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Welcome to Episode 52 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:
My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.
But first, a quick recap…
At camp, a familiar, snow-white goose approached the Brunch Club and stole an egg from the party. Before the goose slipped away, SAM identified the creature as a level 10 magic being. (Salys and Drusilla being magic level 3 for comparison.)
They continued their travels through the mountains. A roc’s distant cries set off an avalanche, which enveloped Diesa, Jory, Elora, and Salys. With the help of Copper, a bell, and loud screams, the party dug up their companions one by one. They rested, and continued to push toward the peak the next day.
There, they came upon a frost giant and two ogres at the mouth of a cave. The frost giant pushed one of the monsters into the cave, and hours later it was ejected from its depths with several arrows piercing its skin, dead. The remaining frost giant and ogre retreated from the cave, spotted the group and attacked. The Brunch Club defended themselves, killing their two large attackers.
The group decided to investigate the cave, and entered with caution. Inside was a lush pine forest, filled with streams and waterfalls and inhabited by small woodland creatures. Drusilla cast speak with animals. Two cardinals informed her that Gulu, a beautiful elf of ice and snow, was in charge.
When they found the elf, SAM began to hum and, as if compelled to do so, stepped through a shimmering archway behind the creature. The group then explained the reason for their arrival to the Archfey standing before them, including their misgivings about Rajat.
Gulu, who was not an Archfey, but this Touchpoint’s Fey Guardian, offered to deal with Rajat, but only in exchange for amusement – in the form of a creature of chaos.
Episode 52: “Honk First Roll Later”
Not only did the party need to figure out how to catch a goose, but one that was a much more powerful magic creature and had evaded any attempts to capture it or harm it thus far. They discussed what they knew about the goose; that it was, surely, an agent of chaos, and that it seemed to have an affinity for shiny cooking utensils. Beyond that, the elusive goose was a mystery.
“It’s a good start,” Drusilla mused, as Jory emptied cooking utensils from his bag onto the cavern floor. He carefully arranged them in a pattern, driving the spatula into the ground at the center so that it stood upright.
Drusilla fished through her pack, seeking any items with extra shimmer. She withdrew her freshly harvested Bahir scales with delight. She placed them leading from the arrangement of cooking utensils toward the mouth of the cave. When she had completed her task, she looked around, looking for any creature she might be able to turn spy.
Spotting a pair of Blue Jays, Drusilla scoffed. “Ugh, blue jays are such dicks.” She thought to herself, and continued to survey for an animal with which she could converse. Soon, she spotted a lone chipmunk as it scurried down the base of a nearby pine.
“Um, hello? Mr. Chipmunk? I was wondering if I could ask you a favor?”
The chipmunk stared at the elf, and Drusilla continued, “In exchange for snacks, of course.”
“I like snacks!” The chipmunk exclaimed, its furry tail twitching in anticipation.
“Okay, if you see a goose come in here, can you please come and let me know? Immediately? Then you can have snacks.”
“OK.” was all it said before reaching its hands out for the immediate delivery of said snacks. Drusilla fished out a piece of beef jerky, promising more for later and asking for his name. It was Chip.
Nearby, Salys wandered the pine forest aimlessly, examining the flora and fauna of the strange cavernous ecosystem they found themselves in. Suddenly she heard Pip’s voice ringing deeply in her mind, “Sup, babygirl?”
Salys knew the comment wasn’t directed at her, but was unable to stop hearing Pip’s avian flirtation..
“Big things come in small packages, baby,” he continued.
Salys spun around to see her familiar scooting closer toward a horned owl. The horned owl rotated its head toward Pip. She let loose a demure ‘hoot’ before flying away to escape Pip’s unwanted advances.
Once Jory had completed his goose lure, he took a deep swig of his bota bag and approached Gulu, who stood stoically in front of the portal to the Feywild.
Jory teetered briefly and, with the unpolished bravery of a town drunk at a bar, he asked, “So you uh, just stand there all the time?”
Gulu glanced down at Jory. “Yes. I guard the portal.”
“How long have you been here?” Jory asked.
“Longer than you have,” the snow elf responded. Jory paused, considering the verity of this answer. He shuffled his feet in the snow for a moment.
“Uh, I have a question,” Jory started.
“You seem to have many.” Gulu responded, and Jory flashed a large, nervous grin.
