Danaeryzard & Alaria: Mushroom Cup Cave

It’s Dungeons and Dragons time! Here’s the latest installment of the epic journey of our heroines, Danaeryzard and Alaria! (If you’re new here, you can read the earlier chapters of the saga using this tag search.)

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Sunset at Water’s Edge was truly a sight to behold. The vast width of Lake Constant gave an impression of looking out at an endless sea, with the sun slowly making it’s way toward the horizon and casting succulent shades of peach and orange across the sky. However, Danaeryzard and Alaria didn’t have much time to appreciate the natural beauty – they were looking for the cave where Cledus would be selling his crystals. They walked along the rocky perimeter of town, where they came upon a large, carefully carved opening to a dark cave. 

“Hey – wait a sec!” a young voice called after the duo.

Dany and Alaria wheeled around, surprised. Behind them was a young, scraggly looking girl with shaggy hair and dirt on her face. “Who are you?” asked Alaria.

Charlotte

“Oh uhh I’m Charlotte. Are you going in the cave?” asked the girl. Without receiving an answer, Charlotte rambled on. “Lots of people check out the caves, especially foreigners. Like those crazy religious folk. They’re always looking for the big crystals. Are you looking for the big crystals too? Did you know they can amplify magic? But it takes a turn to charge ’em, so you have to plan ahead! My mom always tells me to plan ahead, but it’s so hard to remember… Oh hey can I ask a favor?”

Alaria looked at Dany quizzically. Who was this scruffy girl with all this information? Why was she talking so fast? What could she possibly ask them to do? 

“You are quite bold to come up to foreigners all alone like this,” Dany said to the child, trying to sound wise and give warning of their potential danger. “What could we do for you?”

“Well… I’m not supposed to go in the caves. But sometimes I sneak in. I never go too far, because it gets dark and I don’t want to get lost. But uhh… well, I left something in there last time. It was my Grandpa’s Stein. It’s an old brass mug with a crystal fish on the side. If ya see it, can ya bring it back to me? Or give it to my mom – she works at the Inn. Please? Could ya?”

A stein? Why would a child be carrying a stein into a cave at all? It was a strange request, but Dany and Alaria said they would keep an eye out for it. Charlotte thanked them and ran off towards the main road. The partners shrugged at each other and proceeded cautiously inside the cave.

It was a well made cave, carefully crafted with support beams and a sunlight shaft, allowing what was left of the daylight to illuminate the interior. The cave was damp, sandy and musty, and looked as thought it was not being used regularly. On the right side was a darker opening that led deeper into the cave, and on the left was a large door with a giant bolt lock going through the middle. Alaria inspected the lock, hoping to use her lock-picking skills to open the door, but was confounded by the complexity of the ancient lock. They decided to proceed into the darker passage, which led to a much larger open chamber.

The main cave chamber felt even mustier than the entrance. There was moss growing all over the walls, and appeared to have accumulated in mounds in the far corners of the chamber. Little white mushrooms were clumped together and tiny white spores floated lazily in the air. A soft clicking sound echoed throughout the chamber, but Dany and Alaria could not see the source of the sound. They continued to carefully walk through the chamber, in search of any sign of Cledus or maybe a good hiding spot. 

Suddenly in the corner of her eye, Dany spotted something shiny among a pile of rocks. She always loved shiny things, ever since she was a hatchling, and could easily spot something shiny even in dark places. The shiny thing was indeed the missing stein, but when Dany picked it up she accidentally disturbed the rocks and they spilled across the ground, rolling over a white mushroom. It popped and hundreds of little spores poofed up in a small cloud. The clicking sound quickly intensified in volume. Alaria looked toward the back of the cave and saw that the mounds of moss in the back of the cave were stirring and moving on their own. 

“I think you should get over there Dany. Try some of that fiery breath of yours on those mossy mounds.”

She tried to walk over as carefully as she could, but Dragonborn were never known to be very graceful or light-footed. Danaeryzard’s large talon feet managed to smush a cluster of white mushrooms as she walked deeper into the cave. Another poof of spores rose up and the mysterious clicking almost sounded like angry yells that were echoing through the chamber. 

Vegepygmy

Without warning, the moving mounds of moss popped upwards and sprang into the form of Vegepygmy warriors! These leafy, spear wielding soldiers were short but quite full of rage. Apparently Dany and Alaria were not expected or welcomed in this cave after all! Was the ‘missing stein’ a trap to awaken these monsters? Quickly they moved into defensive poses as the Vegepygmy lept toward them. Dany took on two at once, and a third ran towards Alaria, clicking angrily. One attack from the Vegepygmy on Danaeryzard showed that their leafy spears were no match for Dany’s red-gilded scale armor skin. The spearhead seemed to bounce off of her, leaving the Vegepygmy looking confused and angry. 

Alaria shoved her short sword into the chest of the Vegepygmy that was charging toward her. It cried out in pain, but when it stepped back, Alaria watched in horror as the wound she had just doled into him was glowing green and regenerating. The stab wound was practically healed as the Veggie heaved it’s spear into Alaria’s arm.

On the other side of the cave, Danaeryzard used her Fire Bolt cantrip to attack one of the Veggies that were flanking each side of her. The flames hit the Vegepygmy directly in the face and it cried out in pain. The smell of singed leaves began to fill the cave. Again the Veggies tried to attack Dany but her thick scaled skin was too powerful. Feeling boisterous, Dany tried to do a slick move with her crystal orb and hit the Vegepygmy on the other side with another fire bolt, but her fingers slipped and she almost dropped the orb. 

