Danaeryzard & Alaria: The Sentencing

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, check out the entire saga in order by reading the chapters organized on the D&D tab of this site!)

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In the middle of the night, Alaria paced back and forth alone in the bedroom that she shared with Danaeryzard in the Barracks. But Dany was locked away in the Dungeons, and despite her best efforts, there seemed to be nothing that Alaria could do to help her. All the while, Tanar from the Midnight Ring was still holding the Castle Bookstore owner Samuel and his family hostage! If the Midnight Ring didn’t receive the etching that they demanded, they might kill those innocent people! Alaria was running out of time.

She did the etching heist on her own, technically. She could do the delivery on her own as well. There was nothing she could do to help Dany right now, but Alaria could help Samuel and his family. She concealed the etching under her cloak and set off for the carriage service to take her back to the Green Street Tavern in Drachen City.

Green Street Tavern

By the time Alaria arrived, it was after midnight. It had begun to rain steadily. Alaria walked up to the guards at the door and asked to see Tanar.

Unlike their first visit to the tavern, Alaria was admitted in immediately. All eyes were on her as she was taken through the busy tavern and straight to the downstairs room where she had first encountered Tanar. He stood in the same place she had met him last time, with his arms folded under his black cloak. 

“Where is the family?” Alaria demanded of Tanar, who responded with laughter.

Tanar

“Oh! I thought you would be dead by now. Well done. I trust you have completed your task?” Tanar asked with an evil smile.

Alaria glared at him and opened her cloak to reveal the paper hidden in an inside pocket. This seemed to be enough evidence for Tanar, who suddenly stomped his foot on the wooden floor three times. Near his feet was a trap door, which sprang open and a woman and two children began making their way out of a crawl space. Samuel came out last. They were all blindfolded and had their hands bound before them, making the process a bit clumsy. But they otherwise appeared to be unharmed. 

“Give me the etching,” Tanar said simply.

“Not until you release this innocent family,” Alaria bluntly replied.

“Fine. I’ll let the woman and children leave, then you give me the etching, and I will release Samuel. Fair?”

“Fair.” 

Tanar removed their blindfolds and instructed the mother and her two children to go upstairs and leave, and then relayed a message via his black chat ring to some of his associates to let the family exit. Tanar held out his hand, and Alaria reluctantly gave him the etching of the engravings from the Princess’ Diadem. She was slightly nervous because she didn’t know the meaning of these etchings or what the consequences will be for sharing this secret information with the Midnight Ring. But it’s not like she had any choice in the matter! 

Samuel

Once Tanar received the slip of paper and glanced at it, he was satisfied. He released Samuel and told them to leave the tavern. The exchange was complete. 

As they exited the tavern, Alaria asked Samuel how he got mixed up with the Midnight Ring. He wasn’t so sure himself; all he knew was that a bunch of thugs wearing masks came into his shop… and after that, his mind was a blank. He had no memory of leaving his store, or his family getting captured, or getting into that little crawl space. Samuel seemed pretty distraught about his strange amnesia, and the fact that his family had been through this ordeal. They all hugged outside, and even Alaria gave Samuel a hug to try and reassure him that she was there to help. She offered that the family take the carriage service with her back to the Castle Bookstore, since their home was on the second floor of the shop. 

“Do you still have the translations, by any chance? The Orc translations that Esmeralda had sent me and my partner to retrieve from you?” Alaria asked Samuel during the ride. 

“As a matter of fact, I do still have them. Whatever the Midnight Ring was looking for in my shop, it wasn’t those translations. I am pretty sure I’ll find them for you,” Samuel said, just as they were pulling up in front of the store. The Castle Bookstore was still in shambles, the door wide open, books strewn everywhere, shelves knocked over… and the coinbox still safely locked. 

After some shuffling around of books and papers, Samuel was able to find the sealed envelope addressed to Esmeralda of the Expeditionary Guard. He handed it to Alaria, looking weary. “I hope this was worth it.”

Alaria thanked Samuel for the translations. This is what she and Dany had been sent to the city to retrieve, and Alaria felt sad that Dany was still sitting in the Dungeon. Alaria rode the carriage service back to the Castle Barracks and resolved that she would try to use these translations as leverage to get Dany freed. She was determined to go straight to Esmeralda – but not before pickpocketing the carriage driver and getting her cab fare back. 

Esmeralda

Luckily, Esmeralda was still awake and in her usual spot, pouring over paperwork at a big table in the Great Hall in the Barracks. Esmeralda looked tired and stressed, and when Alaria approached her she tried to turn the Tiefling away.

“But Esmeralda, I have the translations that you sent Dany and me to retrieve. Don’t forget, Dany worked on this mission too. If I hand over these translations, I want you to promise me that Danaeryzard will be freed.”

Esmeralda sighed. “I told you, this is out of my hands.” Alaria asked if she could visit Dany in the Dungeons, but even that was forbidden. “I will let Dany know that you were able to complete the mission, and that you have been trying to visit her. That’s all I can do for now, but please know that I am fighting for her every day.”

Frustrated but out of options, Alaria handed over the sealed envelope. Esmeralda tucked it away in her pouch without opening it. Alaria decided to go off to bed.

Meanwhile, after her third day in the Dungeons, Dany was getting extremely restless and angry. As a prisoner, she felt that she was constantly being judged for her Dragonborn race. Guards would call her derogatory names and beat her when they visited her cell to give her daily rations of bread and water. The only conversations Dany had were with guards asking her all sorts of questions. It felt like an inquisition as they prodded her for a motive to burn down the South Hall. Dany repeated that the whole thing was an accident, and it frustrated the guards. Finally, on the third day, Esmeralda showed up at Dany’s barred cell door.

Without speaking, Esmeralda revealed a key and opened the door.

“Follow me. But don’t get too excited – this isn’t over yet.”

Esmeralda led Dany to the Officer’s Post area of the Barracks, where Dany had never been before. It was filled with desks and workers, who were all staring at Dany. News about “The Dragonborn Who Tried to Burn Down the South Hall” had spread rapidly around the castle. They walked into Esmeralda’s Main Office and Esmeralda shut the door behind them. 

Esmeralda’s Main Office

“Everyone is concerned, Danaeryzard. The South Hall is a big deal; it’s a museum of priceless heirlooms of the royal family. It’s up to the royal family how to respond to a threat to their private property, and they do not take these things lightly. I was able to get you released from the Dungeons, but you are not free. You are to remain within the Castle grounds at all times, and you are not permitted to leave at any time. Hopefully the royal family will change their mind on this eventually, once you have proven to them that you are trustworthy. But for now you have to comply. In addition, all of your duties are now suspended, for the most part. And so are Alaria’s.”

Dany gasped upon hearing this, and at the same moment, Alaria entered the office with Ragnar on her shoulder. She had been summoned by chat ring while Esmeralda was transporting Dany out of the Dungeon. Alaria was happy to see that Dany was out of her cell, but was otherwise very confused. Esmeralda broke the news to Alaria that they were no longer going on missions, and the two partners were upset.

“Don’t worry, we will still have something for you two to do. You will have to earn your room and board somehow, so I’ve enlisted you both in our Combat Training program. You two will participate in supervised drills instead of doing guard duty. Don’t despair. I believe eventually the Princess will change her mind and you can resume your duties as before. Just give it some time,” Esmeralda continued to explain. Then she instructed Dany to return to their room in the Barracks, take a bath and try to clean the Dungeon-stench off. Esmeralda also advised Dany to lay low for a few days, as most of the guards were not very happy with her. Dany walked out without saying a word to Esmeralda, but waved a quick hi to Alaria as she left the office.

Alaria started getting up to follow Dany, but Esmeralda stopped her. “I’m counting on you to keep an eye on her. You’re both on very thin ice right now. Do not let Dany leave the castle. You two need to train more and we both have to make sure Dany learns to properly control her breath weapon.” Alaria nodded, feeling that this treatment was extremely unfair, but unable to do anything about it. 

“Oh! I also have an update on the Orc translations! Come with me.” Esmeralda led Alaria to another part of the Main Offices – a grand Library filled with books, maps and globes.

The Officers’ Library

When they arrived, Esmeralda continued, “It turns out that the Orc writing on one of the building schematics was actually the title of a book… and it makes the situation worse. You see, Water’s Edge was once the location of an ancient Orc empire. It was these ancient Orcs who really discovered the power of the magic crystals. And the book referenced here is a book that explains how to control those crystals. We happen to have a copy of this ancient tome, and I have hired Samuel once again to translate it.” 