“Well, you seem powerful, and I was wondering if you would perhaps be able to restore Elora’s memories?” He gazed up at the Fey, hopeful for his companion.
“That skill is not something based on raw power; I sadly lack that capability.” Gulu responded.
“Do you know what could have happened to my friend that made her lose her memory after going to the Fey? She’s an elf, that shouldn’t happen.. Right?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you mind if I ask another question?” Jory asked, and Gulu nodded.
“I have a lot of time to stand here, Jory. Ask away.”
“Right. Good point. Um, my friends think they might possibly be interested in going to the Fey. But they’re, like, way more powerful than I am. I’m just a drunk who knows where to punch people. I don’t think I belong in the Feywild.”
Gulu’s hardened, icy face seemed to soften slightly, the corners of their lips teasing a smile. “Well, if you’ve come to me seeking wisdom, there are much better places to seek this out. But, I do believe you should consider your options with… trepidation.”
Drusilla approached Jory and Gulu, having heard the tail end of the conversation as she returned to camp.
“Would you let us?” She asked as she approached. “Got to the Feywild, that is. Would you let Elora and I?”
Gulu considered a moment, “If you uphold your end of our bargain. Yes. Safety I cannot promise.”
“What kind of dangers are in the Fey?” Drusilla asked, curious.
“It’s much like the world you know,” Gulu started, their gaze boring into Drusilla’s eyes. “But, twisted. This is neither for good nor for bad, but things in the Fey tend not to be what they seem.”
“Have you seen Elora come through this portal before?” Jory asked, both he and Drusilla awaiting an answer with rapt attention.
“The ranger? No, I have not seen her before.”
“Just curious, I guess,” Jory sighed, his shoulders hunched.
“Curiosity is the natural order. Now, my turn. Why are you all here, together? What path led you to me, to this cave?” As Gulu asked, Salys approached from the forest with Pip perching grumpily upon her shoulder..
“We’ve all been on very different journeys, but we found one another during our travels. One-by-one we’ve formed a sort of family. Most of us were seeking information from the library in Elnor. But… I think we needed one another to help us along our journey.”
“How quaint,” Gulu responded. The snow elf looked a bit forlorn as they said, “It does get a bit lonely here.”
The conversation continued, soon devolving into Jory extending a drunken invitation to Gulu to join their party. Gulu respectfully declined, but seemed amused by the offer. Gulu also explained that they were not in fact an Archfey, but rather an Eladren, a type of winter elf. This seemed to reflect both in Gulu’s appearance and icy demeanor, and they explained that they need no nourishment but cold winter air.
The hours passed slowly, the party anxiously waiting for an agent of chaos to join their midst. Several hours passed before a grumbling emanated from Jory’s stomach. Abashedly, he asked Gulu if the Eladren knew of any foods they could consume in the cave that wouldn’t harm the flora and fauna she looked over..
“Strawberries.” They replied.
From the distance, a familiar voice cried, “I fucking love strawberries!”
Gulu turned their attention to Diesa as she stepped out from behind a nearby tree, “Why eavesdrop, dwarf, when you could just join the conversation?”
“Eh, habits.” Diesa shrugged. “Where are the strawberries at?”
Gulu gestured toward an outcropping of hay in the distance, “The strawberries are that way!” They explained, and the group left to investigate.
They were surprised to find no red, luscious berries. Instead, they found a patch of hay-like grass.Drusilla and Diesa glanced at one another, befuddled. They parted the grass, wandered aimlessly, and scoffed. There were no strawberry bushes to be seen. When Salys joined the hunt, she was equally fruitless.
“Is Gulu trying to mess with us? This stinks.” Diesa scoffed, kicking at the hay. Defeated, they all headed back toward Gulu.
“We didn’t see any strawberries!” Drusilla exclaimed, and Gulu looked puzzled.
“You were standing in them”
“What?” Diesa asked, looking back toward the patch of hay.
“Straw. Berries. Why do you think they’re called that?”
“I think we called them something else outside of the cave,” Jory explained, puzzled. Drusilla strode back toward the straw, which snapped as she tore off several stalks. The centers were a deep bluish-purple pulp, which oozed slightly where they had broken.