Alaria was in pain and in her desperation she had a moment of clarity – as a Rogue, she had the ability to dash, disengage, and sneak her way through battles! If her attacks were simply being healed by this Vegepygmy, then she was not going to be able to beat it on her own. She quickly dashed away from the little green monster attacking her, and charged at the Veggie that Dany had burnt in the face. This time the Vegepygmy did not heal up after Alaria’s short sword hit. This was when Alaria realized that once you attack a Vegepygmy with fire, their magical healing ability was disabled. 

“Dany – you have to hit them all with your fire attacks! Roast these brussel sprouts!!”

After shrugging off another attack, Dany heaved her firey breath weapon towards the Vegepygmy that she had missed last time. While it wasn’t a huge hit (she was still struggling to fully control the power of her breath weapon, and she was pretty sure the dampness of the cave only made things worse), she knew it would be enough to do some damage and negate the magic power.

With her next move, Alaria chopped the first Vegepygmy directly in half. She had a victorious gleam in her eye and set her sights on the other newly singed Veggie. As she kept that warrior busy, Dany turned around and sent a Fire Bolt towards the last Vegepygmy, and it’s healing magic finally stopped. The two remaining Veggies were getting desperate and livid. In a rage and attacking from behind, one of the Vegepygmy found the sweet spot under her arm and stabbed Dany deep under her scaled skin before she could turn and defend herself.

But Dany wasn’t too injured to retaliate. With her crystal orb in hand she conjured a Magic Missile spell, creating three thunderous bolts of energy that pulverized what was left of the Vegepygmy attackers. Their lifeless bodies collapsed in leafy heaps, and Dany spotted an old key in the enemy that Alaria had recently chopped in half. The key was surely intended to be used on the locked door from the cave entrance! They made their way back to the old locked door.

Before proceeding, they needed to heal. Alaria used a potion, and Dany decided to try out her False Life spell to regain some additional HP. She’d never practiced necromancy in her past Sorcerer practice, and felt the strange surge of dead spirits creating an invisible defensive shield around her. 

After they unlocked the door the two partners continued into the deep chamber, which looked like it had been used much more frequently and recently than the rest of the cave. As they walked deeper in, they saw a body laying on the ground. Cautiously they looked closer and saw that it was the body of Cledus. His skin was white and his throat had been slit. He looked like he had been killed several days ago. 

If that was Cledus, then who were they playing Roll It with at the bar the day before??

“HAAA-ARUK-UK-UK-HAAA!!”

Golden Dragonborn

A deep laughing voice that made Danaeryzard’s heart sink with despair echoed through the chamber. The ominous laugh had a distinctly Dragonborn accent and was the all-too-familiar sound that Dany heard when her clansmen would laugh at her and call her names when she was younger. In the back of the chamber, huge crystals began to glow in the darkness. From the shadows walked out a tall golden Dragonborn, holding a staff.

The Dragonborn continued to scoff at Dany and Alaria as he began to approach. 

“Looking to buy some crystals, are we?? HAAA-ARUK-UK-UK!! Ahh, and I see that you’ve found Cledus!”

Alaria and Dany exchanged horrified glances as they realized that this entire scenario was a setup. This golden Dragonborn had somehow used magic to impersonate Cledus and lead them into this trap. How did they not see this coming?

“Do you two really think you can interfere with us? The Sun Wizard is always going to be one step ahead of you! These crystals don’t matter to us anymore!”

The golden Dragonborn held his staff out in front of him, towards Dany and Alaria. The crystal orb installed at the top of the staff began to glow with a red light.

“SOON YOU’LL BE JOINING YOUR FRIEND CLEDUS!!”

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And so ends the latest installment of our DnD adventures! Thanks for reading! I hope you like this ongoing storyline lol! If you play Dungeons and Dragons too, let’s hear about your character in the comments! 🙂

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Danaeryzard & Alaria: A Gambling Interrogation

It’s Dungeons and Dragons time! Here’s the latest installment of the epic journey of our heroines, Danaeryzard and Alaria! (If you’re new here, you can read the earlier chapters of the saga using this tag search.)

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The midday sun beat down on them as Danaeryzard and Alaria walked south on the beach towards the Fisherman’s Guild at Water’s Edge. The hot windy air stirred up scents of salt and old fish. They passed a few unused boats that remained on the shore; the fisherman had taken the better ones out to sea earlier in the day. As they walked around the perimeter of the massive Fisherman’s Guild building, they noticed that the entrance was a huge stable door, with the top half open to allow for some ocean breeze. Alaria motioned to Dany to be quiet and stay hidden for the moment – she was going to use her Wand of Magic Detection first.

With a flick of her wrist, Alaria cast a wave of magic across the open chamber of the Guild. The two then peeked inside carefully, to determine what the wand might reveal. Inside the Guild was one huge room, filled with fishing supplies of all sorts. Rods, tackles, bait and anything else that a fisherman might dream up. Alaria noticed that the rods and tools were gleaming with traces of enchantments, which meant that the fisherman were certainly maximizing their profits… but there was no sign of the magic crystals that they sought for their mission. 

Bengie

They also saw Bengie. An awkward preteen who was left behind to ‘stand guard’ at the Fisherman’s Guild while all the grown men were working during the day. Dany and Alaria decide to ask him a few questions, starting with the whereabouts of Cledus. 