They reached a table where Samuel was busy scribbling into a notebook, while glancing at an ancient leather-bound book every two seconds. He looked up and saw Alaria, and gave her a big smile. But then he looked at Esmeralda and his face grew solemn. 

“Esmeralda… I think I know what the Sun Wizard is looking to do next. You see, this structure is made of crystal.” Samuel pointed to an illustration in the book. “I fear that the Sun Wizard is working on… achieving immortality. One of these crystal structures is the Library at Water’s Edge, this much we know. But the other is in Toril. The Orc Homeland.”

They shared silence for a moment as they all processed what this terrible news meant. Then Esmeralda sighed and thanked Samuel once again for his knowledge and assistance. Then she turned to Alaria and asked what she thought.

“I think Dany needs to be able to leave the castle so that she and I can further investigate this,” Alaria snapped. She was still upset about Dany’s punishment, and the fact that Alaria was being punished right along with her partner.

“You know the situation right now, Alaria. Please don’t make this more difficult. Now, I want you to rest up with Dany for two days, and then come report to Combat Training.” Esmeralda commanded Alaria. 

Back in their Barracks room, Dany had finished a bath and Alaria was grooming Ragnar. They were both pretty angry at the situation, and didn’t know what to say. They thought about that fateful day when they had first started traveling together, and were given a choice to join the Expeditionary Guard or the Midnight Ring. 

“Do you think we made the wrong choice?” Alaria asked. After what Dany had been through, she wasn’t really sure what the right choice might have been.

On training day, the duo prepared their weapons and were a little excited to go outdoors and have a little excitement. It was better than being cooped up in their room in the Barracks. 

“Welcome to Day One of Specialized Combat Training,” Esmeralda greeted them as they approached the training site. They had been instructed to meet at a special training area that was designed to look like a real city block. There were fake stores and townhouses along the road, and it looked very realistic. “This is a simulated street for combat in an urban setting. You see this building behind me?”

She pointed to a large two story building with a pointed roof. 

“Today’s Mission: Don’t let anyone in this building. I’ll observe.”

Dany and Alaria looked at each other, trying to hide their confusion. They had no idea where to begin. 

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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: The South Hall Heist

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, check out the entire saga in order by reading the chapters organized on the D&D tab of this site!)

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It was 10AM at the South Hall, and it seemed even more vast and glorious in the daylight. Danaeryzard and Alaria were ready to start their heist to get an etching of the engravings in the Princess’ Diadem for the Midnight Ring, so that they could rescue the Castle Bookstore shopkeeper, Samuel. 

The South Hall

Alaria had disguised herself as an old man, a Royal Jeweler named ‘Jasox.’ Her plan was to claim that she was there to do a presentation on how to properly clean the royal jewels that were on display in the South Hall. Dany was planning to enter separately as a regular visitor and create a diversion when ‘Jasox’ reached the diadem, so that Alaria could secretly get the etching that they needed. 

‘Jasox’ approached the entrance of the South Hall and was met by a row of guards at the entrance, who questioned the random appearance of this unknown Royal Jeweler. One of the guards called over to his captain, “Jacob – can you come here and verify this jeweler?”

Jacob the Guard Captain

Jacob was annoyed to be interrupted. He was busy talking to the charming South Hall curator Willow and did not want to be disturbed for something trivial like this. He began berating the team for shouting to him across the South Hall.  

Willow told Jacob to relax and assign a guard to accompany ‘Jasox’ around the hall to clean the various jewels on display. She brought ‘Jasox’ into a side room and gave him a special set of royal jeweler tools, as well as a set of cleaning instructions for specifics. Alaria was a bit nervous, but wouldn’t let it show through her disguise. If she made any mistakes as she impersonated this Royal Jeweler, then her cover would be blown. ‘Jasox’ would have to be very focused.

Back at the entrance of the South Hall, Dany was making her way through the guard security check, handing over her daggers and crossbow before walking through the door. She kept her distance from Alaria in her ‘Jasox’ disguise, but made sure that the Royal Jeweler was in view at all times. Danaeryzard was planning to wait for the signal – ‘Jasox’ will drop his tools – and then she’ll create a diversion. Dany watched ‘Jasox’ clean the first jeweled crown on display without any issues. Dany pretended to be inspecting a jeweled staff in a random display case.

Chancellor Thormek

“Do you know how much copper is in that staff? With the price of copper these days, that staff is worth a fortune!” laughed a gruff voice behind Dany, surprising her and causing her to spin around and see a rather round dwarf. “Oh did I startle you? My apologies. I’m Chancellor Thormek, I’m visiting Castle Drachen for the Trade Conference this week. I don’t usually see non-humans around here! You… caught my eye.”

Dany shook his outstretched hand and explained that she was a new member of the Expeditionary Guard at the castle. Chancellor Thormek identified himself as a history buff, and began to drone on and on about the background of each item that was on display. Dany decided to walk around with the Chancellor; he might help her blend in while she waited for the signal from ‘Jasox’ at the other end of the South Hall. 

The far side of the South Hall was starting to draw a crowd, as ‘Jasox’ continued on his presentation to properly clean the royal jewels. It was a rare chance for people to see the jewels out of their display cases, and some of the visitors were starting to watch ‘Jasox’ quite closely. Alaria was nervous and sweating a little in her ‘Jasox’ disguise and she fumbled with her tools, but luckily she did not drop any! If she gave the signal at the wrong time, the entire heist might be ruined. But ‘Jasox’ continued on without issue, and when he finished cleaning the royal dagger that he was holding, the crowd gave a polite round of quiet claps.

Dany led the Chancellor a little further into the South Hall to keep a better watch on ‘Jasox.’ The Princess’ Diadem was located in the back of the hall, and ‘Jasox’ was approaching it. Dany knew the signal would be coming soon, and she began to feel nerves and panic sweep through her body. What was her distraction plan? She was going to have to use her Breath Weapon to start a fire, but she didn’t want to cause too much destruction. 

Suddenly Dany heard ‘Jasox’ drop his tools on the floor with a loud clang. Dany froze for a moment, but she knew she had to act. She turned towards a wall that was covered with a red velvet drape and sneezed out loudly, blasting her Dragonborn Breath Weapon out in a cone of fire from her lizard-like mouth. Unfortunately, Chancellor Thormek was also in the line of the flames, and his burly beard and flowing royal robes caught fire. The drapes along the wall also began to burn, and the distraction was certainly working. Everyone in the room was looking at Danaeryzard and the Chancellor, and the guards were running towards her with their swords drawn. Dany raised her arms and immediately began shouting that it was an accident.

During the commotion, Alaria in her ‘Jasox’ disguise had no problem pulling a piece of paper and creating an etching of the engraving on the inside of the Diadem. The guard that had been watching ‘Jasox’ was rushing to help with the fire situation on the other side of the hall. In a matter of ten seconds Alaria’s heist was complete, but Dany’s troubles were far from over.

South Hall Guard

One guard used the end of his sword to bludgeon Dany in the back as another guard yelled for her to get on the ground. More guards were patting down the Chancellor to put out the fires on his robes and beard, and the once-friendly dwarf was now cursing in dwarvish at Dany, and screaming at the guards for letting a Dragonborn into their midst.

“I only sneezed! I have trouble controlling my Breath Weapon sometimes! It was an accident!” Dany pleaded, but the guards continued to attack her. 

Meanwhile, ‘Jasox’ folded the etching back into his robes, pretended to have a coughing fit from the smoke, and demanded that the guards let him leave the South Hall. Cleared from the building, Alaria rushed back to the Barracks to remove her disguise and hide the etching somewhere safe. Then she would come back and try to help Dany, somehow.

It didn’t seem like any amount of help would change Dany’s situation. She was laying prone, face down on the ground as the guards continued to beat and kick her.

“This is excessive brutality! I am in the Expeditionary Guard!” Dany cried, trying to cover her face from more beatings. 

“The jewels in the South Hall are worth more than your LIFE!” a guard spat at her as he and another lifted Dany from the ground and escorted her into a Guard Barracks room off to the side of the South Hall. Dany was placed in restraints and the guards held her there until they received further orders.