Emboldened by her resistance to poison, Diesa was the first to taste the fruit that Gulu called ‘strawberries’. The stalk crunched between her teeth, and soon the familiar, overwhelming taste of rosemary and baked garlic coated her tongue.
As the party members tried the purple pulp, they each encountered a different taste..
Diesa breathed at Jory, “Smell my breath!” She exclaimed. Jory paused a moment after reluctantly inhaling, pondering.
“It… smells like watermelon.” He responded, confused.
To Elora and Drusilla, the elves, it tasted quite like an actual strawberry. To Salys, it tasted a bit like ginger.
With more time to spare, the group foraged for other foods to try within the cave. Jory located what Gulu had described as “parsnips”, collecting a root vegetable that actually snipped at Jory’s hands as he drew them from the ground. He fought them into submission, preparing them to cook.
As he laid the first parsnip onto a hot frying pan, it released a high-pitched screech that reverberated through the cave. Parsnips, they found, tasted a bit like lobster.
When night fell, the cavern was illuminated by glowing mushrooms and sparkling water. No goose arrived. Nor did it arrive the next day. They continued to keep watch, but to no avail.
Bored and frustrated, Elora marched to the mouth of the cave, and her companions hurried after her. She looked back at them and drew a deep breath, cupping her hands around her mouth.
“HOOOOOOOOOOONK!” She screamed into the snowy oblivion, an echo reverberating through the mountainside. Although she sounded much like a goose, nothing seemed to come of her cry.
Defeated, they decided to use their free time to call Rajat and inform him of their whereabouts. Through their sending stones, Elora said, “Checking in, found it. We’ll be back to meet you in Root Run.”
After a pause, a deep, curt voice responded, “Thank you for the update.”
And then silence.
Diesa huffed as she paced alongside the fire, grumpy and impatient to locate the goose. She was growing bored. As a thought struck her she halted, smiling.
“I have a brilliant idea!”
She marched toward Jory, grabbing him by the arm. “What if we hang Jory upside-down at the mouth of the cave?”
“What?” Jory cried as he looked at Diesa in horror, while Elora, Salys, and Drusilla stared at the two of them, considering the idea.
Salys crossed her arms and shrugged. “Nothing better to do, I guess.”
Diesa took off running toward the mouth of the cave, Jory in tow.
The dwarf fashioned a pulley using her rope and pitons and attached it to the roof of the cave.
With spatula and bell in hand, Jory allowed Diesa to hoist him by his feet up to the ceiling.
“Why do I have to be upside down?” Jory asked as he felt the blood begin rushing to his head.
“It’s sillier,” Diesa answered, without further explanation.
“You guys will keep an eye on me though right?”
“Right. Of course. Nothing could possibly go wrong.” Diesa assured the drunken halfling while stifling her laughter.
Their companions stood a ways back, laughing as they watched Jory wriggling and twisting in the air. The bell jingled softly.
“Ummmmm, gooooooose?” Jory cried, ringing the bell. For ten minutes, he yelled into the void.
As the minutes passed, Jory grew more and more uncomfortable and lightheaded. When he first heard a soft crunching in the snow, he wasn’t sure if he was just imagining it. It wasn’t until he saw a familiar, white-feathered creature with orange beak approach the mouth of the cave that he exclaimed with joy.
“Guys! It worked!” He shouted as the goose waddled toward him, gazing up at the suspended halfling with its head cocked to the side.
“Honk!” The goose cried as it eyed Jory, and then again as it looked at Diesa holding the rope at the other end.
Abruptly, the goose flew at Jory, snatching the spatula from his hand with its beak.
Diesa let go of the rope, dropping Jory ten feet to the ground with a thud. The goose flew over the heads of Elora, Drusilla, and Salys and into the cave.
The three ran after the goose, followed closely by Jory. Diesa chose to hang back, waiting to see if the goose would try to escape. From the cave entrance she heard the subterranean forest erupt into a cacophony of bird cries.
Deeper in the cavern, Gulu watched the goose as it flew aimlessly around the cavern, honking.
“Mister or madame goose, please come down. I would very much like to speak with you,” Gulu said calmly, and the goose honked as it landed at Gulu’s feet. It dropped the spatula, and honked once more.
Gulu smiled as the party frantically ran toward them. “Have you ever tried just asking the goose to speak with you?”
Breathless and in awe, the party members scoffed. They most certainly had.