“Cledus? Oh, he’s at the Constant’s Heart. He’s always there, these days. Always drunk too.” Bengie seemed pretty talkative, even though he was nervous talking to a Dragonborn and a Tiefling who seemed to have appeared out of the blue. Alaria boldly asked if Bengie had seen any crystals around, and he replied that the crystals were quite common in Water’s Edge. One could find crystals of all sizes in these waters, from small little crystals sold as trinket souvenirs, to large crystals spanning several feet.

Dany and Alaria immediately thought of the large crystals that were used during the battle against the Sun Wizard a few weeks ago. He, or one of his minions, must have procured the large crystals here. They needed more information! They thanked Bengie for his help and made their way back through town to the Constant’s Heart bar. 

The bar wasn’t very big, but large enough for a few tables in a back area, where a man and a woman were laughing very loudly. The rest of the bar patrons were sitting quietly and keeping to themselves… it was still the middle of the day, after all. Not the usual time to be rowdy and drunk. Alaria lead the way to the bar and they asked the bartender if he knew which one of these men was Cledus. The bartender seemed a little surprised that they were asking, because everyone in this town knows Cledus. He was the one playing Roll It over at the back table with Miss Sinder.

The bartender seemed to sigh when he mentioned Miss Sinder, but Dany didn’t really see what the big deal was with this woman. She looked in her direction and saw a woman who seemed normal enough, but she was very drunk. She seemed quite smitten with the man they knew now must be Cledus. She also seemed like she was somewhat of a rich woman, based on the fancy corseted dress she was wearing.

Cledus

Cledus however did not look rich. He looked like a fisherman and he looked very drunk. His arms flopped around as he spoke. The bartender told Dany and Alaria to go join them for a game! They awkwardly approached the table, sat down and Alaria plunked her huge coin purse down for all to see. 

“Can we join your game? We’ve got money.”

Sinder made a pout as Cledus said, “Sure, the more the merrier. Do you know how to play?”

They admitted that they did not, so Cledus said they could do a practice round first, to show them the ropes. He anted up one gold piece, and indicated that everyone should do the same. Sinder rolled her eyes and joined in too. Dany suddenly notices that Cledus seems to be staring at her.

The game is played simply, in two parts. First is a dice game, roll to see who gets the highest number. The two highest numbers then compete in an arm wrestle to determine the winner. The practice dice round ends up with Dany and Alaria as the finalists, and Dany’s large lizard arms beat Alaria’s small Tiefling frame without much effort. Everyone laughed and Cledus claimed it was all beginner’s luck. They formally introduce themselves by name and they get ready to ante up. This time, Cledus antes up 15G. Higher stakes.

This time, Alaria thought she’d try to use her skills and do a sleight of hand to win the dice game. She and Cledus both rolled a 6. Sinder decided to get up and get another drink, and this was when both Dany and Alaria noticed that Cledus hadn’t actually been drinking at all. He was PRETENDING to be drunk. Alaria gave Dany a look and then asks Cledus if he knows about the crystals in the lake. He winked at her and said, “Let’s finish the game, first. Time to arm wrestle!”

What they didn’t realize was that losing the arm wrestling round of Roll It means that you’re eliminated from the game. Unfortunately for Alaria, she was no match for Cledus’ arm wrestling abilities and had to sit out the rest of the game. The two travelers looked nervously at each other – they were pretty sure that they had to WIN in order to get any useful information out of Cledus. It was all up to Dany now.

In the second round, it came down to Dany and Sinder, and it was no surprise that Dany won the arm wrestling match once again. Finally her large lizard body was proving to be useful! She also couldn’t ignore the fact that Cledus was still staring her down. At the end of the second round, Dany again asked Cledus for information about the crystals. He sighed at their persistence, but didn’t seem to think the inquiry too suspicious. He told them that he actually had a delivery scheduled for the following evening, and maybe he could sell a few to them as well. But he doesn’t want to talk business! It was time for the final round.

Cledus tossed 35G on the table. “What do you say? Want to skip straight to the arm wrestle?” His manhood was now at stake too, no time to waste!

Dany almost felt bad for him as he tried to get a handle on her large three fingered claw hand. He was fumbling and had a terrible grip, she could tell his hand was sweating as well. She was grinning as she easily pushed his muscular arm into submission. Cledus was visibly annoyed but laughed and congratulated Danaeryzard anyway. 

She was getting a bit boisterous, and asked, “Don’t you know that Dragonborn are strong? Haven’t you seen any of my kin before?” He looked at her with a deep, thoughtful stare, and said, “Not for a long time.” Dany was unsure what to think of that, but didn’t want to push the subject further. She knew the history of her race. There were plenty of violent stories that maybe didn’t need to be mentioned.

Alaria pulled out her map and asked where Cledus would be meeting the other crystal buyer. He pointed out a specific cave on the map, by the outskirts of town. He also showed them where the inn was, and encouraged them to stay the night there. He would meet up with them at the cave tomorrow, at sunset.

However, Alaria had other plans. After Cledus took his leave, searching for wherever Sinder had gone, Alaria went back to the bar and picked up a small keg of beer to go. Since she had some liquid courage, she was going to try her luck again with She’i. Not knowing what else to do, Dany rolled her eyes and trotted along behind her as Alaria rushed back to the carpenter’s shack by the beach.

When they arrived, She’i was surprisingly receptive. She put down her tools and decided it was a good time to take a break! Alaria and She’i began to drink and flirt more, as Dany kept to herself in the corner. Dany was more worried about burping and subsequently burning down all of the wooden creations in the carpenter’s house, so when Alaria suddenly decided they should all go out to the water, Dany followed the two little drunk ladies outside. What Dany did not follow was the other two dropping their clothes! Dany decided to pass on the drunken ocean skinny-dipping, and spent the rest of the night at the inn.

