Brunch Club LIVE! 040 DnD Game Play

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 040 “Scarecrows, Pirates and Gnolls, Oh My!”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 040 “Scarecrows, Pirates & Gnolls, Oh My!”

Listen Here

Listen on YouTube

Transcript

Welcome to Episode 40 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy 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 story 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…

In episode 39, the Brunch Club devised a plan to kill two birds with one stone by pitting pirate against gnoll. Diesa forged a note to Captain Santiago, informing him that the treasure of Bonlodier was located in a cave to the North of Wheaton.

Despite this being fake news, the pirates were hooked and were seen dragging a cannon out of town equipped with grapeshot and fist-sized iron balls.

As the Brunch Club anxiously awaited the outcome of their plan, they tended to various needs at the Lighthouse. Bored and seeking entertainment, Diesa pitched a prank competition against Jory, who inadvertently dodged several attempts made against him, finally succumbing to a dirty prank enacted by Salys.

Several days later, the group scried on Captain Santiago, revealing a bloodied, scarred captain with two crew members running desperately for their lives.

Chapter 40 “Scarecrows, Pirates and Gnolls, Oh My!”

The weather was cold and grey when the brunch club set out the next morning, each exhale producing small white clouds of breath against the frigid morning air.

Elora led the party through the forest as they followed the deep, inset tracks of the cannon Captain Santiago’s crew had dragged to the gnoll encampment. With luck, or potentially misfortune, they hoped to intercept the small crew of pirates as they fled back to Wheaton.

One day into their travels, there was still no sign of the nefarious pirate crew. The party decided to set up camp for the night, taking turns on watch for the marauders or other monsters. They gathered around a small fire to ward off the cold bite of the winter air.

“So,” Drusilla began, “what should we do once we catch up to these pirates?”

The question was posed to the group, but each member was keenly aware of whose decision it really was. They looked to Jory for a response. The halfling was sitting cross-legged, a small trail of wine dripping to the bottom of his chin. He stared at the flames.

“Jory?” Diesa asked, prodding for a response. “Interrogate? Torture? Kill? Any of those sound like good options?”

Jory snapped out of his trance. “Oh, uh. I mean… I-I think we should interrogate them, and after that… a dead pirate is a good pirate.”

He looked to Diesa, “I think I need a disguise, though. If they recognize me… it might be trouble for us. Like, life or death trouble”

Diesa nodded, unfurling a pack with a variety of paints, adhesives, and dyes to help craft elaborate disguises. Diesa meticulously set to transforming Jory, elaborately detailing each wrinkle, bag of skin, and grey hair. When she was finished, his only distinguishing feature was the smell of alcohol on his breath.

“Welcome back, Gerry Atric.” She stated smugly as she appreciated her work.

It was early dawn the next day when Diesa and Drusilla heard the snapping of twigs outside the encampment. They looked to one another, and Drusilla nodded. Several more twigs snapped, and soon they could hear the thumping of boots, wheezing, and huffing.

Diesa quickly shuffled toward her companions, shaking each awake as Drusilla’s voice cut through the still air.

“Halt!” She exclaimed.

The shape of Captain Santiago and two crew members soon appeared in the early dawn light. The pirates were dirty, bloodied, and haggard in appearance, although it was unclear if this was a recent development or a consistent style choice. Captain Santiago’s coat was torn, and he donned a traditional pirate’s hat on his head. An enormous Macaw Parrot sat on his shoulder.

The rattled ship captain held his hands up in front of him, peering back over his shoulder in trepidation. He spoke in a gruff voice, “We don’t want any trouble with ye ma’am, we’ll just be on our way.”

The captain tip-toed around a root as he spoke, eyeing the elf.

“Neither do we,” Drusilla began, calm, “but, please, stay and have a word with us.”

The captain raised an eyebrow, “Well I’m sure yer company would be lovely,” he paused, looking Drusilla up and down, “but we had a bit of a run-in and really best be on our way.” The captain said, eager to keep moving.

“I insist. Stay.” Drusilla continued. The two pirates beside Captain Santiago faltered, looking to their captain for a directive.

“Pardon?” The Captain asked, now defensive.