“Goose, can you… shake your tail feathers?”
The goose looked at Gulu, and then back toward the party. With a honk, the goose began to wiggle its tail feathers just slightly.
“Well, this goose is fantastic!” Gulu mused, laughing.
As he laughed, the goose’s form began to change. The feathers shimmered as they shifted into a glorious white cape, and he began to transform from a goose into a stout halfling man. He wore an enormous orange topaz necklace around his neck, and a finely tailored grey suit.
The halfling’s grey-blue eyes shone with amusement. He had a glorious head of grey-white hair, swept neatly back against his scalp.
“Well isn’t this fun?” The former goose cried and clapped his hands. He looked at the party and then to Gulu.
“I have to say I was quite fond of the scale trick you tried to pull, but, when you hung your companion upside-down from the roof of a cave, well, I just couldn’t resist coming to say hello. Very silly indeed. Very clever.”
“Who… are you?” Elora cried, her companions struggling to regain their composure from the shock of seeing the goose transformed into a fully communicative halfling. Jory couldn’t help but think that the goose-being need not have defecated all over his sleeping quarters those many weeks ago.
Ignoring the question, the halfling looked at Drusilla. “You can tell your dwarven companion that I will not be trying to fly out of the cave. She can come join us if she would like.”
Drusilla called to Diesa, and a few minutes later she emerged, running and breathless. As she drew nearer and noticed the strange man that had materialized in the cavern, a look of confusion fell across her face.
“What the…” Diesa started as she stopped in her tracks.
“It’s me. The goose! HOONK!” He called as he glanced at Elora. “Nice effort, quite an entertaining goose call you have. I think it sounded a tad bit more like a southern goose but you near had me fooled.”
“Anyway,” He continued with a grin, “you can call me Sheeboo. Why have you beckoned me here so desperately?”
“Well, Gulu wanted to meet you,” Drusilla explained, and Sheeboo glanced at the stoic winter elf.
“Oh. Pleasure to meet you, Gulu. Is that all then?”
“Well, now I just need to know – why have you been messing with us all this time?” Drusilla asked, and Sheeboo shrugged.
“Because it’s fun!”
“And you just do this to us?”
“Don’t flatter yourselves. I do this to everyone. Some call me a creator, an undying one, a demi-God, or some just a God. If you recall, I also took a great deal of pleasure in messing with some pirates you once knew.”
Sheeboo smiled to himself, recounting the memory.
“I believe one of you singed me? Not very civil, was it?” Sheeboo continued as he looked at Drusilla. “You and your Raven Queen… she was never very fond of me, that one. Takes herself quite seriously. She never wants to have any fun.”
“This is….” Jory started, searching for the right words.
“Fantastic! I know!” Sheeboo exclaimed, incorrectly finishing Jory’s sentence. He clapped his hands together once more.
“So, I’m a bit of a trickster myself.” Diesa vainly explained to the demi-God. “What kind of moves do you have?”
Sheeboo glanced at Diesa. “Ever tried this?”
Squatting, the bright-eyed halfling began to very mundanely wiggle his arms in the motion of a wave. Diesa furrowed her brow, but said nothing.
“How long have you been doing… this?” Jory asked.
“Oh, just about a minute now.” Sheeboo called as he continued to wriggle his arms.
“Ah, I’m just being facetious, little one. Do you mean to ask how long I’ve been wandering the planes, often as a goose, deploying chaotic tricks on innocent strangers?”
“Three-hundred and seventy-two years, eight months, and twenty-two days. Roughly.”
The group pondered this, and asked Sheeboo whether this was how he had always lived. He explained that before becoming Sheeboo, the God of trickery, he was just a regular halfling that grew up on a goose farm, with an affinity for tricks and messing with others.
“There have been Sheeboos before me,” he explained, “The previous Sheeboo was a bit more malicious than I am; I just like to shit in people’s rooms when they make fun of me. By the way Jory, my nose is not that big, I saw how you portrayed me in that beef jerky portrait. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, my predecessor. He was a right prick. He would steal peoples’ faces and become them. He would sneak up behind his victim, and they would be all like ‘oh my!’ and Sheeboo would be like ‘ha-ha!’’ and he would take your face and you would become a faceless, lifeless lump of goo. Sheeboo would then become you. Well, Sheeboo. But in your face.”