The next morning, Alaria found her way back to Dany at the inn and since they had plenty of time to kill, they decided to go to the General Store across the road. Alaria had her stockpile of gold, much of it stolen from her victims in previous battles, and Dany had her winnings from Roll It the day before. They decided to pick up some needed supplies like food rations and crossbow bolts. The shopkeeper mentioned rumors about religious zealots sighted in the area and how they claimed they could use magic on the crystal trinkets he sold at the counter. Again, the partners exchanged glances. Zealots? These might be the Sun Wizard minions that are meeting up with Cledus this very evening!

It was time to hatch a plan. Dany and Alaria would continue to pose as crystal buyers. They planned to hide discreetly in the cave to scope out who the other buyers were, and if they happened to be religious zealots, or even the Sun Wizard himself, they would be ready. This evening they needed to get information, or even follow the other buyers back to where they came from – this was the best way to find the Sun Wizard and end his reign of terror once and for all!

The only thing left to do now was wait for the sun to set…

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And so ends the latest installment of our DnD adventures! Thanks for reading! I hope you like this ongoing storyline lol! If you play Dungeons and Dragons too, let’s hear about your character in the comments! 🙂

Danaeryzard & Alaria: The Journey to Water’s Edge

It’s Dungeons and Dragons time! Here’s the latest installment of the epic journey of our heroines, Danaeryzard and Alaria! (If you’re new here, you can read the earlier chapters of the saga using this tag search.)

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The moon was high in the sky – not that they could see it. Danaeryzard and Alaria, now Level 2 and official members of the Expeditionary Guard, were on overnight security detail at the Castle Drachen stables… in the pouring rain. Their charge seemed pointless and boring, so they played dice games to pass the time. 

“I heard something,” Alaria suddenly whispered.

Dany only heard the rain falling, but trusted Alaria’s instincts when it came to these things. They ventured outside towards the back of the stable, with Alaria creeping ahead to investigate. She stopped short and was surprised to be face to face with two cloaked spies. Through the rain she could see their drawn swords glimmering in the passing moonlight.

A spy

In her recent battle experience, Danaeryzard had learned that staying further away from the enemy was safer when it came to performing her magic. But these spies were unfamiliar to her. Who were they, and why were they on the offensive? Dany cast a True Strike cantrip to see if she could learn anything about these foes, but all she was able to determine was that they were not protected by any magic. 

Before they could set themselves up for an attack, one of the spies charged at Alaria. She was slashed on the arm! This didn’t stop her from jabbing at the second spy as he attempted to slip past and gain a better vantage point, taking out his crossbow and aiming directly at Dany. Feeling confident, Danaeryzard lifted her crystal orb and channeled her Fire Bolt cantrip through it to send a mote of flames at the second spy. However, the damage was minimal – she has yet to manifest a truly powerful flame with her sorcerer abilities. Or was the rain weakening her power? The second spy smirked at Dany, patting down the remaining flames on his cloak. She noticed him looking over her shoulder, past her, at something behind her. Whirling around, Dany saw two more spies silently approaching from the south and west! They were now surrounded by four spies. Who were they? Why were they attacking? 

One by one, the third and fourth spies shot their crossbow at Dany. She was in the middle of the road, a sitting duck… there was no chance to escape. The arrows pierced through her and she fell to the ground, blacking out once again.

Alaria, now in a bit of a panic after seeing her partner get skewered, darted away from the oncoming attackers. The rain was falling heavier now. From the east, the third spy was moving toward her… but then something happens. He comically stepped on a rake and it hit him directly in the face. The spy fell down instantly, howling in pain. The other three spies began to laugh at their comrade. A hood falls back from one of the spy’s cloaks and an Expeditionary Guard uniform could be seen, although obscured, underneath. 

“Can’t take a joke??” one of the spies asked Alaria, laughing.

“You’ve practically killed my partner! Who are you anyway?” She spat back at them.

The remaining spies pull back their hoods and reveal that they all are part of the Expeditionary Guard. This was apparently their idea of a practical joke, some ‘friendly’ hazing. Alaria was furious and insisted that they revive Dany at once. The veteran guards obliged and apologized; perhaps they went a little too far with their antics. Alaria and Danaeryzard tried to laugh it off, but Dany did notice Alaria stealing a pocket watch out of one of the veteran’s cloaks as they were leaving. Apparently hazing was a normal thing in the Expeditionary Guard. All they could do was hope that this was the only time they would be antagonized by their fellow guards. Alaria began to wonder if they should defect and find Ezra, maybe join up with the Midnight Ring instead…

Esmeralda

Back in the barracks not long after, the duo is visited by the beautiful yet strangely intimidating Esmeralda, a high ranking officer in the EG. She invites them to come and speak with her about something important. They followed her to the mess hall of the barracks, and Kolari was there waiting for them. A new mission was at hand!

Intel had reached the castle regarding the Sun Wizard. The Castle Drachen spies had learned that the protective crystals that the Sun Wizard had used in the Desert Cave battle came from Lake Constant, located at Water’s Edge. They were tasked with journeying to Water’s Edge and speaking to an informant named She’i. Kolari explained that She’i is a very protective and secretive type, and they would need to use a particular passphrase to get any information. When She’i asks, “What was the weather like yesterday?” they were to respond, “It was cloudy, until it wasn’t.”