Realizing she was perhaps coming off a bit strong, Drusilla softened her expression. “It’s just,” she continued, “we’re heading in the direction you just came from, and to be honest, you don’t look so good. If you’d just had a run-in… we’d really like to know what happened so that we can be prepared.”

Santiago sighed, “Fuckin’ daffodils and roses. We got some bad intel.”

Across the campsite, Jory stood up, theatrically groaning as he rose to a hunched position. Salys shot him a warning glance, trying to prevent the halfling from drawing attention to himself.

“Now, now, no need for such language!” Jory wheezed, cracking his back with a flourish.

“Uhh, good morning Grandpa,” Salys said as Jory reached over and squeezed her cheek.

“Good morning my beautiful granddaughter!” Drunk from the night before, he stumbled a bit. The pirates eyed the halfling but continued their attempt to tip-toe around the camp.

“Oh not so fast, gents! You look hurt!” Jory called to them, “You must be hungry! Please, let us help patch you up and get you a little snack.”

Suspicious, but clearly in need, the pirates relented. The party shared some meager rations with the worn pirates, and Jory grabbed his medical kit. His heart racing, Jory motioned to the pirates to draw nearer so he could tend to their wounds. As they approached, the stench of sweat and body odor cut through the air.

Captain Santiago’s shoulder was gashed, and his torn jacket matted with blood. The other pirates were covered in cuts, and one limped toward the fire. The silence was palpable and tense.

“I like your bird, what’s his name?” Drusilla asked, attempting to break the silence with small talk.

“George.” Captain Santiago responded, curt. The bright red parrot shuffled on his shoulder.

“Does George talk?” She pressed.

“Sometimes,” he side-eyed the bird. “George?” The enormous parrot simply fluffed its feathers, its beady eyes locked in a staring contest with Pip, who sat on Salys’ shoulder.

Pip, for a Pygmy owl, looked enormous. He had puffed his feathers and chest, staring back at the parrot as if to say, ‘come at me, bro’.

“George here has a taste for… shiny things” Santiago explained, as George cocked his head to the left.

Salys laughed, “Hm, we know someone like that.” She gave Diesa a look, and the corners of Diesa’s lips twitched slightly, almost as if to smile. She prodded at the fire as George cawed, “How much is it worth?!”

Sick of the small talk, Diesa looked up at Captain Santiago. “It looks like you had quite the encounter, for daffodils and roses. What was back there?”

He grunted. “Gnolls is what they’re called. They… walk like men, but they have the face of hyenas. Smelled like ‘em too.” His face twisted in disgust. “There was this one fucker, who had a three-headed flail. With one swing he took out three of my men.”

“That sounds awful,” Drusilla responded, “Were you able to take any of them out?”

“We got a few with our cannon, but that fucker with the flail smashed it to smithereens before too long.”

“I don’t know if we should go North, guys,” Jory responded, making his voice sound weak.

Captain Santiago eyed Jory, suddenly skeptical. “What’s yer name?’ He asked.

“Uh, Gerry.” He responded, looking down to avoid eye contact with the pirate.

Salys quickly intervened. “Yep! He’s my grandpa! He’s seen better days, but he’s a great forager.”

“Your grandfather is a halfling?” The pirate captain speculated, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, uh… hehe. It’s a long story,” Salys began, “Root Run is a weird place.”

“It’s the third century, not the dark ages!” Gerry added with an anxious laugh.

Captain Santiago paused, and then straightened himself. “Well uh. We appreciate the fire and food but it’s really time we head off. Best of luck to yer crew.”

The pirates began to slowly back away from the fire, and the members of the brunch club began eyeing one another desperately, unsure of how to proceed.

Breaking character, Jory unhunched his back and spoke in his normal voice, calling after the retreating pirate captain. “Yeah, I bet you have to get back to the ship, right Captain?”

To his dismay, they seemed to begin walking with more fervor.

“Fuck,” Elora whispered. “Jory – shoot to kill, or no?”

Jory pondered for a moment. “Kill the spares, keep Santiago alive.” Then, maniacally, Jory sprinted after the pirates, launching a series of attacks with his darts. Despite his comically elder appearance, there was a nimble grace to his stumbling gait.

“Well, I guess we’re fighting.” Diesa pulled out her shortbow, sinking an arrow into the shoulder of one of the pirates. He grunted but continued to run.