Alaria showed up at the South Hall, as herself, and claimed to the guards at the door that Esmeralda had sent her to retrieve Dany. But just at that moment, Esmeralda arrived and coldly told Alaria go back to the Barracks. Esmeralda marched inside the South Hall and was shocked to see the guards putting out fires, and the recently doused Chancellor cursing and panting. Esmeralda had been given simple orders – throw Danaeryzard Targeleon in the Dungeons.

Hours later, Dany was in her Dungeon cell, sitting on a bed of hay. The Dungeons were dark and dank, but Dany knew precisely where she was… because she used to guard and clean these cells when she was working for the Expeditionary Guard. Now she was a prisoner. She felt sad and regretful. She had never meant for anyone to get hurt. This was turning into a repeat of when she was exiled from her home after she burned down the outdoor market. Dany was furious with herself. Why did she think that a fire was a good idea for a distraction? She should have thought more about the repercussions of her actions! Dany could only hope that Alaria would be able to complete the mission on her own.

But Alaria wasn’t thinking about delivering the sketch to the Midnight Ring at that moment. She was trying to rescue her partner! The guards at the Dungeons wouldn’t let Alaria get anywhere near the prisoner cells. Alaria used her Mage Hand spell to pickpocket a key from the guards, but she knew there was no way to get past them. Esmeralda suddenly contacted Alaria through the Chat Ring and told her to meet her in the Barracks for a debrief. Alaria obeyed and acted as though she didn’t know what was going on with Dany.

Esmeralda was blunt and said that Dany had set a Chancellor and some drapes in the South Hall on fire, and that she was in a lot of trouble and suspected of being a part of an evil Dragonborn clan working with the Midnight Ring. Alaria was shocked that Esmeralda would believe Dany to be evil, after having worked with her so closely. Dragonborn prejudice seemed to be very prevalent in this castle all of the sudden.

Esmeralda asked Alaria for the Orc translations that they were sent to retrieve. Alaria simply replied that there was a delay and she would have them soon. She asked again for Esmeralda to free Dany, but Esmeralda claimed that at this moment, her hands were tied.

Later on in the evening, Esmeralda and Hendricks walked into Dany’s cell in the dungeon. Dany was very nervous looking at their stern faces. Hendricks seemed to be glaring at her with hate in his eyes. Once again, Dany stated her case – that it was an accident, she needs to learn to control her Breath Weapon, nobody was seriously injured, this was all blown out of proportion… but Esmeralda and Hendricks didn’t want to listen. 

“We know that you’re working with the Midnight Ring! You Dragonborn are bred to be villains!” Hendricks shouted at Dany, trying to intimidate her. Esmeralda rolled her eyes a bit, thinking that Hendricks was taking this a bit too far. 

“You should have known better, Esmeralda. We trusted her, and now THIS happens!” Hendricks shouted as he stormed out of the dungeon cell and out of sight. 

When they were alone, Esmeralda’s face changed and showed a bit of sadness.

“I’m fighting for you up there, Dany. But you’ve really gotten yourself into a mess. I don’t know how much I can do at this point. Hendricks outranks me and the Princess is furious with you. Just stay here, do what they tell you, and hopefully I’ll get you out of the Dungeon soon. There isn’t anything I can do right now…” Esmeralda said softly, and made her exit.

Dany sighed and rubbed her arms to help keep her warm as she sat alone in the dark.

Later that night, a hooded figure rode on horseback in the moonlight to a barn in the outskirts of Drachen City. The figure dismounted the horse, cracked the door of the barn open and slipped inside. Inside the barn stood another hooded figure waiting and lighting a lantern. The dim light revealed Hendricks, holding out a sealed scroll.

Ezra of the Midnight Ring

“Here it is, Ezra,” Hendricks whispered, passing the scroll to the Midnight Ring recruiter – the same elf who tried to convince Dany and Alaria to join the Ring back when the duo had first met! Ezra nodded knowingly at Hendricks and slipped the scroll into her satchel. 

“We’ll bust Dany out though, right?” Hendricks asked.

Ezra laughed and her white eye gleamed.

“Don’t worry Hendricks, the Ring isn’t done with those two just yet…”

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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 Return of Ragnar

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, check out the entire saga in order by reading the chapters organized on the DnD tab of this site!)

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Days after the Bug Bear attack, Danaeryard and Alaria found themselves back in the regular routine of guard duty and combat training in the Barracks of Castle Drachen. They had been waiting to hear from Esmeralda about the translations of the ancient Orc writing that was on the building schematics they found at Lake Constant. Finally, one afternoon during guard duty, they were summoned to the Great Hall to meet Esmeralda! 

“We are getting closer. I need you two to go to the Castle Bookstore, miles away past the outer courts, in the castle city district by the gate house. An ancient Orc specialist who runs the shop has finished the translations and will be waiting for you. Please retrieve the final translations and bring them back here. We are one step closer to ridding the world of this menace.” Esmeralda instructed the duo from her usual table at the Great Hall. She gave them an address and explained how to get there via the Drachen horse-drawn buggy service. 

When they reached the city district, it was quite busy. Merchants and shoppers filled the streets. Delicious odors from various food stands wafted through the roads as the buggy took the duo to an upscale part of the city, with fancy stone buildings and shops. The driver pulled up to a shop with a sign that read “Castle Bookstore” above it’s open door. Dany and Alaria hopped out of the buggy and headed inside.

Castle Bookstore

The scene inside was shocking. Shelves had been knocked over. Books were strewn all over the floor. But shop was otherwise deserted, and they found the coin box untouched; whoever did this was not looking for gold. Before they could discuss that their Orc translations might have been the target, a loud squawk interrupted the stunned silence. 

“I know that voice!” Alaria cried out. Turning towards the door, a commotion could be heard outside. A child was yelling and the bird’s caws continued loudly. Dany followed Alaria out of the shop and saw a boy sitting on a barrel, and also fighting off a hawk with a red tail that was diving down towards him, flapping it’s wings and nipping with it’s beak. “Ragnar!”

Ragnar Redtail

The bird turned and squawked happily, swooping over to Alaria and landing on her forearm. Ragnar was an old friend of Alaria’s, her animal companion from back home! Alaria was overjoyed to be reunited with her hawk and she stroked his feathers lovingly. She wondered what would make Ragnar attack this child, so she asked him, “What happened at the bookstore?”

“I ain’t no snitch. Who’s askin’?”

“Do you want this hawk to peck your eyes out?” Alaria snapped back.

The boy jumped off the barrel, laughing nervously. “All right, all right, but keep that thing away from me! I was playing here a couple hours ago and I saw a group of masked people go inside the bookstore. It was just for about 20 minutes. Then they all left, but they had the shopkeeper and his family with ’em. But they all seemed fine to me.”

Alaria thanked the kid for the info and he ran off, not wanting to spend another minute near that hawk. Dany thought that Ragnar might be more useful than she realized! Alaria nuzzled with Ragnar, and as she looked at him more closely she noticed there was a slip of paper tied to his leg. She opened it up and the contents read:

Crispin Docks – Slip 5 – 1st of the Month – Midnight

~ B

The note was signed with an ornate “B” and immediately Alaria grew pale. It was the signature of Birolesh – Uncle Biro, as Alaria called him. He was a leader of a thieving guild and Alaria explained that Uncle Biro had killed her own parents, many years ago. Receiving communication from this man was ominous. 

“The only good news is that we have two weeks before the first of the month…” Alaria muttered. “Let’s go sweep the bookstore once more for clues and report back to Esmeralda.” Carrying Ragnar on her arm, she led the way back inside the store. However, when Ragnar was inside, he started flying around and tossing books through the air. Dany cowered and felt a bit afraid, but suddenly Ragnar squawked victoriously and produced a dark black ring from under a pile of papers. He flew to Alaria and dropped it in her hands, and she knew all too well that this was the calling card of a gang called the Midnight Ring.

“The Midnight Ring?? Isn’t that the gang that Ezra was trying to recruit us into when we first came to Drachen?” Dany said with dismay. This was starting to get overwhelming and she wanted guidance, so she reached out to Esmeralda via chat ring. After Dany explained the situation, Esmeralda asked the partners to try to find another Midnight Ring recruiter at one of the taverns in town. If they could find where the Midnight Ring was hanging out, maybe they could find the stolen translations. 