The mission: Learn about the crystals. Find the Sun Wizard and defeat him. Simple right?

Luckily, Quartermaster Thamdid showed up just then, offering special new items for Dany and Alaria: a Circlet of Blasting and a Wind Fan, respectively. But he warns them that these magical items have a traceable aura. Powerful enemies such as the Sun Wizard will be able to detect such things, and he implored them to use these items with care. The more magical items they gather, the stronger this aura will be, and it could put them in danger. The two nodded and carefully placed their new magical items, along with some more food rations, into their packs and prepared for the three day journey to Water’s Edge. 

Alaria was given the map and proved to not be very good at reading it – the partners lost their way at the start, and had few hours of delay getting started. But the following days were sunny and there was a sense of progress in the air. They breakfasted in the Forest Wilderness under the trees. As they packed up their belongings and prepared to get back on the road, they heard a sniffing sound. Dany and Alaria exchanged confused glances, and silently readied themselves to investigate.

Blink Dog

Before they even took a step, a strange canine appeared out of nowhere a few yards directly in front of them! It took a step, sniffed a bush, and disappeared. Danaeryzard opened her mouth, about to ask what was that – when it appeared again, in a different location, a few yards further away. Alaria could sense that this animal did not pose a direct threat, and they decided to follow it. They approached it quietly, and as they got closer Dany could clearly see this canine, which had a sloping, pointed head and mean eyes. She instantly remembered that she had seen this species before, back in the markets of her Draconian village. It was a Blink Dog. But was it alone?

Gnoll

Alaria and Dany quietly pursued the Blink Dog deeper into the Forest Wilderness. That was when they saw who was luring them in. Two hairy, doglike Gnolls were snarling and hoisting up crossbows in the duo’s direction. 

Danaeryzard felt a burning anger rise within her. She should have said something when she remembered about the Blink Dog. While not violent, those were mean dogs and usually had evil masters. If Dany had mentioned this, maybe they wouldn’t have walked right into this trap… she felt angry and stepped forward, breathing in and feeling the air heat and steam within her body. Danaeryzard leaned back and harshly exhaled a fiery blast of Dragon Breath at the Gnolls. They screamed in pain and surprise. One of them was badly burnt.

Alaria expertly shot a bolt at the burned Gnoll with her crossbow, and he began to stagger. The other Gnoll was stunned by this onslaught and missed his attack. The Gnolls realized that their little plan had backfired – they were clearly overpowered by Danaeryzard and Alaria!

Seeing an opening, Danaeryzard conjured up a Magic Missile spell. Three bolts of magical energy burst from her crystal orb and hit the gnarly Gnolls. The burned Gnoll dropped to the ground and Alaria finished him off with an arrow. In final pursuit, Dany used what was starting to become her favorite cantrip – Fire Bolt – and hurled flames at the remaining Gnoll. After another pro crossbow shot from Alaria, the fleeing Gnoll fell face down and did not rise again.

The duo proceeded on, though not before Alaria did her signature move – steal anything of worth that the corpses were carrying. Danaeryzard simply laughed. The little Tiefling thief was consistent, that was certain!

The next day, Dany and Alaria finally stepped out from the woods and into a rocky clearing. Up ahead they could see a coastal fishing village. They climbed over the rocks, towards the huts and beach houses. It was time to get some information! They needed to find She’i. Alaria checked her map and saw that Kolari had marked She’i’s location. It was right on the coast, just north of a huge structure that looked important. Boats were docked up along side this large building on the coast, and fishing rods leaned along the exterior walls. 

However, She’i had a much more humble home. It looked more like a workshop than a residence. Partially built boats lay on the sand outside. They saw fire coming from the chimney and exchanged nods. She’i must be home. Alaria and Dany cautiously approached the house and knocked on the door. A voice from inside called out and asked who was there.

“Expeditionary Guard. We were sent here on official castle business,” Alaria replied, sounding official. There was a sound of shuffling inside, and the voice moved audibly closer to the door.

She’i

“Keep your voice down! ……What was the the weather like yesterday?”

Danaeryzard replied instantly, “It was cloudy, until it wasn’t.”

There was a pause. Dany looked nervously at Alaria. Maybe she said it wrong? A moment later, the door swung open and She’i stood before them, ushering them inside. The house is filled with dusty tools and half finished projects. In the dim light from the hearth they can see that She’i is very beautiful, and seemed to be staring at Alaria with interest. She’i apologized for the secrecy; she does not want to be known in the village as an informant. Looking thoughtfully at Dany and Alaria, she admitted that she was expecting the castle to send human guards. Dany felt a twinge of hurt and thought, Why did people have to be so abrasive towards Dragonborn and Tiefling races? They bleed and feel pain just like everyone else. What did it matter if they were human or not? 

She’i began to explain what she knew: that the crystals that had been used by the Sun Wizard were harvested locally from Lake Constant. She’i knew of some fishermen who would meet with outsiders late at night; she had seen them on the beach. These crystals were extremely valuable because they could harness magical energy. 

Dany and Alaria pressed She’i for more information. She revealed that the head of the Fishing Guild was the one who was selling the crystals to the outsiders. Presumably one of them was the Sun Wizard, or one of his minions. The head of the guild was named Cletus, and he was usually found at the guild during the day. She’i pointed out the window to the large building that the duo had passed on their way to her home. Of course! The large building was the Fishing Guild. 

They thanked She’i for the information and Alaria did some awkward flirting as they left. Dany rolled her eyes but secretly she was jealous. Nobody ever flirted with her… was it the scales, or the smoky breath? She could only wonder.