Elora was next to shoot after pirates, narrowly missing one with her arrow.

“Ah, I’m rusty,” Elora muttered, annoyed. She knocked another arrow, following the movement of one of Santiago’s henchmen and taking a deep, calming breath. She loosed the arrow, which sank deep into the pirate’s skull. He fell forward, dead on impact.

Beside her, Salys’ eyes glowed green, her eyes locking on Captain Santiago. In moments, a ball of fire erupted from her fingertips, landing square on his back. He lurched forward, the leather of his coat bubbling from the heat. Despite her deadly aim, Santiago quickly recovered and continued running.

The party continued desperately launching attacks against the pirates as they ran. Jory, enraged and fearful of losing his opportunity for retribution, dashed after the pirate captain, shooting darts through the air.

“You didn’t find your map, did you, Captain?” He shouted, all adrenalin.

“Goddamn it,” Diesa muttered. Jory was out of range, squarely between the party and the retreating pirates. “What a shit show.” She groaned and began sprinting after her Halfling companion, whom she had grown begrudgingly fond of.

As she ran, she drew her shortbow, shooting, and missing Captain Santiago. “Fuck!” she yelled.

Elora followed suit, quickly firing a series of arrows at Captain Santiago and eventually hitting him square in the back. To her surprise, the captain continued this sprint. He was in rough shape, limping, bloodied, and air wheezing reluctantly from his lungs.

Salys shot another fireball at the captain, hitting him once more. He spun on his heel, raging. “I thought it was you,” Santiago shouted, glaring at Jory. He drew his pistol, shooting at his once-captive and narrowly missing.

“Dude, I’m right here!” Jory taunted. The Captain seemed to weigh his options momentarily. Quickly, he returned his pistol to his belt and began running once more, aware his life was on the line.

The Brunch Club continued their pursuit, fearful of what would happen should the pirates make it back to their ship. Arrows, darts, and magical attacks sang through the air, bringing down Santiago’s remaining companion.

Despite his resilience, a shot from Elora’s bow finally brought Captain Santigo to his demise.

Salys sighed. “We forgot about George.”

Quickly, she warged into Pip, flying off to locate the giant talking parrot. When she returned to her own body, she pointed him out to Elora.

A few feet away, Diesa had devised her own plan, scattering gold pieces around her feet in an attempt to attract the treasure-loving bird. She waited, ready to strike when George landed.

With terrifying accuracy, Elora shot the parrot with one of her arrows, killing him instantly. George plummeted in a blur of red feathers toward the scattered gold, landing in front of Diesa with a massive thud.

“Take this, bird-brain!” Diesa shouted as she drove the head of her axe through the parrot corpse, cleaving it in half.

“Don’t worry guys, I got him!” Diesa reported back to the party, returning her axe to her belt.


The party made quick work of looting the pirate corpses, yielding several gold pieces, a hand crossbow, and one half of a “Rockie Talkie”. With some effort, they dragged the corpses away from the trail, agreeing that the owlbears would surely enjoy the feast.

Discussing their next steps, they agreed that the best move would be to return to town to check on the pirate’s activities – it was possible Santiago had used his Rockie Talkie to tell his crew they had encountered gnolls, and the crew would soon realize their Captain is late to return.

Preparing to head back toward Wheaton, the party heard a shuffling behind them. Turning, three animated scarecrows approached and took hold of the pirate corpses, dragging them into the woods toward the gnoll fortress.

Diesa charged at one of the scarecrows, but as she ran toward them, she quickly froze. A deep fear ran through her body, and she found herself unable to move. Quickly, the rest of the party jumped to her aid.

Jory was able to stun one of the scarecrows, and Drusilla struck another with her guiding bolt. To finish the job, Elora and Salys quickly shot them down with a slew of lightning, fire bolts, and Phoenix arrow fire.

When the last of the scarecrows fell, Diesa jolted, released from her paralysis. She gasped for air. “Please,” she breathed, “can we get out of this fucking forest?”


The Brunch Club made it back to town on time for dinner and agreed that a visit to Saberhagen was in order once more. Leaving the dimly lit restaurant, they made a pitstop at the lighthouse to retrieve catnip for their feline patron.