Once they were on the streets, Dany and Alaria were surprised at just how many inns and taverns were in the city district! They started at the Weary Traveler, where they had met Ezra many weeks ago, but there was no sign of her or any other Midnight Ring affiliates. They wandered up and down the streets to every tavern they could find: The Belching Bull, Liquid Gold, Thistledown, The Dented Mug… but they had no luck. Finally, as the sun was setting, they turned down Green Street and saw a big tavern at the end of the road.

As they approached, Alaria noticed a secret symbol on the tavern sign: an “M” written in Theives’ Cant. She pointed this out to Dany and whispered, “This must be the place.” Alaria slipped the dark black ring on her finger and confidently went to the door. However, they were immediately stopped by large guards blocking the entrance inside, demanding to know what their business was at this tavern.

Dany and Alaria asked for Ezra and said that they had been invited. The guards laughed at the partners and said that nobody was there with that name. But Alaria did not give up; she pointed to the black ring on her finger and said, “I have something that might interest you.” Without another word the guards stepped aside and let them in. One of the guards directed them to a staircase leading to the basement. All eyes were on Dany and Alaria as they walked through the tavern to the staircase. Dany began to feel weak and sickly as they walked down the stairs. Alaria pulled out her wand of magic detection, as she always does in new places, but the wand was not working.

They entered the basement chamber, which was filled with typical tavern storage: kegs, wooden boxes and crates, and bags of hops and wheat. Lurking in the far corner was a cloaked figure, standing with his arms crossed, peering at them from under a hood. “Oh, I guess you’re not as stupid as I thought,” he scoffed at them, while stroking a black crow that was sitting on his shoulder.

Tanar

“Look at you, pathetic Expeditionary Guards. Running errands for that bratty princess, high up in her castle? She cares nothing for you, yet you break your back for her. What kind of life is that? Anyway, you can call me Tanar. What are you doing in our tavern?”

“We have reason to believe that you know where certain stolen documents might be,” Alaria replied. “And where a certain missing shopkeeper and his family might be.” 

Tanar laughed, but looked a bit annoyed. “Oh, I don’t have that here. That is the truth, and even if you don’t believe me, don’t bother to try and fight me. You won’t have much success with my magic dampening field  suppressing your magic. Not to mention the thirty gang members waiting to pounce on you upstairs.

“No, what I’d like is an exchange. That’s fair, right? Nobody has to get hurt. All I need is a simple tracing of an etching on Princess Pema’s crystal diadem. You can handle a simple task like that, right? Or do Tieflings and Dragonborn not know how to hold a piece of charcoal?” Tanar laughed mockingly. “Get me that tracing and I’ll give you the translated schematics.

“And one more thing. Don’t go running to your superiors for help, or tell anyone about this little arrangement. If you speak one word to the authorities, the shopkeeper and his family might meet an… unfortunate end.”

Dany and Alaria had no choice. They couldn’t let an innocent family suffer at the hands of the ruthless Midnight Ring. They agreed to comply with Tanar’s request, and they were instructed to meet up with an informant at a nearby barn for more detailed information on where the crystal diadem could be found.

They left the Green Street Tavern and made their way outside of the city district, to the barn where they would meet Tanar’s inside agent. The barn was empty except for a few bails of hay. Dany and Alaria waited inside, playing with Ragnar and watching him do parlor tricks with Alaria that they had clearly been practicing for years. Despite the dire circumstances, Alaria was in high spirits – the thought of pulling a heist in the castle was quite an alluring challenge. Dany on the other hand was very apprehensive. Her burly form made sneaking around and thieving a difficult task. It was hard for her to go anywhere without being noticed.

After waiting for twenty minutes, a man rushed into the barn carrying a sword and wearing a dark black ring, just like Alaria’s. 

Yawnax

“Just received word from Tanar. I am Yawnax and I have some information on the handling of the diadem. I have learned that the diadem is only seen in the South Hall, in the Royal Vault, or on the Princess herself. She only wears the diadem on holidays, so any average day the diadem is on display at the South Hall. It is probably easier to access while it’s on display here during the day, despite the plentiful amount of guards. Each jewel is in a glass display case that has an alarm attached to it, so it cannot be lifted without the guards knowing. And the Royal Vault is impenetrable, so don’t even bother with that.” 

Yawnax unsheathed his sword and began using it to draw in the dirt. He was making a map, showing the duo where the guards were positioned, and where the diadem was found in the hall. Alaria studied it and made sketches and notes on some parchment paper. 

“You can contact me via the black ring for the next 24 hours. After that the connection is severed.” Yawnax tapped his ring onto Alaria’s and she felt it buzz with energy. “Now be gone from here before anyone sees you.”

Back at the castle, Dany and Alaria went to the South Hall to see the layout for themselves and come up with a plan. Since it was night time, nothing was on display and there were only a few guards stationed around the perimeter. They expected to see far more guards the next morning when the South Hall was open to the public. 

After scouting out the area, Alaria began coming up with a plan. They went back to their room in the Barracks to discuss. Alaria suggested that since she was a master of disguises, that she would impersonate a Royal Jeweler. This would give her access to the crystal diadem and enable her to handle it without being questioned.

Dany was in a panic. She knew she couldn’t help with the heist, or the sketching. But she couldn’t stand the thought of her partner being at risk and doing all the work, while she sat by on the sidelines. Dany insisted that she would come along and create a diversion to keep attention off of the heist. 

Alaria wasn’t so sure about this. Dany had a history of being accident prone. Was a diversion necessary? However, Dany refused to sit back and let Alaria do all the work, and she was acting really stubborn about it.

Alaria shrugged and figured a little diversion couldn’t hurt… could it??

…………………..

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: A Cloud of Laughter and Daggers

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. Read them in chronological order!)

…………..

Esmeralda

A three days journey though the Forest Wilderness brought the brave duo back to the safety of Castle Drachen. Danaeryzard and Alaria settled back into their room at the Barracks and tried to get some R&R before being summoned to their next mission. However, it wasn’t long before a messenger delivered word that Esmeralda was waiting to speak with them in the Great Hall.

The Great Hall is a giant room filled with tables used for meeting and eating. Cauldrons were cooking up stews and kegs of mead were found stacked around the room. Dany and Alaria made their way through the room to where Esmeralda was seated. At the table with her was an Elf that they had never seen before. They cautiously approached until Esmeralda indicated to them to come and sit. 

“Greetings Alaria, Danaeryzard. Please join us. This is Hedwig, a Druid Elf visiting the castle on official business. I thought he could spend some time training the both of you on Druid fighting techniques and battle strategies for forest combat,” Esmeralda said, standing to greet the newcomers. Hedwig did the same and they all shook hands before sitting down at the table together.

Hedwig

“Certainly, I’d be delighted to go over some of my proven tactics,” Hedwig replied, feeling a little awkward. He was a strong, middle aged Elf with several decades of combat under his belt, but he never thought of himself as one to train the new recruits. His battles were often improvised – not necessarily planned and prepared for carefully in advance, contrary to how he’d have Esmeralda believe.

“Excellent! We’ll get to that in a moment – I think the Drachen Gardens Courtyard would be a suitable location, yes?” Esmeralda asked, looking at Hedwig, who nodded in agreement. “But first, we must have a debriefing on your recent mission. Please tell me everything that you learned at Water’s Edge.”

Dany and Alaria glanced nervously at each other. They didn’t even come close to completing the mission. In fact, they felt somewhat responsible for the deaths of  some innocent townspeople at Lake Constant, and felt extremely forlorn about the whole mission. They weren’t any closer to discovering the mysteries of the crystals, or finding the location of the Sun Wizard. However, they recapped their travels, explaining about the magical abilities the the Golden Dragonborn have been using to change their form, as well as their encounter with the Hag and the crystal stones they found in the foundation of the library. 

Esmeralda did not hide the concerned look on her face when she heard about the crystal stones. The fact that the crystals, in massive form, were embedded into the very foundation of the building itself was grave news indeed. She asked to see the building schematics that they had collected from their defeated enemies. Esmeralda surmised that the crystal stonework creates an immense power. She sent the schematics to the Drachen Scholars to analyze and decipher. 

“All right, good work you two,” Esmeralda said, “I know you might not think it, but you have done some great research here. Now we’ll have a better understanding of what we’re up against. Next up, training. Hedwig here is the best when it comes to nature. Let’s gear up and meet in the courtyard.”