Jory considered this, “So… how did you become Sheeboo?’
“Excellent question. While I am quite literally now a God, I was never religious in my previous life. But, I heard of this Sheeboo trickster and, like any reasonable halfling would, I decided to prank the trickster God. I played a wonderful, helpless little halfling.‘’Oh its me I’m a helpless goose farmer’s son with a pretty face!’, and then I went into the haybarn, and Sheeboo followed. When he snuck up on me, he knew not that I had taken my mother’s looking glass. I devised a contraption to put it in front of my face. When I turned, Sheeboo saw his own face in the reflection, effectively stealing his own face!.”
The Demigod laughed boisterously, as if he had just delivered the most spectacular punchline. Recovering from his laughter, he said, “Now, Sheeboo is me!”
“Does… anyone worship you?” Diesa asked, eyeing Sheeboo.
“Oh, a few. Would you like to? I could use more followers.”
“What is the method of worship?”
“I don’t know. Trick people? Nothing crass of course, I’m not fond of stealing faces.”
A few moments of silence passed as the group considered the development the day had brought them. They caught the goose, who was not actually a goose, and found out that he was a God that took pleasure in nothing more than creating chaos and confusion in His wake.
“So, you’re a God.” Elora began, as a thought crept into her mind.
“Can you… restore memories?” She asked, and Sheeboo raised an eyebrow at the Elf, a glimmer in his eye.
“Yes, but I’d like something in exchange. Worship.”
Elora paused, “What does that entail?”
Before Sheeboo could answer, Drusilla suggested it meant that she needs to honk nightly before bed. Sheeboo clapped his hands.
“Yes! It does now! Every night, no matter who you are with, I insist you honk loudly before you rest, thrice. You also need to take some things that don’t belong to you, instill confusion unto others, and please just don’t be dark and mellow and bleh about everything. I like my worshipers to be happy, light, bubbly.”
Suspicious, Diesa cut in, “How do we know you’ll restore Elora’s memory as it was?”
“You don’t! I’m the Trickster God.” Sheeboo responded with a wink.
“Elora, I just need you to say ‘I love you Sheeboo, restore my memory! I trust you completely.’ and we can get on with it!”
The group faltered, considering the option and the very real possibility that Sheeboo would find a way to turn Elora’s memory restoration into a trick, somehow. Drusilla turned her attention to Gulu.
“Gulu, did this satisfy your request?”
“Oh yes, above and beyond my wildest expectations,” Gulu responded with a glint in their eye. The snow elf was deriving much pleasure from simply watching the exchange unfold between Sheeboo and the Brunch Club.
Drusilla nodded in agreement, turning her attention back to Sheeboo, “Sheeboo, I ask this very respectfully, but may I have a feather from your cloak?’
Sheeboo scoffed, “No. May I have a feather from your Raven Queen?”
“I don’t have that power!” Drusilla cried, aghast.
“How unimaginative. Can you try?” Sheeboo pleaded, like a child begging for treats.He skipped toward Drusilla and took her hands in his.
“Pray with me!” He exclaimed, “How do you start? Do you honk?”
Drusilla wavered, finally relenting. “I guess… we can try to contact her.”
Drusilla began to pray to her God. “Raven Queen, we are in the strangest situation. We’ve… met The Goose God, Sheeboo, and -”
“God Of Trickery,” he interjected.
“God Of trickery.” Drusilla repeated after him.
“The undying one,” he continued.
“The Undying One.”
“And, add that I’m a fabulous dancer.”
Drusilla shot Sheeboo a look, but continued, “and… he is a most fabulous dancer. He would really like to meet you. We’re in a bit of a strange situation.”
Moments passed in silence.
“Raven Queen?” Sheeboo called, his voice ringing throughout the cavern. “If you can hear me, I just wanted to say… you’re kind of a bitch!”
Sheeboo wiped his hands against one another, pleased with himself. “Ah, I do hope she was listening.”
Sheeboo ran a hand along the side of his cloak, and plucked a single white feather with a touch of grey, handing it to Drusilla. “Put it to good use,” he said, winking at the elf. She nodded, and set the feather into her bag of holding.
“So are we just having a slumber party until Rajat gets here?” Sheeboo asked, he plopped himself onto the cavern floor childishly, and looked up at the group expectant for an answer.
