Jan 3, 2016
I’m busting into the world of solo RPG. So Gulduron went on his first side quest.
After making it back to Feyford and seeing that the kids were alright, Gulduron decided to go gather some miscellaneous herbs and flowers from the woods, almost therapeutically, while waiting on the others to gather intel at the bar. He knew his owl missed the woods, and he missed the solitude.
He remembered where he left off in his cycle of picking plants and headed directly there. In the month or so since they had been gone, the undergrowth had increased its size significantly, but all the better to stay out of view.
It was after just a few minutes that Gulduron saw it. It was a shadow the size of a large cloud, but it moved overhead at a swift speed. (Some might say it had a fly speed of 60 ft.). The leathery sound of flapping wings was instantly recognizable after his recent brush with the large blue dragon. Scared silly, he looked down at his own body only to find it missing. Well, mostly missing. He could see a magical aura emitting in the shape of his body.
“That’s funny,” he thought. “I didn’t know I could turn invisible.” It was with a bit more confidence then that he turned his attention back to the dragon flying by. Correction: that had flown by. “Beavers and ducks. Missed it.” That was when he noticed it, or rather noticed that he hadn’t noticed it. His owl was scared, but his dragon spirit familiar actually seemed happy and rather excited. “What the marmoset is going on?” he thought. Jumping up from the only half-picked bush, he ran in the direction the dragon had headed.
He ran for quite a while blindly through the woods following the sound and large indistinct blob (was that a metallic glint on the blob?) in the sky. Suddenly he lost sight of the blob. “Beavers and ducks.” He pushed on faster in the last direction he had seen the dragon.
And so it was that a very winded, slightly lost, and very shocked Gulduron burst out of the brush and into a freshly made clearing in the woods, an almost dragon sized clearing. Correction: two dragon sized clearing. “Aaaahh!” Gulduron screamed and turned into a pixie. “That’s new too,” he thought. Well, he wasn’t exactly a pixie, more like a tiny flying tree man.
As first a huge gold dragon and then a huge silver dragon turned their eyes upon him, the first thing he could think to say was, “Don’t eat me! I can’t be a threat! Look how small I am!” Upon reflection, perhaps something more along the lines of, “I come in peace,” or, “We work for the same great golden dragon,” would have worked better.
While he tried to figure out how to turn invisible again and the dragons tried to figure out how to eat something that was tiny sized when they were huge, his now miniaturized dragon spirit familiar betrayed him and left his tiny wooden cage on his head slowly flying towards the dragons. “See if I leave you any more strawberry extract! I know it’s your favorite!” Gulduron cursed his former friend before seeing a second dragon spirit leaving the shoulder of the gold dragon. This was enough out of the norm to give both parties pause. As they watched, the two dragon spirits seemed to mingle for a bit, both ebbing and flowing into and through each other like a small firestorm contained in a tube with hidden air vents to constantly create phosphorescent eddies and incandescent swirls.
A deep sense of peace, brotherhood, and joy was shooting his way from his dragon spirit. The one became two again, and his dragon spirit once again returned to its rightful place…in his cage…on his head.
“It seems my brother’s soul likes ye’,” came a (shall we say Scottish?) female voice from the body of a human, or nearly human, who at that moment stepped around the leg of the huge silver dragon holding an insanely long spear. “How does she even use that? It’s so cumbersome,” thought Gulduron who knew that manners dictated he keep that to himself. Instead he said, “Just your brother, huh? That good cause I’m looking for a wife or mother, just not both.”
“My name is Bree,” said the woman with a slightly silvery tone to her skin ignoring his comment. “And this is me brother, Brawn.” She pointed at the gold dragon who huffed loudly (knocking over a small sapling on the edge of the before mentioned fresh clearing) and quickly transformed into a brawny man-like gold-tinted skin man.
“Aye, if Drix likes ye’, you must be with us,” he said. “So who are ye’?” At times narrative can turn into exposition (see the movie Last of the Air Benders), so we’ll skip the information vomit.
“And that’s how I got a dad. So what are two servants of the great gold dragon doing near Feyford?” finished Gulduron.
“The same mission, finding the lost relic, but we hear tell o’ something right old being brought back to life just o’er yonder by some nasty sounding thing. Figure it’s more o’ them baddies, like you saw, pulling some blueski out o’ the rock again. Better to strike while the sparkers still stuck in the rock,” said Brawn.
“Aye, truly spoken. And considering they probably heard two wee dragons a’landin’ and a’knockin’ down trees, we might save the rest of our lil’ group hug for afterwards. Join us?” asked Bree.