To their shock, the lighthouse was in disarray. Drusilla’s potion materials were scattered throughout the lighthouse, and the bunk room was covered in giant white bird droppings.

Inspecting the droppings, Elora sighed. “Guys. This is definitely goose shit.”

Salys sighed, waving her hand to cast prestidigitation. In a moment, the white droppings disappeared. “Fucking goose.”

“Fucking goose.” The others agreed.

Drusilla continued up to the tower, the smell of greenery growing strong as she entered her greenhouse. To her dismay, the catnip hadn’t grown as much as they had hoped. She cast a plant growth spell on the plants in the room.

It was unsurprising that the plants began to grow, but Drusilla was shocked as the catnip erupted from their pots. Several window panes cracked as the plants burst out through the windows of the lighthouse.

“Oops!” Drusilla called from above. The elf disentangled herself from the vines and made her way downstairs.

“We might… need a different present for Saberhagen,” she observed, telling them the catnip needed time to dry. She dusted off her leather pants and sighed. After a moment of thought, Drusilla pulled a bright red parrot feather from her pouch and attached it to some string and a stick.

Satisfied with her work, she looked at her companions. “This should do!”


At the Sun Spot, the party presented Saberhagen with his gift, to which he purred with delight. “Oh my gods, you shouldn’t have!”

“Jenkins! Pick up that string and make the feather wiggle!” He exclaimed to Jenkins, circling his feet. Jenkins clapped twice with acknowledgment and dutifully took hold of the stick, bouncing the bright parrot feather through the air as Saberhagen beat at it with his paws.

“So, uh,” he continued as he swatted at the feather. “What can I help you with this eeeevening?”

The Brunch Club recounted their activity over the past two days.

Salys held out the scarecrow mask to the playing cat, “We took this… we were hoping it might help you scry on Rajat if it was sent by him.”

The wizard purred, “only one way to find out.”

Dismissing Jenkins, Saberhagen began his scrying spell, gazing into the still water of the shallow bowl. The Brunch Club stood silent, anxiously awaiting to hear his findings. Saberhagen’s tail twitched furiously.

When Saberhagen’s spell ended, a look of concern was washed over his feline face.

“I saw him,” he hissed. He looked at the group. “It’s not good.”

“What did you see?” Drusilla asked, encouraging the wizard to continue.

Saberhagen looked at her with a serious expression. “He was… speaking to his Warband of gnolls. He was speaking to a large one, with a flail on his hip.” He shook his head. “He looked furious…”

“What did he say?” Jory asked.

The party stared anxiously at the cat, waiting for his answer.

“He said, ‘Burn it to the ground.’” Saberhagen told them gravely.

Our tale will continue in Episode 41

Episode 40 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!

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

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!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please help us out by sharing it with your friends and rating and reviewing us on your favorite podcast platform. We’d really appreciate it.

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support and follow us can be found at RescuedByDragons.com.

Thank you for listening, and please join me next week to see what my players’ choices, and the roll of the dice, have in store.

Brunch Club LIVE! 039 DnD Game Play

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 039 “Fist-Sized Balls”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 039 “Fist-Sized Balls”

Listen Here

Listen on YouTube

Transcript

Welcome to Episode 39 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy 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 & Dragons campaign this story is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, changed my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 38, The Brunch Club scouted the gnoll encampment to the north and discovered it fully fortified. Elora merged her consciousness with Copper’s and snuck within earshot of the camp. She learned the gnoll shaman was performing a ritual to turn an ordinary gnoll into a super gnoll called a Flind.

On the way back to Wheaton they encountered a larger than average white goose who tried to steal Jory’s spatula. They feared it might be Rajat wildshaped into goose form and attacked it. All of their attacks either failed to hit or did no damage. The goose vanished before they could attempt to attack it again.

And now…

Episode 39: Fist-Sized Balls

The Brunch Club sat in Saberhagen’s cozy upstairs study. Jory tossed bits of cooked fish to Saberhagen as the rest of the group discussed what to do about the gnolls to the north.

The group agreed they could not simply sit and wait for Wheaton to be attacked again.

“We could try to find Chad and Thad,” Salys suggested.

“They’d want us to pay them,” said Elora.