Alaria and Dany walked together towards the Fishing Guild, ready to confront Cletus.

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Thanks for reading the latest chapter of the Danaeryzard and Alaria saga! I hope you enjoy these these blog entries, because DnD is super fun to play and super fun to recap and share with all of you! I’ve been trying to record a screen capture of our sessions (we play on Google Hangouts and Roll20) but I keep having technical issues. But if I can get it to work some day, is that something that you guys would want to watch?? Let me know in the comments! 😛

Danaeryzard & Alaria: The Crystal Cursed Diadem

OK y’all it’s time to get nerdy. After completing my first-ever DnD session with my awesome friend Carney and our always patient DM “Tall Sven”, I realized that I took diligent notes. Naturally, I’m going to keep writing out the adventures of Danaeryzard & Alaria in our DnD game!

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Danaeryzard knew she had done it this time. The black smoke rising from her latest wildfire had attracted… something. Or someone. She could sense the approach – but only barely, as though the footsteps were gliding along the wind itself. There was no sense in trying to hide, her guilt was proven by the steam still pouring from her lizard-like nostrils. Dany shrunk back into the hood of her cloak and hoped the approaching figure would pass her by.

When she saw the horns peeking out from the side of an overgrown bush about a yard away, Dany felt an instant wave of relief. Maybe it was only a goat? 

The Tiefling female seemed so small when she stepped out, but her face was brave and confident, albeit a little lost. Her horns were her most prominent feature, followed by her long flowing hair. She would be beautiful, if only she had dragon scales…

“Was that you, roasting all of these birds?” the Tiefling asked with a wink.

Dany noticed that the Tiefling was carrying a few dead and fire-singed quails. Her intuition told her that this was not a threatening approach. Danaeryzard dared not reply, her mouth still hot with flames.

“My name is Alaria… I’ve been trying to make my way through this forest. Are you alone out here?”

Dany gave a shy nod in response. Alaria motioned to sit nearby, and without speaking Dany indicated consent. Alaria passed one of the smoking birds to Dany and they sat together sharing their small meal in silence. Eventually, after eating and drinking some water, Dany gathered the courage to speak.

“I am called Danaeryzard the Dragonborn. Truth be told, I have been exiled from my home, so yes, I am on my own. I know this forest quite well, maybe I can point you in the right direction.”

The two spoke a bit more about where the Tiefling was from, and Dany learned that Alaria was a Rogue traveling alone and seeking companionship. Dany worried, as she always did, about getting too close to anyone. But accompanying someone towards the edge of the woods, that wasn’t much risk was it? 

They walked no further than 50 feet before they came across the small clearing in the forest. A tiny field, surrounded by large trees, was enclosing a peculiar scene – two large Bullywugs leaning over what appeared to be a recently killed human fighter. They were dressed in typical Bullywug fashion, their humanoid bodies in soldiers uniforms, only with bulging frog heads bursting from their necks. They were croaking out laughter about their latest kill, and didn’t notice the approach of Dany and Alaria. The sight of these Bullywugs repulsed Dany. She had seen these kind many times back in her homeland. Bullwugs often associated with some of the baddest and least savory members of her family’s Dragonborn clan and she had heard tales of some of the nasty business they did. Dany was certain that these Bullwugs in the forest were not any more innocent and would pose an immediate threat.

Without a word, the two silently readied their bows and began the battle. It was terrifying for Dany; she had never seen real battle before, and felt completely unprepared. Her light crossbow shots were missing and the Bullywugs had a nasty bite. She was attacked first, and was brutally bitten by a fast-moving Bullywug. Before long, Dany found herself on the brink of passing out, but saw Alaria handling the fight with great proficiency. As she blinked in and out of consciousness, Dany felt a jolt of pride for her new friend. 

It must have been a few hours later when she finally woke up, but Alaria didn’t seem too worried that Dany had blacked out. Maybe this sort of thing had happened to her new friend before, Dany couldn’t be sure. But she could tell that the battle had been won. Apparently Alaria had also checked the dead human body for anything useful, and this was when Dany realized the benefits of being friends with a professional thief.

After the success of their quick battle, they decided to continue traveling together. Dany lead them through the edge of the woods and they could see the Castle of Drachen from miles away before they got close to the city limits. The white castle shone brightly like a beacon and they reached the castle gates easily. The two were welcomed as friendly travelers, which was a bit of a shock to Dany. She had grown accustomed to strangers being afraid of her due to her lizard-like appearance, but everyone in Drachen seemed to be unaffected by her unique race. They decided to stop at the pub first to rest up and get a drink.

Inside, the pub was bustling with all kinds of people. Dany and Alaria nervously kept to themselves, and chose a table near the door. Within a few moments, an impressively large Magistrate was joining them at the table. He introduced himself as Kolari, an officer of the Royal Expeditionary Guard. They barely finished their polite replies before Kolari began pleading for help.

Kolari explained that Princess Pema, the beautiful royal princess who lived in Castle Drachen, was distressed. One of her favorite Diadems had been stolen by a pack of Jackalwere bandits in the desert between Drachen and Dragonlance! Kolari implored to them to please come to her aid, as they had no  more soliders available in the barracks for this quest. He promised to pay them 100 GP if they could return the Diadem safely to the castle. 

Dany and Alaria weren’t quite sure what to make of this random stranger’s desperate request, and by the looks on their faces it was pretty obvious to Kolari as well. He told them that they could think it over, but if they were interested in joining the Expeditionary Guard, that they should meet him that evening at the castle.