Gulduron nodded, turned back into a pixie (boy that needs a better name, I mean, it’s like trying to be threatening while drinking out of a straw), and flew in the direction the dragons were originally facing. Brawn shifted back into his huge gold dragon form and lumbered on with Bree and her companion dragon (who had been summoned apparently) in tow.
Unfortunately for Brawn, there were not too many more trees to smash aside before they came to another clearing. It appeared to be a graveyard. A very old graveyard at that. The twenty or so headstones appeared to have had writing on them at some time, but the ravages of time had, er, ravaged the words away. You would think they couldn’t see this from a distance, but in fact, you could because these were very large headstones. Giant sized you might say.
It was at that moment that three giant statues moved, moaned, and lobbed headstones at the trio. Well, they weren’t exactly statues. They were actually three CR 8 Stone Giant Zombies attacking the party of three level 5 PCs. Yes, odds were not in the favor of the heroes.
Bree and her companion led the charge, stopping to unleash a vicious breath weapon upon the helplessly slow undead only to realize that they didn’t get a breath weapon until the next level. So a double move it was. (Hey, it was a long graveyard.) After sustaining significant damage just to get close to the creatures (except for Gulduron who was invisible, the coward), Gulduron used two whole spell points at once (yes, you heard right) to drop a spherical bomb on said baddies. The heroes then tried to go toe-to-toe, trading giant rock club strikes for double claw plus rend plus bite plus trip (just unfortunately not all with the same dragon), but the dragons were going down quickly. (Don’t judge. The bad guys were CR 8 after all.). Only one of the Giants had gone down so far, and while the other two were bloodied (or goo-ied in this case), the dragons were decimated. (Bree, oddly enough, had not been touched yet. It must be that stupid spear.)
That’s when Gulduron smacked his head saying, “Beavers and Ducks! I’m a controller, not a damage dealer!” and put up an invisible wall at the last moment to prevent the silver dragon from going down. It was just enough of a distraction for a massive claw/claw/bite followed by claw/claw/bite which finally all hit to take down the Giants.
“Aach, that smarts if ye’ ken,” came a rumbling voice from Brawn’s dragony maw. “Wimps,” muttered the invisible pixie who flew to the center of the graveyard where nothing but cold earth stood. Well, nothing but cold earth that glowed magically telling Gulduron it was really a hidden entrance. Illusions. Pishaw. “Let me scout ahead while you lick your wounds. I have like a 75 stealth check now that I’m tiny and invisible, so no worries.”
Perhaps if he hadn’t been so smug, perhaps if he had entered the illusioned hole a little more slowly, or perhaps if he had realized he was dealing with undead, the next thing would not have happened. Gulduron, sneaky and invisible, confidently flew down the hole directly into the arms of a Spectre (CR 7, incorporeal, fly speed 80 ft, screwed). And brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin ran away. Luckily the Spectres couldn’t follow because they can’t be out in direct sunlight. (Because it was still afternoon, late afternoon, but sunny.)
After coaxing Gulduron out of hiding from the twice-dead Giants, Bree asked the obvious question. “Where can I get a drink?”
“What? What about that ghost thing or whatever is down there? Didn’t you say they were summoning a blue dragon or something? We’ve gotta stop them!”
“Aach, ye’ durn fool,” replied Brawn now in almost-human form again. “Ain’t no blueski down there. This be yer run o’ da’ mill necromancy problem. Probably an ‘Ancient Giant Graveyard’ filled with ‘Ancient Giant Magiks’ that should ‘Ne’er Be Disturbed’ and some vampire or ghoullie did cause that’s what they do. This ain’t no job for us, so sis is right. Where’s the closest pub?”
“Back in town I guess.” And that’s when Gulduron remembered his friends. “Actually, my friends are at the bar right now, and with the new empire taking over and everything, we could use your help.”
“Bah! I just need a drink and then we’re gone to the next place,” said Bree. So Gulduron guided them back to Feyford teaching them little dribbles of the magic they shared. “Um, you might want to leave the big silver guy outside?” whispered Guiduron as they approached Feyford. Bree snapped and the dragon companion disappeared.
That crazy wizard Zane had been right. The volcano had led to some answers, and now some new friends, but Gulduron had lots more questions budding. “Look, the bar’s over there, but I gotta go see a guy about a thing. Think you’ll be around when I get back?” Gulduron asked his new friends.
“Nae, lad. We’ll be gone with da’ wind after wettin’ the old pipes, but you ne’er ken. We may be back to see ye’,” said Brawn with a smile as he and his sister slipped into the bar for their drink.
True to their word, they got three pints each and were gone in three minutes. (Scottish dragonkin can really throw them back.) It was exactly then that Gulduron was staring at a burnt down house of a crazy wizard friend who was supposed to have some answers (and magic books for him to learn from, curse him).
“Beavers and ducks,” he muttered under breath.