“We could offer them a share of the loot,”

“Even if these guys are that good, two more people isn’t going to make a difference against a bunch of gnolls, a flind, and Rajat,” the Ranger countered.

“We could start a rumor that there’s treasure in the cave,” Diesa quipped. “Maybe a few groups of adventurers would go up there looking for it and thin their ranks a bit.”

“Sounds promising,” said Drusilla. “But how do we start that rumor?”

Elora chuckled, “That sounds like the perfect job for Salys and Diesa.”

Salys sat up. She enthusiastically suggested, “Diesa and I could go to a thieve’s bar and pretend to have a quiet conversation about the treasure and how to get it…”

“But it wouldn’t really be quiet,” said Diesa, finishing the thought for her.

“Um, guys,” Jory interjected. “As promising as that sounds, we’d be sending people to their probable death. I don’t feel good about killing innocent… well, innocent thieves.”

The group sat in deflated silence. Saberhagen looked at Jory and cleared his throat, indicating that the halfling should resume feeding him.

“Oh, sorry,” Jory said to him. “I was just thinking…” his voice trailed off as he rummaged through his pack. He withdrew the map to the Lost Treasure of Bonlodhir and placed it next to Saberhagen. “You could scry on someone who’s touched that, right?”

“I could,” Saberhagen confirmed, then added, “but a description of the person would help immensely.”

Jory described Captain Santiago and his ship, “The Rod’s Curse” to the wizard in every detail he could remember.

“Jenkins!” Saberhagen called out to his familiar. The sound of two quick handclaps came from another room. “Bring me the scrying bowl!”


Saberhagen stared into the glowing water that filled the shallow bowl. “I see him,” he said. “The captain and his ship are in a cove just to the north of Elnor.”

An uncharacteristically evil grin formed on Jory’s face. “I think I have a plan,” he said. “Why don’t we give The Rod’s Curse an ‘anonymous’ tip that the ‘halfling and the map they seek’ are in a fortified cave to the northwest of Elnor? Let’s have them take out some gnolls for us.”

“How do you know the gnolls won’t kill them instead?” asked Salys.

“Who cares?” answered the halfling. “The worst-case scenario is the gnolls kill the pirates. Best case scenario is they wipe out each other.”

“I thought you didn’t want to see innocent people get killed?” Drusilla said.

Jory’s face fell into a dark expression. Images of strangers and friends left to burn and drown flickered through his mind. “They’re not innocent,” he stated with conviction.

“I like this plan!” exclaimed Diesa. “I’m all in!”

Diesa forged a note she was confident would bait greedy pirates. They sent it to the ship via carrier pigeon.

In exchange for the promise of more fish, Saberhagen agreed to scry on Captain Santiago once a day to track the pirates’ progress or see if they even took the bait.


Drusilla spent the following morning trimming and watering her plants. The crop of catnip she started cultivating in the windows of her alchemy lab was growing nicely. Once she was finished she took a moment to appreciate the magnificent view of the harbor the top of the former lighthouse afforded her. That was when she saw it.

“Get up here now guys! You need to see this!” she shouted down to her companions.

The rest of The Brunch Club rushed up to the top floor. They followed Drusilla’s gaze out into the harbor.

“Ho-ly fuck,” said Diesa.

“Is that..?” Elora began asking.

“The Rod’s Curse?” finished Jory. “Yeah. It is. What the hell are they doing here?”

“They probably looked at a map and realized this was the shortest way to the gnoll camp by land,” said Elora.

“What do we do?” Jory asked. There was panic in his voice.

“Nothing,” Drusilla said calmly. “We stay here and watch them.”

They watched the Rod’s Curse glide into the harbor, drop its sails, and tie up at the main dock. The ex-navy ship dwarfed the small fishing boats around it. With military precision, the crew unloaded a cannon with two large wheels fixed to each side. Fifteen pirates disembarked and marched into town, led by Captain Santiago.

From their perch above the harbor, they watched the captain and two pirates go into Druron’s blacksmith shop while the rest milled about outside with the cannon.

After a few minutes, the three men emerged from Druron’s. The pirates marched through Wheaton’s north gate and into the forest.

“What now?” Jory asked.