When they stepped into the Garden Courtyard, Dany and Alaria were amazed. Courtyard was an understatement! The Drachen Gardens were so vast, it could have been called a forest. Acres and acres of green grass, lush trees and foliage, and meticulously organized flowerbeds were spread out before them.

Castle Gardens

Hedwig and Esmeralda led the way to an open grassy field, speckled with a few giant trees. They were discussing how this area would be more suitable for combat trials, with less obstacles and no flowerbeds to trample. As they began to get set up, suddenly an ear-splitting alarm began to ring throughout the entire castle grounds. Esmeralda’s face went pale.

“Oh no. Bug Bears again!” Hurriedly, Esmeralda packed up some weapons and put them in her own sack, obviously preparing to go to battle. “I have to go take care of this. I’m going to give you each a set a Chat Rings, so that we can communicate. If you both wear the ring and earring, you can communicate telepathically with anyone else wearing the set.” She quickly showed them how the Chat Rings worked and then rushed off towards the entrance of the castle.

Unsure of what to do, Dany and Alaria remained in the courtyard with Hedwig. After about a half an hour, the alarm was still going off and Esmeralda had not returned. The three decided to search around the area, maybe they could help somehow.

Dany looked around by the trees surrounding the clearing. As she turned to search deeper into the wooded area, she heard the sound of branches being stepped on by something heavy. Something that was breathing loudly. Something… growling!

Bug Bear

She turned to her left and saw that a giant Bug Bear was heading straight for her. It was at least eight feet tall and fierce, but it did look as though it had already been in a serious fight. The Bug Bear roared and charged towards Dany, Alaria and Hedwig. In a panic, Alaria tried to contact Esmeralda with the Chat Rings, but heard no response. They were on their own!

Taking the lead, Hedwig raised his crossbow and took a shot directly at the Bug Bear, which stopped it in it’s tracks. But the Bug Bear was not severely injured from the arrow; it pulled the bolt from it’s shoulder and roared once more. Seeing an opening, Alaria whipped out her wand and cast her new favorite spell: Hideous Laughter at the Bug Bear. The targeted beast took a step forward, tripped, and fell flat on it’s face, erupting with a wailing laughter that was louder than the intruder alarms still blaring through the castle. Hearing these cries attracted another Bug Bear to the trio, this one approaching from the south. 

Dany knew that they might be overwhelmed fighting both of these strong Bug Bears at once. Since the first Bug Bear was doubled over in fits of laughter, it was incapacitated, but not getting hurt either. Gripping her crystal orb, Dany tried a new spell, the Cloud of Daggers. She cast this cloud at the laughing Bug Bear. Since it was already unable to move because of the Hideous Laughter, it would be stuck within Dany’s Cloud of Daggers, which was a thick cloud filled with spinning daggers that slice at anyone in the cloud. The synergy of the spells cast by Dany and Alaria would take care of the first Bug Bear, while they focused on the second attacker! Were these partners finally starting to learn how to battle effectively??

The second Bug Bear was headed straight for Hedwig. It began to swing a giant, spiked mace and roared wildly, but Hedwig used his spritely reflexes to dodge at the last moment. Alaria and Dany both shot at the second Bug Bear with crossbows, while the first Bug Bear remained in the cloud of laughter and daggers, which was beginning to turn red with blood. Whimpers could be heard between the roars of insane laughter. 

Hedwig recalled some of his woodland creature studies and realized that while Bug Bears have a high armor class, their HP isn’t very impressive. But they are chaotic and will always attack! The second Bug Bear was proving to be quite chaotic as it swung it’s mace at Dany, hitting her with a heavy blow to the arm. She took a step back, reeling from the hit. It was at that moment when the first Bug Bear’s laughter turned into a weak howl… and then silence. The cloud attack had worked decisively. 

Now, to finish off the second Bug Bear. Hedwig swung his axe at the Bug Bear, but it missed and hit Dany instead! Her dragonscale arm was bruised and bleeding. Alaria’s crossbow attack missed the erratic Bug Bear, who dealt another blow to Dany with the heavy mace. Now Dany was getting mad – why was she the main target here?? She channeled her anger through her crystal orb to release a Fire Bolt cantrip directly in the Bug Bear’s hairy face. It roared in pain and beat down the flames on it’s fur. 

Hedwig took a few steps backward and made a wide sweeping motion with his staff to cast a Thunder Wave spell. The wave of energy charged directly at the Bug Bear, tossing it through the air and slamming it against one of the giant trees in the Courtyard. The Bug Bear was stunned and stood still, giving Alaria a perfect shot for her crossbow. She hit the Bug Bear in it’s chest and it howled in pain. Dany cast another Fire Bolt, but a moment too late. The Bug Bear jolted out of the way and the giant tree behind it was set ablaze. 

As it ran, the Bug Bear hurled it’s mace at Alaria, hitting her strongly on her side. Hedwig brandished his staff once more, summoning the power of the Moonbeam spell. Beams of light and rays of stars engulfed the Bug Bear with ghostly flames and it’s body fell in a crumpled heap on the grassy grounds. 

The trio stood, panting, and surveyed the area to make sure no more attacking Bug Bears were headed their way. All was quiet. 

“Why didn’t Esmeralda respond to our distress call?” Alaria wondered aloud.

A moment later, Esmeralda and a group of soldiers stormed through the Courtyard, only to stop and see the carnage. Esmeralda looked surprised and impressed to see two dead Bug Bears laying in the field. She asked Hedwig to analyze the skills of Alaria and Dany. 

“I like how they used the forest to their… advantage…” Hedwig said, glancing over at the giant tree that was still burning a few yards off in the distance. 

“Well, despite this not being our planned training session, I must thank you for your help and your expertise today, Hedwig. We hope to have you visit Castle Drachen again, perhaps under less chaotic circumstances next time,” Esmeralda said. She turned to Dany and Alaria and continued, “The two of you did great out there as well. Thank you for defending the castle and doing exemplary work. I heard from the Scholars that they are studying the written orc language from the building schematics in their lab right now, and should have the wording deciphered in a few days.”

Esmeralda looked over at the tree, still burning. “Someone’s going to have to put that out. Can we get a grounds crew out here?” She sighed. “Well, the two of you are doing a fantastic job. But in the future, Dany… can you NOT burn down the Princess’ Birth Tree??”

…………………..

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: Battling the Horrible Hag

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. Read them in chronological order!)

…………..

The Hag

The Hag was bearing down upon Danaeryzard and Alaria with her gruesomely long nails and tattered rags. She smelled as though she was centuries old. The duo wasn’t sure the best way to attack this crazy old woman, and exchanged confused looks as they cautiously separated to either side of the ancient stone basement chamber. 

Alaria had recently remembered in a dream that her Tiefling horns contained a bit of magic power, and thought this was as good a time as any to give it a try. Waving her head in a circle, a magic aura emanated from the tips of her horns and a Hideous Laughter spell quickly was cast in the Hag’s direction. Dany and Alaria had to cover their ears as the Hag released an ear-splitting cackle that sounded as hideous as she looked. The spell put the Hag in a fit of laughter, and she was unable to do anything else but buckle over and cackle uncontrollably. Not sure what to do next, Dany used her crystal orb to cast a Fire Bolt cantrip, but it whizzed by the Hag’s head, missing her just barely. To make things worse, the heat and light of the fire seemed to snap the Hag out of her crazed state. 

The Hag sneered in Dany’s direction and was caught off-guard by the crossbow bolt that Alaria embedded in her bony arm. Dany focused her energy on a True Strike spell to learn more about the Hag, and her crystal orb revealed that the Hag had an exceedingly high armor class, despite the rags she was wearing. While Dany was busy with her magic, the Hag turned to Alaria and ran at her, screaming loudly and with her arms clawing out. Alaria backed away and aimed her crossbow once again, landing another shot but not doing much damage.

They needed to step it up. Dany’s second attempt at a Fire Bolt cantrip wasn’t strong enough to affect the Hag’s armor class. Since Alaria was the only one managing to do any damage to the old Hag, she continued to receive the retaliatory attacks, and hollered at her partner to attack again.

After a third Fire Bolt cantrip miss, the Hag ran at Dany and promptly turned invisible. Dany froze with fear. How could she attack what she could not see? Luckily, Alaria whipped out her magic wand and cast her Magic Detection spell. An illuminated outline of the horrible Hag was now visible, so they had a fighting chance! 