“Well, we were going to go bring our map back to him to show him where the touchpoint is,” Jory exclaimed, and Sheeboo yawned dramatically.
“Bo-ring.” He sang, “Would you like me to just portal the crazy druid here?”
“You… know Rajat?” Salys asked.
“Ha! Of course I do. Like I said, he’s crazy, and not the fun Great Aunt Nancy showed up to the winter festival with two blunts and a bottle of gin, crazy. He’s a bit more like ‘Uncle Jimmy with an axe, yelling at everyone and chasing the goats’ crazy. No one really wants to tell him to stop because they might… die.”
“Anyway,” Sheeboo laughed, ”Would you like me to restore your memory, Elora?”
The elf paused, taking a deep breath. She had been chasing her memories for so long, and was surprised at how uncertain she felt now faced with the opportunity to learn the truth about who she was.
“Promise me, you won’t remove any of my memories?” Elora asked Sheeboo nervously.
“Pinky promise!” Sheeboo exclaimed, reaching his pinky out toward the elf. They intertwined fingers in agreement.
“Now, the rest of you. I need you to dance and honk please, it will help me focus.”
They began to honk, dancing about the cave as Gulu watched. His face was still, but his eyes shimmered in amusement. Sheeboo gestured to Elora to kneel, and as she did so he rested a hand on her forehead, closing his eyes to concentrate.
An uncomfortable sensation rushed through Elora’s head, and her eyes began to water. The back of her head pounded as memories came flooding back to her in overwhelming waves.
She remembered that she was born in the jungles of Tenochtilan. She remembered a childhood filled with passion toward folklore and stories of monsters, growing up to love the challenge of the hunt. A vignette of hunts seemed to play across her mind, portraying a young Elora battling monsters and developing her skills with a bow, all to help those that were powerless against the beasts plaguing them.
Elora remembered leaving her home and traveling Twell, and eventually meeting a group of like-minded adventurers to form a hunting party – the Obsidian Watch. She remembered hunting a powerful vampire named Tepesh Torhovista, who had been posing as a powerful noble in the court of the Drazaenian Empire.
While on the hunt for the vampire, Elora and her party travelled to the Bloodwood Forest to gain information about Tepesh. Here, they inquired with wood elves and met Rajat. During her stay in the forest, Rajat continuously pursued Elora’s affections, making unwelcome advances and trying to gain her favor obsessively. Elora remembered her repulsion at the sight of him, and the need to continuously, and aggressively, deny his pursuits.
Crashing a party flush with aristocrats and attempting to kill the vampire by poisoning his drink, which failed. Following the vampire back to his estate, they laid a trap for him. The plan failed, as the vampire had been aware that there was someone – or something – on his trail. The vampire vanquished two of her companions, Alexis Sinclair and Bearclaw, and knocked Elora unconscious. She remembered awakening in his dungeon, chained to the wall. There, the vampire drew out her memories one-by-one, consuming them and using them to gain power.
When he had had his fill of her memories, he banished her to the Feywild. There, Elora was sent on quests by the Fey to gain their favor, and they eventually agreed to send her back to her home plane, ejecting her into the Sable Forest.
As the memories came flooding back, tears streamed down Elora’s face. She stood shakily.
“Oh, my God,” she whispered in shock.
“You might… want to take a moment and process,” Sheeboo said gently, looking at Elora with knowing eyes.
“No.” Elora responded immediately. “I want to see Rajat. Now.”
The Brunch Club formed a circle, preparing for the Trickster God to deliver Rajat to the Cavern.
“Sheeboo, will you help us if this gets combative?” Drusilla asked, and Sheeboo shook his head.
“Goodness no,” he responded, and then the Trickster God began to concentrate. Although he remained physically in the cavern, it was clear his presence was elsewhere.
“Would you like to teleport?” He asked, and the Brunch Club heard no reply. Sheeboo paused a moment.
“Ah, wrong answer!”
The Trickster God bowed, and stepped back. Before the Brunch Club materialized the figure of Rajat, squatting and indisposed. He fell backwards, and scrambled to retrieve his garments. Sheeboo stepped away.
“Nice butt!” Jory cried, and Rajat scowled at the halfling.
“How the hell did I get here? Did you.. teleport me?” His voice was terse and angry, and he flushed when his gaze met Elora’s stone-cold stare.