“Let’s go see what they wanted with Druron,” said Drusilla.

“There’s still about five or ten pirates left on that ship,” Jory said worriedly. “Maybe I should stay here.”

“No problem,” Diesa reassured him. “We’ll just get you back to being Jerry Atric.”


The Brunch Club, with Jory disguised as an old halfling, stood in Druron’s blacksmith shop.

“They seemed pretty odd to me,” Druron admitted to them after being asked about his visit from the three strangers. “Usually when ships like that come in they want things repaired. Fittings, turnbuckles, that kind of thing. These guys just wanted grape and chain shot.”

“Grape and chain shot?” asked Drusilla.

“Grapeshot is a lot of little iron balls that get shot from a cannon at once,” Jory explained. “It’s used for killing soldiers on deck. Chain shot is two fist-sized balls connected by a chain. They’re for bringing down masts or tearing through rigging and sails.”

“Heh, you said “fist-sized balls,” snickered Elora. Salys and Diesa snickered.

“Did you sell that stuff to them?” Drusilla asked.

“Only the grapeshot. I have to make the chain shot. They said they’d be back in 3 or 4 days to pick it up.”

“Man, ship battles sound terrifying,” said Salys as they left Druron’s and headed to the Sun Spot.

“Yeah,” said Jory softly.


“They are in the forest heading in the direction you told them to,” said Saberhagen as he stared into the scrying bowl. “They are moving at a steady pace, but the cannon is slowing them down.”

“Are they saying anything?” Drusilla asked.

“No,” answered Saberhagen.

“It took us almost two days to get there and we didn’t have a cannon,” observed Salys.

“They’ll get there by the end of tomorrow, but they’ll wait till sunrise to attack if they’re smart,” said Elora with confidence.

Jory agreed. “They were part of the Drazeanean navy before they became pirates. They’re well trained.”

The group thanked Saberhagen, gave him some fish, then went to get brunch.

“We’ve got a couple of days to kill, what should we do?” Salys asked as they finished their after-brunch mimosas.

“I should brew some healing potions,” Drusilla said.

“I want to see what kind of fish I can catch from our lighthouse. Maybe do some crabbing,” said Jory.

“I want to knit some catnip bags for Saberhagen,” said Elora.

“I’m gonna do nothing,” said Diesa. But she was lying. She knew exactly what she was going to do. She smiled inwardly and downed her mimosa.


Diesa sat alone in the common room on the first floor of the lighthouse. She hadn’t forgotten the first day they met Jory. Specifically, how he had embarrassed her by not only evading her attack but also kicking her in the face, all while pouring a perfect glass of mead and handing it to her on a frying pan used as a tray.

This was finally the day she was going to get him back. She rummaged through her pack and found the length of rope she was looking for. She arranged it in a circle on the floor just outside the kitchen. After rigging the rest of the snare trap, she covered it with dust to make it blend in with the stone floor. She baited it with a bottle of mead right in the center.

“Whatcha doin’?” asked Salys when she entered the lighthouse with Elora and Copper.

“I’m gonna catch Jory in a snare trap,” she answered, matter of factly.

“Why?” Elora asked.

“Why not?” Diesa said.

“I wanna see this!” said Drusilla from the steps she had just descended.

They all sat in the common room, drinking mead and wine waiting for Jory to return.

Several glasses later, they were all feeling pretty tipsy when Jory walked in the door. He was carrying five large fish.

“Hi! I got us dinner!” he said, and headed straight for the kitchen. “Oh look, one of you left your mead here,” he called out to them, stepping gingerly in and out of the trap.

Salys, Drusilla, and Elora tried not to laugh as Diesa angrily got up to grab the mead off the floor. They burst out laughing when Diesa accidentally set off her own trap. It closed around her arm, but the snare was not well-tied and it slipped harmlessly off the rogue’s arm instead of hauling her up.

“Hahaha! Oh, nice trap, Diesa,” laughed Elora.

Salys and Drusilla were laughing too hard to speak.

“I’d like to see you do better,” Diesa snapped at the ranger.

“Five silver says I do,” challenged Elora.

“Oh I want in on this,” Drusilla said.

“Same!” exclaimed Salys.