Alaria’s newfound magic powers reminded Dany that she too had a magical accessory – a Circlet of Blasting. She clasped her talons around it while it hid safely under her robes, but she wanted to save it for the right moment. Her Fire Bolt cantrips, despite missing their targets, were filling her with fiery rage that she needed to expel – the best way she knew how! Dany inhaled deeply and unleashed her Breath Weapon in a massive funnel of fire directly at the Hag, who screamed out in pain. Seeing an opening, Dany ran over to Alaria so she could better support her partner.

The Hag was still invisible, but the duo could see her shimmering outline through the remaining smoke that was thinning out from Dany’s Breath Weapon. The Hag was charging at them, this time targeting her clawed fingers at Danaeryzard, but her mangled nails were no match for Dany’s tough lizard scale skin. She nudged the Hag off with her elbow, while Alaria raised her crossbow and made an excellent shot into the Hag’s side. The damage was starting to add up! 

This was the right moment. Dany pulled the Circlet of Blasting out from her robes. Holding the amulet outward with her talons, Dany used her magic power to harness 3 powerful rays of fire that all blast at the Hag. Her hideous cackling laugh echoed through the stone chamber, but she was starting to buckle over and became visible once again. As she backed away, Dany was able to use her dagger and jab at her, but the Hag was up to something. She walked backwards and her aura began to shimmer. She was casting a spell!

Bengie

In a flash, the Hag turned into the recently deceased, and extremely innocent Bengie. Dany and Alaria looked at each other with dismay. 

“I can’t shoot Bengie! This is insane!” Alaria cried. But she knew that it wasn’t really the sweet teenager who had tried to help his town – it was the awful Hag. Alaria knew she had to be strong. She took a deep breath and drew her arrow, using her ever-improving skill to shoot Bengie in the chest. Before he could react, Dany lifted her orb and summoned three Magic Missile bolts at him in powerful succession.

Bengie tried to run at the duo and scratch back but he missed and fell face first into the ground, burying Alaria’s arrows even deeper inside him. She almost couldn’t look, but Alaria lifted her crossbow to shoot one more time and end this Bengie impersonator once and for all. After the final blow, Bengie wailed out with the Hag’s grating voice, and the dying body morphed back into the Hag’s form. The Hag stopped moving and the battle was over.

Dany and Alaria collapsed on the ground. Killing Bengie in such a way was psychologically tormenting and they needed a short rest to recover. They barely wanted to get close to the Hag, but Alaria searched the body anyway – discovering some gold and another building map. The map contained the same ancient language written on it that was on the schematic that they found on Sullen. She also found a Necklace of Adaptation, and put it around her neck. Looking down at her necklaces, Alaria noticed that their crystal trinket necklaces were still glowing. There was still magic down here. 

Alaria began to clear the dust and dirty from the floor to better examine the stone flooring. There were a few inches of grime but eventually cleared enough dirt to reveal that the stones were actually made of the same crystal slabs that were from Lake Constant. The entire basement was made out of these crystal stones! They continued to excavate the space and found that the crystal was everywhere.

Alaria pulled out the two building maps that she was now carrying and examined them. She realized that the first building was actually an ancient drawing of the library itself! The other building might be in town too – or maybe it was their next destination. They needed to learn more! But they had killed the librarian, so it was now up to Dany and Alaria to do research on this ancient writing. The partners went back upstairs to the archives room with the ancient scrolls which they had passed on the way down to the basement chamber. They searched and studied many ancient tomes and finally matched the writing to Orc language.

But how could they read the words on these building schematics? They needed to get some outside assistance. They made their way out of the library and into the afternoon sun. Dany and Alaria could see fishing boats were on the beach and that the fishermen were back at the Guild. They walked over to the large Fishing Guild building and found Crest inside, looking serious and tired. Alaria asked how he was, and Crest sighed deeply… saying that he was hanging in there. 

“We must ask you Crest, have you seen anything strange around town in the past few months? Have you ever seen an Orc in this area?” Dany asked him. He said that he had not. Alaria showed Crest the second building schematic, pointing out the Orc language written at the bottom. Crest looked very confused and remarked that the building pictured had to be larger than anything that was constructed in Water’s Edge. He wasn’t able to provide them with any information, so they decided to give Crest his space and return to the Inn.

It was time for a new plan. They took a long rest and decided that it was time to return to the castle with the information they had discovered. Maybe the royal scholars could assist them in translating the text or identifying the building in the drawing. At the very least they could pick up their wages and get some direction from Kolari and the Expeditionary Guard. They would set off at dawn.

The next morning, Dany and Alaria wanted to slip out of town quietly. Enough damage had been done to this small town since their arrival, and they knew that the townsfolk wanted them to leave. They headed back towards the rocky perimeter of the town, past the crystal caves that were filled with the memories of murder and deception. Dany and Alaria turned their heads away, not wanting to think about what had happened. As she began to climb the rocks leading back to the woods, Alaria looked toward Lake Constant, and She’i’s house. She regretted not saying goodbye to She’i. Perhaps they would come back again someday.

As they passed the caves, Dany and Alaria didn’t notice that their crystal trinket necklaces were still glowing. They neglected to notice the two figures standing not far within the entrance of the crystal caves, in the midst of a peculiar business transaction. They certainly did not recognize that one of these figures was Crest. The other figure was very large and wearing a hooded cloak. 

The hooded figured pulled a pouch of coins out from his cloak and tossed it to Crest, who accepted it eagerly. As he made the payment, the hood fell backward, revealing that he was another evil Golden Dragonborn Wizard!

“On to your next shipment,” the Dragonborn snarled at Crest. “He does not like to be kept waiting.”

…………………..

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 Restoration Center

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. Read them in chronological order!)

…………..

The tragic mood hung heavy in the air as Danaeryzard and Alaria stepped into the moonlight and out of the cave. Silence surrounded them and they walked down the path to the Inn. When they entered, the innkeeper greeted them happily – obviously unaware of the tragic events that had just occurred. They didn’t feel it was their place to inform this woman about Cledus and Bengie, so they tried to act normal.

As Dany was sorting through her backpack in the main hall, she found the stein that Charlotte had asked them to look for in the caves. The stein that set off a wild Vegepygmy attack earlier that night, before they encountered Sullin. Thinking about the caves immediately sent Dany into a fiery rage. How can she act normal after what just happened? What if Charlotte had something to do with this?? It was a bit irrational, but this type of grief was not an emotion that Danaeryzard had any experience with in her past. She could feel heat rising from within and black smoke began to flow out of her nostrils. Before she knew was she was doing, Dany headed over to the innkeeper demanding to speak with Charlotte’s mother.

Rose, the innkeeper, said that she was Charlotte’s mother, and seemed a bit frightened by the approach. Danaeryzard presented the stein to her, and asked what her child was doing in the caves. All of the rage that Dany felt about what happened in the caves seemed to be deflecting onto this poor innkeeper. Alaria stayed to the side, feeling a bit awkward. 

“We encountered several Vegepygmy enemies and sustained many injuries in the caves as a result of this stein! I demand some compensation for returning this family heirloom back safely to your reckless child,” Dany said hotly, finishing with a snort of small flames.

Frightened and not wanting to start any trouble, Rose asked them to wait a moment and rushed through a side door. Dany started to feel anxious about how she was behaving and tried to cool down. After a few minutes Rose came out with a generous food platter with roasted chickens, vegetables and beer. She also gave Dany a sack of 15 gold pieces. Dany thanked her for her troubles and tried to apologize, but Rose ran off saying it was time for her to get to bed.

As they ate, Dany and Alaria bickered over if they should split the purse. “I was in that battle just as much as you were!” Alaria reminded her, thinking of how she really wanted to buy some more potions before their next big fight.

“You always pocket the money that you find when you ransack dead enemies – which I help to kill. Besides, I’m the one who discovered that cursed stein, and I’m the one who just made a scene and terrified this poor woman… I guess I earned this one!” Danaeryzard laughed a bit at herself as she finished off her beer. 

After the meal they retreated to their room. Before finally retiring for a long rest, they discussed what their next move should be. As strangers in this town, there were few people that the duo could trust. They knew that Crest and Smalls had to be on their side, having witnessed the murder of Bengie and Cledus at the hand of Sullin. There was also She’i, the friendly boat maker on the beach who had a special connection with Alaria. Perhaps they’d head for the Fishing Guild in the morning.