Just as Kolari was finishing his speech, a mysterious looking elf walked by and scoffed at Kolari. “Recruiting again, are we Kolari? Why don’t you leave these people alone for once?” The moment became awkward and Kolari made his leave. The elf lingered a few moments more. She introduced herself as Ezra and said that she too wanted that Diadem – but not to give back to the Princess. Ezra offered that the two join up with her and the Midnight Ring, and they would be paid 200 GP for completing the task. It seemed that Alaria knew more about this Midnight Ring, but Dany was oblivious. Dany thought that Ezra seemed a bit shady, and expressed her preference to help Kolari.

In the end, they decided to go to the castle and see if they could speak to the Princess directly. Inside the glorious Castle Drachen, they were taken directly to the throne room. Princess Pema awaited them and asked again that they help her. Dany and Alaria were outfitted with extra rations, some extra gold, and horses by the Quartermaster Thamdid. Dany was also gifted a Cloak of Protection, which was beautiful and exquisitely crafted. Before they realized what had happened, they were on their way to retrieve the stolen Diadem.

While she wasn’t thrilled to be heading back towards Dragonlance, Dany and Alaria began their journey with full speed. After two days on the road, they came upon a road that lead through an ancient ruins. The crumbled remains of old buildings lined the road, and as they approached they saw a wounded warrior laying by a tree. He was clearly alive and struggling, so they approached him with concern. 

They told the wounded man that they had come from the castle. He immediately asked if they were searching for the Diadem. He began to speak frantically about a curse and how they needed to stop the ritual being planned by the evil Sun Wizard. Dany had no idea what he was talking about, but she wanted to help him. He was very handsome, even with his bleeding wounds. The man says that his name is Hendricks and he thinks the Jackalweres that attacked him must not be far away. Dany and Alaria scouted the area and discovered that there were indeed two Jackalweres hiding out in a nearby ancient building with broken stone walls. 

Dany used her magic orb to create a minor illusion cantrip to draw out the Jackalweres. Again, she learned that her lack of combat skills were going to be a problem if she gets too close to an enemy. Much like in their last battle, Dany found herself as a giant target, fending off foes while Alaria did most of the real attacking. The outcome was another success, and while everyone was a bit worse for wear afterwards, they came out with extra gold and a health potion. Alaria offered the potion to Hendricks, which Dany thought was very generous for a Tiefling. Once they had completed a long rest, the trio continued onward to find the Diadem.

As the dirt ground began to turn into yellow sand, Dany knew that they were getting closer to Dragonlance. When they approached the mouth of a large dark cave, she found her confirmation – the cave door was guarded by a magic stone dragon head. Beneath the head of the dragon was a message scrawled in Draconian: “The password is Gold.”

This clue gave Dany a sinking feeling in her core. Gold Draconians. Would she never escape the demons of her past? Or would they continue to find her and torment her? She whispered the meaning of the message to her travel companions. They deliberated for quite a while, arguing with the magical stone head who responded to their questions as though it thought it was a real dragon. “What are you talking about, ‘password’? I haven’t the slightest idea,” the stone dragon head replied, turning its dragon snout upwards snootily. 

“But it says right beneath you that the password is GOLD!” Dany insisted, feeling very foolish to be having an argument with a dragon-headed gargoyle. 

“What are you talking about? That’s nonsense. ‘The password is gold?'”

As soon as the stone dragon head spoke the word gold from it’s own mouth, the door swung open and the three rushed in. They made their way down a dark, barely lit cave hall, which ultimately led into a torture chamber. It was empty, aside from a dead human body still outstretched in what must have been an extremely painful position. They looked at the body with pity as the door swung behind them and locked them in. 

The resourceful group realized that the only way out now was through a hatch in the ceiling. They stacked up storage boxes littered around the room and climbed their way up, and they barely made it to the second floor of the dark cave. Alaria fell on her way up, knocking boxes and crates over with a loud bang and commotion, but no enemies on the second floor heard it… because they were all distracted by what appeared to be a magical seance.

Three Jackalweres were standing before a masked man floating in a protective, bright yellow magical orb. The Sun Wizard! He was holding the Diadem and appeared to be in deep concentration. His lips were moving, speaking inaudible words with great speed. 

“The ritual! He must be stopped!” cried Hendricks as they closed in on the enemies. But as soon as they made their move, the Jackalweres quickly turned to confront their challengers. Dany and her companions began to fight these strong werewolf-men. Hendricks told Dany and Alaria to proceed and stop the ritual while he distracted the Jackalweres. Dany was more than happy to sneak away from the fight, after how the last two battles had not gone well for her. Alaria and Dany each stepped deeper into the cave towards the Sun Wizard, and they noticed that the impenetrable shimmering orb was actually being held up by 4 crystals located in the corners of the room. Each taking one side, Dany and Alaria began to attack the giant magical crystals that controlled the Sun Wizard’s orb. 

For the first time in her life, Dany’s breath weapon was useful. She was able to aim her firey breath properly and attacked one of the crystals – burning up a slimy Flying Snake in the process. Each crystal only took two hits before they broke down into shards, which ceased the magical spell that created the orb protecting the Sun Wizard. 

Dany saw that Hendricks had handled the Jackalweres decidedly by this point, and all that was left was to attack the Sun Wizard himself and get the Diadem back. But before she could even raise her light crossbow, the Sun Wizard threw the Diadem towards the group and disappeared with a high-pitched screeching laugh that made their skin crawl. 