“We don’t have that power.” Responded Salys, her arms crossed. “But, it turns out we know some powerful, erm, people.”
“Welcome to the portal,” Drusilla said, gesturing toward Gulu and the portal they guarded.
Rajat’s expression softened. “Well done.” He said, staring in awe at Gulu. He stepped toward the winter elf, eyes transfixed on the gateway behind them.
“Not so fast. I believe you owe Elora something?” Drusilla called to him, and Rajat paused.
“Yes, of course. Your memories.” Rajat took a deep breath. “I didn’t want to force it on you, because you couldn’t remember, Elora. But, when you came to the Bloodwood, you eventually relented to joining me for a romantic evening. It may seem hard to believe, but we got along very well, and a blossoming romance grew between us – we fell very hard for one another, Elora, and it was so difficult knowing that you were back.” He looked at Elora with pleading eyes, his voice choked.
“I was bitter you left me in the Bloodwood, but now, we can go to the Feywild together and start a new life together.”
Elora kept her face expressionless, knowing all too well that Rajat was lying outright about their history together. Unable to read her face, Rajat continued, “Please, think about it, Elora. Take your time, but I want you with me.”
Elora said nothing.
“Do you remember… at all?” Rajat asked, and she sighed.
“I can’t say it’s ringing any bells.” The ranger responded, and Drusilla and Salys saw Rajat release a small sigh of relief.
“But, that’s probably because none of that ever happened. Isn’t it, Rajat?” Elora finally revealed.
Rajat stepped back, placing a hand to his chest, feigning insult. “What? It-it did!”
“No, Rajat. I was disgusted by you. You tried to force your way close to me, and it was pathetic.”
“You lost your memory-” Rajat started, and Elora interjected.
“I got it back.”
“You’ve been gone 14 days; there’s no way you somehow had your memories returned to you in the time since you left me.” Rajat exclaimed.
“I did.” said Elora coldly.
Rajat looked flustered, grasping for words. “Y-you’re mistaken. You’re wrong! You fell in love – w-we made love, it was beautiful. Please, Elora. We can go through the portal together.” Rajat was now stammering. He reached for Elora, and she recoiled, shaking her head.
“You… ignorant bitch!” Rajat yelled, suddenly enraged. “We could have something wonderful and you are THROWING IT AWAY.”
“HEY!” Yelled Jory. “Watch yourself. You’re outnumbered.”
“It smells like wet stag in here,” Salys added, her nose wrinkling.
“Hey Gulu,” called Elora over her shoulder, “Do you think we should let this guy through the portal?”
Gulu looked Rajat up and down with disdain, and cooly shook their head. “I think not.”
Rajat shook with rage. His grip tightened on his staff, knuckles turning white. Jory noted the familiarity of the staff – they had seen it once before at Saberhagan’s, being shipped to a new owner. The fine craftsmanship and intricate, magical looking runes stood out to him.
Jory reacted quickly, perhaps hastily. He ran toward Rajat, and landed a flurry of punches while aiming for a cluster of nerves in his back. Two hits missed, but a third connected. The surprised and unarmored Rajat stood stunned and helpless before him.
Jory swung once more at Rajat, striking him across the face in anger. “That’s for lying to my friend.”
Drusilla grinned, anxious to attack the malicious, disgusting druid before her. Her hands glowed as she cast guiding bolt, which struck him with brutal force. The silver-black ray of energy exploded into his shoulder, tearing through flesh and muscle. Rajat staggered backward, gasping.
Diesa stared at the stunned, wounded Rajat, and loaded her crossbow. She first grabbed a regular bolt, and quickly thought to herself, “That won’t do, will it?”
She drew another instead – a bolt dipped in poison. Smirking, and only a few feet away from Rajat, she raised her aim and locked her gaze onto his wide, fearful eyes.
It drove into his clavicle, and blood spurt from the wound. Diesa almost reached for another bolt, but decided to relinquish her opportunity for another shot. Instead, she gestured to Elora. “Elora, take care of this guy, yeah?”
Elora nodded back at her companion, turning her gaze to Rajat. Her eyes were intense as she grabbed her phoenix arrow from her pack. She touched her finger to its fine tip, a droplet of blood forming.