Unfortunately they woke up a bit after sunrise and had a slow start to their morning. Neither one of them had slept very well, plagued with nightmares from the day before. The inn was seemingly empty when they left, so the partners were also in search of breakfast. 

Walking down the path, they continued to notice that the town was very quiet. At this point, word must have gotten out about the murders. They realized that all of the fishing boats had gone out for the morning, and without Bengie the Fishing Guild would be empty. They agreed to skip the guild and head to She’i’s house up the beach instead.

She’i

She’i was easy to find. She was sitting on her front porch, looking pensively out at Lake Constant with a cup of coffee in her hands. They walked up to her and could tell just by looking that she already heard the bad news about Bengie and Cledus. After assuring them that there was no ill will, She’i invited the travelers inside for some breakfast, which they happily accepted.

Alaria decided to show She’i the building schematic that they had found on Sullin after the battle. “Do you recognize this language, written on the bottom? We’ve never seen the likes of this before,” Alaria asked her, trying to stay focused on the matters at hand, instead of She’i’s beautiful eyes. Looking carefully at the drawing, She’i flipped it upside down. Then flipped it over again.

“Just as I thought…” She’i said. “No idea.”

They chuckled and thanked her for trying. She’i cooked up some eggs and a local specialty, a seafood jambalaya, which they all ate together. The duo expressed concern about where to go next. 

“Well the Fishing Guild won’t do you much good right now, they won’t be back until the afternoon,” She’i explained. “Haven’t you visited the Library yet? It’s right next to the Inn!”

They were surprised to learn that the largest stone building in town, which they had mistakenly assumed to be a church for humans and mostly ignored, was actually the Water’s Edge Library. She’i wished them luck and set them off in the right direction so she could get started on her day’s work.

Dany and Alaria were quite impressed with the Library. The stone building was massive and seemed to tower over the town. The large wooden doors were heavy when Dany reached to push them open, and when they walked in they were momentarily amazed by the handsome vaulted ceiling and endless rows filled with books. The aisles were lit by candelabras and shed dim orange light throughout the large main hall, at the other side of which was a large desk and a librarian.

Cricket the Librarian

As soon as she looked at the librarian, Alaria suddenly had a terrible feeling inside. She got goosebumps up and down her arms and felt her heart skip a beat. Dany noticed the sudden change in her partner and looked over. 

“Why is the library so big in a fishing town?” Alaria whispered to Dany. “I’m going to check for magic with my wand.” She discreetly pulled her Wand of Magic Detection out of her bag and did a quick wave around the room. All of the books seemed normal to her… however, the librarian on the other side of the hall seemed to have a magical aura. “We should remain cautious in this place.”

Alaria decided she would not show this person the building schematic, and would instead draw out some of the characters that she could remember written on it. They would ask the librarian if she knew anything about exotic languages, instead of giving away too much information to the wrong person. They were very weary of people with false identities after what had happened to Cledus.

“Good morning, I am Cricket the Librarian,” she greeted them kindly as they approached. “Is there anything I can help you with today?”

The duo explained that they were looking for an expert on exotic languages and texts, and that they were trying to identify a particular language. Cricket seemed very eager to help and said she was a bit of an expert, since she was the Librarian. Alaria drew out some of the characters to show the woman what they were looking for, and Cricket said it looked like an ancient text from the Restoration Room. 

“We have a lot of ancient tomes in this Library, and we work very hard at curating and restoring these pieces, so we devote the lower levels of the Library to ancient writings. Would you like to come with me downstairs to see?” Cricket said, growing excited. She grabbed a torch and lead the way to a stone doorway, which had stairs descending below. 

While they walked down a spiral staircase to the lower level, Cricket asked where they discovered these ancient letters. Alaria made up a story about her grandfather showing them to her when she was young. They walked through a room that was filled with large old scrolls on display, as well as tablets and tomes. 

Dany was a little confused that they didn’t stop walking when they were in that room. Instead, Cricket led the way deeper into the back of the ancient text display room, toward another stone doorway and set of stairs. “I noticed that you two were wearing crystal necklaces from the shop next door. Did you know that the crystals of the lake were discovered by our town’s great founder?”

She began to recount the history of Lake Constant as they continued on, telling the two travelers that the town and the lake itself was discovered and established by the town’s founder, named Lovely Constant. Cricket seemed to revere the town founder, and spoke of her like she was a queen. 

“Lovely Constant was a proud protector of our beautiful town!” Cricket was almost exclaiming with prideful emotion. Alaria and Dany both began to feel very uneasy as they continued down the second flight of steps. Their crystal necklaces began to glow faintly when they reached the bottom of the stairs. 

The second lower level was a huge space with stone walls separating out small chambers in the center. The lighting was considerably dimmer compared to the higher levels of the Library, but they could still see enough thanks to the torch and some other candle-lit fixtures around the perimeter walls. 

“This is the Restoration Center,” said Cricket, turning to face them. Her face looked zany and gleeful in a disturbing way. “We keep it darker here… it’s better for the ancient… texts. There are lots of ancient things down here. Many artifacts from the time of Lovely Constant, the fierce defender of this town! Lovely Constant would have been very DEFENSIVE ABOUT STRANGERS SHOWING UP AND GETTING PEOPLE KILLED!!” Crickets eyes suddenly widened maniacally and her mouth began to open and twist in such an unnatural way that Dany and Alaria felt it was somewhat disturbing. They didn’t have long to feel horrified about it, because in a flash Cricket dropped the torch and ran off in a great speed towards one of the stone chambers in the center of this basement level. 

The Hag

They could hear her scream from within the chamber. It started as a young woman’s scream, as the voice of Cricket, but the tones began to change into a more evil, deeper, older screaming voice that echoed through the room with a howl. 

Before Dany and Alaria had a moment to think about what was going on, they were ambushed by a grotesque figure. She was not really a young woman at all, Cricket had transformed into an evil old Hag! Her hunched figure, wiry hair and pointy fingernails indicated she was as ancient as the old scrolls they had just seen – but she was clearly full of magic and speed.

Her gaping mouth was open and she screamed out at them.

“This is my town! YOU HAVE HURT IT!”

…………………..

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: Final Battle at the Crystal 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. Read them in chronological order!)

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What scared them the most was that they were NOT ready to battle.

Sullin the Dragonborn

Meanwhile, Sullin the Dragonborn Wizard stood ready for battle with his tall staff pointed directly at Danaeryzard and Alaria. The duo were frozen in a moment of panic. Only moments before, they had stumbled upon the dead body of Cledus, who they thought to be living and had spoken to them only a day before. Now it was obvious that this body had been dead for days and Sullin had used his magic to change into Cledus’ form… and had set them up for this trap!

Before entering this chamber, Dany and Alaria had taken a few moments to heal up, but not fully. They had not taken a short rest, so Dany had no fiery breath weapon power left within her to use against Sullin. Alaria was not at full HP, and Dany had only used False Life necromancy to gain some extra HP; this left the duo at a disadvantage against this large and powerful wizard. Dany couldn’t help but feel a shameful intimidation by this strange Dragonborn foe. His confidence and strength reminded her of the red Dragonborn kinsmen bullies back home. But she also couldn’t help but wonder, how many other Dragonborn out there were powered by great magic, like herself and Sullin? How might her life have been different if she had grown up alongside an evil Dragonborn wizard who could train her? And what sort of magic was Sullin’s specialty?

The orb on Sullin’s staff began to glow, and they could see the back of the cave where there were clusters of enormous crystal slabs. Dany and Alaria knew that the crystals could be used against them by this enemy, as they had learned when they first met the Sun Wizard. They had also learned from that street urchin Charlotte that the crystal’s magic could be harnessed after charging it for one turn. Perhaps Dany could use this to her advantage! But she would have to be able to reach one of these crystal slabs first!

Danaeryzard took a few steps toward Sullin and raised her crossbow. She needed to get closer to the crystals, but she didn’t want to get too close to the enemy either. There were crystals set up directly behind Sullin which he was probably going to use for his own attacks, so Dany and Alaria decided to attack the crystals. They knew it would take two hits to destroy each crystal slab, so they would have to be quick. Dany shot at the crystal slab over Sullin’s shoulder, in hopes of intimidating him by shooting the arrow past his face.

