wind to join you in a song. Mustering up some guile and vigor I issued simple challenge to the quiet deck of the Bounty. The West wind answered my challenge. Gentle enough bloke, but you have to use his real name to make him come around. I won’t write it here, lest everyone go around calling him out but I will say he certainly is Civil. My challenge was easy enough, Who can blow the longest? If I failed I at least sped up our voyage.

My flute damn near broke from the 5 straight days of playing. Thankfully we made land fall before I was willing to admit defeat.

The West Wind agreed I truly was a blow hard.

 

Chapter 4: Slip through the door

Sailing is fun. The freedom of the sea is intoxicating. The men are jaunty enough, the sea life playful, but something is missing. I thought I couldn’t put my finger on it until I ran ashore one idle afternoon while in port. Men reach places a lady just can’t, it’s basic math really.

But of course a man’s face never launched thousands of ships to get him back. A name had been echoing in my head for more than a few weeks now. The trip to Milimentheas was eventful, legendary even. But of course it’s bad luck to have women aboard so

Naturally the first stop was to find some company of the gentler persuasion. The usual fare wasn’t going to satisfy me either. Now a full fledged sailor, with salt in my veins and a permanent tan, I needed a full scrub and some care that came from more than just a simple evening with a lady.

I needed something mystical. Something not really a good idea but something I could write about. No sooner had I finished explaining to my First Mate that I needed something more than just a regular old roll in the hay did I see my swift exit. I didn’t, at the time, realize I would be leaving the Bounty behind.

But when three Fey Nymphs beg you to play for them you better agree. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. Sure, they will judge your music harshly but always remember, the fey have a soft spot for lies. Since they can’t tell them they love to hear those who can lie through their teeth. They see it as joke for the most part. Just…never lie to a Fey Knight. Troll Knights, for instance, hate lies with a passion. If they ever catch you in one you’d better run.

Anyways, after a quick set of songs, about ten or twelve, I had enough Fey under garments to be very fashionable dressed in the summer court. I wasn’t expecting to receive a nights rest in the fey wild, and yet I went anyways. I left the bounty behind and began my journey through the Summer Court. By the time I would leave I would be the only human to ever please a nymph so much that she bestowed some magic on me.

What they don’t tell you about the Feywild is that time works a little different. I would spend the better part of a year with those Nymphs, playing music and enjoying their presence, but when I would return to the material plane it would have only been a month.  I would, in time, learn to take advantage of that time difference.

After all, what can a man do with an extra couple of years?

Everything, he can do everything.

 

Chapter 5: Secrets in the Depths

 

What does one do when they have sampled the fruits of creatures made entirely of light? Where can you go when you have reached the peak of sexual gratification and musical perfection?

 

Well, down, it seems.

 

So I may have spent a few years lost in the feywild. The Summer Court is wonderful. They love like they have never known pain. The Winter Court is equally as wonderful. They have a comfortable numbness that I find is worthwhile. A group of people made entirely of uppers who are neighbours, and sometimes at war, with a group of people who are made entirely of downers.

 

Queen Titania and her Summer Fey are amazing. Unfortunately you may find they are rather clingy and could, very easily, smother you out. If Queen TT decides you are worthy then you may find yourself in the presence of Lord Victor Blackgate, a fancy enough fellow, who has some of the best connections in the two courts. When the Queens need to talk, either privately or just to gossip about their followers, Lord Victor Blackgate is the one who will make the connection.

 

Of course, I should mention that for all the love and hugs of the Summer Court, the Winter Court is equally mysterious. Bundle up if you go winterward. Vic should have helped you cross the ice flows leading into the vast wastes of the winter court. Just…mind the gaps in the ice. The water will chill you to the bone, quick.

 

You haven’t lived until you shared a bed with the Queen of Air and Darkness. You also won’t be living when you share a bed with the Queen of Air and Darkness. At least when you die there, she may resurrect you. If she does kill you, then you’ve got a choice ahead of you. Embrace the darkness and roll in its embrace. Or, and I recommend this, swear yourself into service. How else can you reclaim your rightful place amongst the mere mortals?

 

Thankfully the Queen of Air and Darkness knows more than a few masters of the undead arts. She reached out to an old friend, some sort of Dragon by the name of Droshuck Ileem. With a quick spell and a twist, I was back to life and ready to keep on going in the service of my new found Queen. What were my first set of orders?

 

Destroy the cities that sent me here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The monologue from “The meaning of a man.” After Marious escaped his Uncle Cornilious betrayal, Marious ponders his existence.

Act 1, scene 4, Enter Marious

 

“Born of a king, son of a lamb and a lion.

The lamb, draped in cloth and saddled with the crown,

Was thrown into the sea and drown.

The lion, fierce and deadly, caged and broken.

And the cub? Alone, in this sewer, hiding.

 

The prince who hides.

The boy who cries.

Tear stained cheeks red with cowardice.

 

O’ damned prince, what makes you?

Kord? Did you see how I ran?

Ioun, do know what rots inside of me?

My core has eroded as it Cornilious ripped it from me.

Bane, if I asked would you work through me to right this imbalance?

Perhaps Melora, great mistress of the woods, could grant me the power to dethrone the new king?

Bahamut?

 

Any one?

 

The echoes of your silence are deafening.

You stood idle while my family was moved from one square to another.

So be it. This game of yours has been played out and I will make the next move.

 

I shall seek out the only ally that remains, Polonious.

I hope his blade is sharp, my plan will see it bloody.

To work then.”