She smiled, satisfied, “I just sharpened it. I don’t take very kindly to manipulation, you see. You tried to destroy towns filled with innocent people, just to get my attention. You tried to lie to me to convince me to be with you. Rajat, you just might be the most vile monster I’ve ever had the pleasure of killing. You’re definitely the most pathetic.” She smirked as she set the phoenix arrow aflame.
Rajat, still stunned, whimpered in fear.
Elora drew back her arrow, and shot the first flaming arrow into the Druid’s chest. She drew a second arrow, aiming a little higher. It drove directly into his eye socket, and he crumpled to the ground.
The arrow returned itself to Elora’s quiver. Rajat crumpled. “But you loved me,” he said weakly, then died on the forest floor.
Elora sat down, catching her breath, and Drusilla stepped toward her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Are you okay?” She asked.
Elora shook her head. “I really… don’t know.”
Salys turned to Gulu. “How’s that for interesting?’
The ice elf smiled wryly, “I’ve gotten much more than I bargained for, from The Brunch Club.”
Drusilla grabbed Rajat’s staff, putting it into the bag of holding with their other possessions. Meanwhile, Jory checked for other items, finding a series of ingredients, powders, and dried mushrooms in his possession.
“What should we do… with the body?” They asked, and agreed the easiest method of disposal would be to toss his body into the Feywild.
“He wanted to go to the Feywild,” Diesa shrugged, and they agreed it would be only right to deliver him. Together, Jory and Diesa hoisted his body through the portal.
Sheeboo sat atop one of the henges, his toes dangling down from above.
He called down to the party, “Oh you devious little minxes! A bit dark for my taste, but quite creative.. Imagine an elf just wandering through the Fey and plop! Down falls Rajat’s body, out of the blue. How… chaotic.” Sheeboo mused, a smile on his face. “What splendid worshippers I have!”
“Um… Sheeboo,” Drusilla asked cautiously. “Any chance you could teleport us back home?”
The Trickster God smiled, “Yes. Are you all ready?”
They nodded, bracing to be teleported. “Thank you, Gulu, thank you Sheeboo!” They cried, and Sheeboo clapped.
Very briefly, everything went dark, and the six members of the Brunch Club experienced the sensation of falling. They landed on their backs, groaning as they propped themselves up from their fallen position.
The party found themselves in a dark, wet cave. The air was cold, and they could hear wind howling outside of the cavern. When Drusilla cast dancing lights to illuminate the cave, they noticed a steel, humanoid figure lying on its back. Its body was covered in crystals and etched with dwarven writing.
“SAM!” Elora cried out and ran toward him. She knelt down, but he was dark and silent.
Salys noticed a drawing etched into one of the cave’s stone walls. It was a crude, but recognizable drawing of a robot holding hands with an elf with a bow. Next to them were figures of another elf, a dwarf, a halfling, a gnome, and a giant pygmy owl.
Beneath the figures, written in Dwarvish, was the word, “Friends.”
“Guys…” Jory whispered, his voice wavering with fear. “I think we’re in the Feywild.”
At least that’s what the party thinks and have thought for the ten months since we were last able to play. I figured as the DM since we don’t know when we’ll be able to play in person next, now is as good a time as ever to tell them that they are not in the Feywild. I let them stew on it since they decided to let the God of Trickery teleport them. Much like a God of Trickery would be expected to do, he tricked them. They’re about a hundred feet down the very same mountain they were on previously. They have a very long trek ahead of them.
I also added this part on after the episode was written to keep the secret for just a little longer.
Thank you for listening to Season One of Tales of The Brunch Club.
If you’ve enjoyed the story so far, please rate and review our first season on iTunes.
We don’t have a start date for Season 2 yet, but starting in January we’ll be posting our new, online campaign, “Darkbrew Monster Vanguard” on YouTube. The audio for those episodes will be available on this podcast channel, but please come and check out the new campaign, and other videos on our Rescued By Dragons YouTube Channel and visit us for more Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy content at rescuedbydragons.com. Thank you so much for listening. .
Episode 52 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.
The audio recording of our DnD game session that inspired this episode will be available on our podcast channel this Thursday under the name, Brunch Club LIVE!
Additional role-playing contributions to the story by:
The recording of our Dungeons and Dragons game session that inspired this episode will be available on our podcast channel this Thursday under the name, Brunch Club LIVE!
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