It didn’t work. The arrow missed the crystal and the entire action made her look foolish. Sullin began to laugh, despite the fact that Alaria had darted quickly to the side and successfully embedded an arrow into the crystal. 

“I hope that wasn’t your best attack!” Sullin scoffed, raising his arm and putting his talon hand onto another crystal next to him. The duo could see the crystal slab begin to glow faintly, and they worried what would come next!

Dany moved to the left side of the cave and raised her crystal orb. Using her Firebolt cantrip, she sent a plume of fire at the Dragonborn enemy. It did a bit of damage, and Sullin used his other talon to pat down a few flames as Alaria shot another arrow at the crystal she had been aiming at – this second shot caused the crystal slab to shatter and break into several pieces. One crystal down… countless more to go!

Suddenly the crystal that Sullin had been charging up shone in a brilliant white brightness, after which the white glowing power began to be absorbed into Sullin’s talon, arm, and around the rest of his body. 

“You two have no idea what you’re getting into!” he hollered, manifesting his white magic aura into orbs that surrounded Alaria, glowing so brightly that they blinded her! She screamed out and began to stumble, obviously disoriented. The orbs faded, returning the cave to dimness. Dany shot another bolt of her crossbow at Sullin, suddenly realizing that these arrows were merely bouncing off of his strong scaled skin. “He’s resistant to piercing damage!” she cried. Danaeryzard decided there was no point in using her crossbow anymore in this battle, and made her way to a cluster of crystals that she could try to use for herself.

Meanwhile, Alaria was blind and trying not to panic. She switched to her short sword and got into a defensive stance. Sullin began to approach her and tried to strike her with his staff, but the agile Tiefling’s hearing abilities seemed to be heightened during her blindness – she heard the whoosh of the staff coming toward her, and she was able to duck just in time to avoid the hit!

Danaeryzard wanted to help Alaria, but felt the best way to do this was with a good offensive move. Sullin was preoccupied with Alaria, so Dany put her talon on a crystal slab and began to charge it herself. This time the crystal began to faintly glow red, and Dany could feel a fiery warmth charging within. 

Alaria’s vision began to come back. She could see the dark shape of Sullin before her, and she began to swipe wildly in his direction and slashed him lightly many times. He retreated back to a cluster of crystals and raised his staff to shoot a Fireball at Dany. Luckily, her red Dragonborn heritage gave her fire resistance, but the attack greatly reduced the HP she had gained from False Life. She didn’t have a moment to think about this issue, because the fire power within the crystal surged into Danaeryzard with an almost unbearable heat. She raised her orb and shot another Firebolt cantrip at Sullin, hitting him with a great blast of fire.

Alaria was relieved to have her vision restored and nimbly darted to another crystal, hacking away at it with her short sword. Both Sullin and Dany raised their talons and began to charge crystals once again. This was turning into a battle of magic! Was Dany up to the challenge? Trying to distract him, Alaria stabbed at Sullin, but his thick armor was proving to be an issue. He shrugged her off and pointed his staff in Dany’s direction once again. This time, a yellow cloud emanated from Sullin’s staff, moving to the area where Dany and her cluster of magic crystals were stationed. It covered Dany and her immediate area with a thick mustard gas and she buckled down to her knees, struggling to breathe. Her body began to heave and she started to vomit. The charging crystal connection was severed and Dany could not perform any actions as she struggled to get away from the gassy cloud.

Seeing her partner attacked this way put Alaria into a rage! She slashed at Sullin’s arms, but that didn’t stop him from hitting her with another Fireball. While he was distracted by Alaria, Dany managed to crawl out of the gas cloud and she used her final spell slot to cast a Magic Missile attack, destroying another crystal slab and hitting Sullin with a bolt as well. 

At this moment, they all heard echoed voices of men through the cave. All of them froze mid-battle, not knowing who was approaching. With a *poof* Sullin reverted back into Cledus’ form, and Cledus’ real body vanished from the entrance of the chamber. However, even in Cledus’ form, Sullin looked very beat up and was bleeding from the attacks he had already suffered. The three battlers all looked very worse for wear, so when townsmen Crest and Smalls arrived on the scene, they didn’t know what to think of the situation. In their point of view, it looked as though their friend Cledus had been beaten up by two foreigners. 

Smalls

“What is the meaning of this? Are you all right, Cledus?” asked the portly Smalls, who cautiously walked towards the three fighters. 

Sullin (as Cledus) staggered to his feet. “They – they attacked me!” he cried.

“He’s lying!” Dany implored at the two newcomers. “He’s not really Cledus! He’s a wizard!” cried Alaria at the same time. Crest and Smalls looked at each other, at Cledus, and at Dany and Alaria… not sure what was going on. Crest asked Smalls, “Why should we believe these strangers?” 

“We are official members of the Expeditionary Guard. We were sent here directly from Castle Drachen!” Alaria said, trying to sound as big and official as she could. At this, the two men raised their eyebrows.

Crest

Crest wasn’t very convinced. He scratched at his beard and said, “The Expeditionary Guard?! Prove it!”

“Everyone has been saying that Cledus has been acting strangely this past week. Even you could probably agree with that! That’s because he’s not really Cledus!” Alaria tried to explain. Just then, another human appeared in this chamber of the cave. It was Bengie! He looked shocked at what he saw. “What happened here?”

“Bengie! You must remember us!” Dany and Alaria exclaimed. “Remember, we were looking to find Cledus, and you said that he wasn’t acting himself lately? You begged us to help him? He was killed by a wizard, and that wizard is using his form! This wizard is evil, he’s a follower of the Sun Wizard and we have to stop him! Please help us!”

Bengie

Bengie looked at Crest and Smalls and said, “Would you not agree that Cledus has been acting very strangely lately? He never used to drink. And he always said he hated going in these caves.” The men seemed to nod in agreement, as though more incidents had been happening throughout the town. “These two foreigners told me they were sent from the castle a few days ago on official business. Maybe we should question -“

Bengie didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence, because as he was speaking, Sullin reverted back into his true form. At that moment, Cledus’ real body reappeared at the entrance of the chamber. And at that moment… Sullin flung a fireball at young Bengie, killing him instantly. 

Crest’s eyes filled with horror and rage at the scene unfolding before his eyes. He unsheathed a large sword from under his cloak. Smalls followed suit; he pulled out a sword and they moved in on Sullin. The fight was back on!

Alaria tried to dart to the side but her crossbow attack missed. Dany readied herself by a crystal slab and began to charge up magic power once again. Crest and Smalls attacked Sullin with strong slashes and the battle was finally starting to turn in their favor. Sullin began to retreat and cast a False Life spell on himself, giving him extra HP. 

“You will never defeat the Sun Wizard!” Sullin cried out as Smalls tried to use a sword attack but missed. Danaeryzard shot another powered up Firebolt cantrip at Sullin, and Alaria slashed him with her short sword. In a final blow, Crest fiercely skewered Sullin through the chest. “Long live the Sunnn—” Sullin managed to say weakly as he began to gurgle out blood from his mouth. Crest pulled his sword back out of Sullin’s body and the wizard fell in a crumpled heap.

They all stood silently for a moment. The two men, Crest and Smalls, looked in dismay at the bodies of Cledus and Bengie in the cave. Dany and Alaria had no idea what to say, aside from offering condolences for the deaths of their friends and thanking them for coming to their aid in the battle.

“I guess this puts me in charge now…” Crest said, in a bewildered and almost fearful tone. “I have to tell Bengie’s mother what happened. I have to… I have to take care of so many things…” His mind trailed off and he didn’t finish his sentence. He turned abruptly and exited the chamber. Smalls stood in somber silence for a few moments, then sighed deeply and walked out as well. 

Dany and Alaria stayed behind for a bit longer. Alaria checked Sullin’s dead body and found hand-drawn building plans with notes written in a language she couldn’t identify. She put it in her bag and then the duo stood together in the cave quietly. 

“We never actually met Cledus. I wonder what he was like,” Dany whispered.

“Bengie was a good kid. He didn’t deserve this,” Alaria said disjointedly in response, lost in her own thoughts.

The partners looked at each other, finally realizing how tired and beaten they felt. They needed to rest and regroup. They needed to get back to the Inn. From there they would figure out their next move. From now on, they would not only be working to help the castle… they would be would be avenging the life of Bengie, and who knows how many other innocent lives that have been spent by the Sun Wizard and his minions. Now, this was personal.

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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.