Hendricks confirmed that the ritual had not been completed and that the Diadem was safe to take back to the castle. They didn’t defeat the Sun Wizard – and that was certainly a problem – but they did achieve their goal! They successfully retrieved the stolen Diadem!

The ride back to the castle seemed to go much faster than the trip out to the desert. Dany was feeling so good about being able to control her breath weapon that she didn’t even mind that Alaria insisted on wearing the Diadem during the entire ride home. She felt that Alaria was a great teammate – the Tiefling was agile and had wonderful aim. With practice, the two of them might be a serious force!!

Back in the throne room, Princess Pema was grateful. On top of their promised reward (which had increased to 120 GP each due to the success), she offered them official positions within the Expeditionary Guard, with a weekly pay! Dany felt so proud. Never before had anyone given her a smile – let alone a reward! Maybe being exiled from her homeland was the best thing that could have happened to her. 

………………….

I hope you enjoyed the latest chapter in the Dany & Alaria DND saga! After our next session, I’ll post another novelesque blog! It might take a few weeks to get to the next chapter but stay tuned.

Danaeryzard the Dragonborn

I’m a gamer but I will be the first to admit that I have very limited ‘tabletop gaming’ experience. If years of playing board games like Monopoly, Life, and Mall Madness counts, then sure. But otherwise, I’m a total noob. Recently a couple of my friends and I have been talking about getting a Dungeons & Dragons group together. It’s my friend’s first foray in being DM (dungeon master, aka the person who ‘runs the game’), so we’re all noobs, which is nice. I’m hoping that my experience playing RPG video games like Pokemon have helped prime me for this new style of battle… but we shall see!

The first thing you have to do before you can play D&D (aside from finding enough people to commit to starting a campaign) is create your character. There are many various races to choose from, and from there you pick a profession or “class” which gives you additional stats, abilities, tools, etc. You must also establish a background and personality traits that will drive your character to act in certain ways, depending on the situation. It can be very overwhelming!

I like to pick the path less traveled, so I decided to choose the Dragonborn race. I always loved dragons because I’m a fantasy nerd. A friend of mine from art school was an amazing dragon illustrator, but he passed away just about a year ago. (His family has kept his web portfolio up in his honor, please check it out if you are interested: www.elasticdragon.com) I’m dedicating my inaugural D&D character to him!

Dragonborn race is cool because you have dragon scales, can unleash a dragon breath, and you can speak the ancient Draconian language. I decided to be cheeky and name my character Danaeryzard Targeleon, which is a combination of Danaerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and the names of the Pokemon Charizard and Charmeleon. Yes, I’m a dork. That’s why you love me!

As part of the character development, you have to establish a backstory. Here is mine:

Danaeryzard Targeleon is a Dragonborn Sorcerer. She was born into a darkly aligned Gold Dragon Draconian family that prided themselves on their strength and fighting abilities. However, Dany was born smaller than her kin, and with a wildly destructive magical ability that she had no idea how to control. Rather than trying to understand her powers and help her to wield her magic safely, she was ostracized by her family and peers. Throughout her childhood she was bullied and ridiculed by the otherwise proud and loyal Dragonborn village, located in the Plains of Dust in southeast Ansalon of Dragonlance. 

In her early teens, just as she was reaching adulthood, Danaeryzard noticed that her magic was becoming increasingly powerful and she was less able to control it. Her dragon breath fire was far stronger than her peers. She felt the power increase when she was emotional, which was most of the time in her teenage years. One fateful day, Dany was at an outdoor market, searching for shiny jewels (her personal favorite). An exceptionally rude Dragonborn from her clan named Krin Antalach decided to antagonize her and tell her to leave the market. Naturally, she became upset and as she turned to leave, she was pushed from behind by one of Krin’s friends and as she fell, she accidentally let out an enormously dangerous and fiery dragon breath. The market booths, built mostly of wood and canvas, were all up in flames within minutes. 

Danaeryzard was immediately blamed for the incident. She was deemed a threat to their society, because she could not control her magic. She was told to leave town and never return, upon threat of death! Left with only the supplies on her back, she escaped into the woods and has been ‘on the run’ ever since. Despite constantly being hurt by her Dragonborn kin, she was devastated to be thrown out of their society. She knew the only way to have a chance at a family again would be to control her power. But she didn’t know any other Sorcerers or anyone who was skilled in advanced magic. Her hope was that in exile, she would have the time and concentration to learn to control her powers. 

In part she was right, because as she journeyed in the shadows, she came upon a glass orb. It was at the bottom of a stream where she had stopped to fill her water canteen. When she pulled it out of the water, the orb felt hot to the touch and began to glow red. Danaeryzard knew that this was not merely a glass orb, but an arcane focus with which she might better use her powers. 

Practicing is not easy when you don’t know what you’re doing. Dany knew that her power was from her Gold Dragon bloodline, which meant she had the strong power of fire within her. In her attempts to ‘practice’ using her orb, she burned down several acres of forest on multiple occasions. This often attracted unwanted attention to her location, including from a certain Tiefling to whom her destiny would ultimately be tied…!

I’m leaving it somewhat as a cliffhanger here because I’m waiting for Ali to write her Tiefling backstory. We will meet and be outcast buddies together!

Welp, you can see how involved this game is already, and we only played a practice battle so far! We went and got fancy d20 dice sets over the weekend, and hopefully will officially begin our campaign soon. I’ll be sure to post more blogs about our progress… assuming we make any! lol

Do you play D&D too? What’s your character like??