The next morning Jory got up early to see if he could catch some of the crabs that lived near the shore of their island. While he was out Elora set her snare trap up outside the lighthouse door. She left the door open so the four women could see what happened from their seats in the common room.

It wasn’t long before they saw Jory running up the path to the lighthouse. He was hopping and twisting and flailing his arms. As he got closer they could see he had crabs clinging to him with their claws. There were a couple on his clothes. One was grabbing his hair. Another was clamped on his big toe, causing the erratic hopping. He was waving one hand trying to get a crab off his finger and juggling another crab in his other hand trying to keep it from pinching him. He was running so fast he jumped right over Elora’s snare trap.

“Thanks for leaving the door open for me!” he said cheerfully as he bound into the kitchen.

Elora folded her arms and huffed as Salys and Drusilla laughed.

“See? Not so easy, is it?” smiled Diesa.


Jory prepared some of the crab meat for Saberhagen and they went back to The Sun Spot for their daily pirate update.

The feline wizard was waiting for them in his upstairs sanctum. The scrying bowl was already prepared.

The glowing water coalesced into an image and Saberhagen described what he saw: The pirates were making progress and seemed to be on schedule.

Saberhagen heard one of the pirates grumble, “Be easier without the cannon.”

“Yeah. A bit overkill if you ask me,” said another.

A quiet, but gruff and authoritative voice interrupted their chatter, “If you underestimate your enemy, you don’t get another chance to overestimate them,” Captain Santiago snarled at them.

There was no more talking after that.

With nothing else to do but wait until tomorrow, they headed back to their island.

As they walked up the path toward the lighthouse, Drusilla slowed down slightly, letting Jory pass. She motioned for the other three women to slow down with her. “I put a tripwire inside the door,” she whispered to them. They stayed back far enough making sure Jory would enter first.

He pulled open the door and turned around. “What are you guys doing all the way back there?” He asked. His act of turning while stepping forward threw off his stride and he tripped on the step to the threshold. The nimble halfling managed to regain his balance by hopping on one leg, right over Drusilla’s tripwire.

“No silver for Drusilla,” Diesa sang softly to the group as Salys and Elora laughed.


While Jory cooked up some more fish in the kitchen, and Drusilla crafted some more potions in her alchemy lab on the top floor, Salys, Diesa, and Elora sat in the common room. Elora knitted catnip bags for Saberhagen while Copper slept next to her side. Salys napped on the couch with Pip snuggled up against her arm. Diesa sat at the table tying a snare trap over and over again, trying to figure out where she went wrong. The calmness of the afternoon was broken by the sound of a loud commotion coming from the docks.

It was loud enough to wake up Copper and Salys, but not Pip, so Salys tucked him in the hood of her robe as they climbed the stairs to the top of the lighthouse.

From Drusilla’s alchemy lab they had a clear view down to the deck of The Rod’s Curse. All of the sailors were trying, in vain, to catch a large white goose that was waddling quickly away from them, just fast enough to stay out of their grasp.

They noticed the rigging was cut in several places. Several sails had long gashes in them. One sail and yardarm were completely off the mainmast and strewn across the bow of the deck.

A woman in a tricorn hat stood up by the helm and shouted at the crew. “What are you doing? Get him! It’s only a goose!” she screamed with commanding fury.

“But… but…” one of the crew stammered, “He’s got a knife!”

Upon closer inspection, The Brunch Club noticed the goose did indeed have a dagger clutched in its beak.

Without hesitation, they ran down the steps to their own little dock and jumped in their rowboat. On the way, Jory stopped in the kitchen to get something.

Diesa and Drusilla rowed them toward the pirate ship. Jory and Salys called out, “Here goose! Here goose!”

“HONK!” Elora called out loudly.

The goose turned and looked at them. Even though it was looking away, it still managed to sidestep and evade the pirates’ lunges. It hopped up on the gunwale and jumped down into the water.

“Tell it I have food,” Jory said to Elora.

“I don’t speak goose, you idiot,” Elora said.

“But, you honked,” said Jory. He turned his attention back to the goose. “Hey, I have the spatula!” Jory held up the spatula the goose had previously tried to take. He waved it in the air. “You want it?”

The goose rapidly swam up to the boat, cocked its head, and looked at Jory.

“Do you need help? Are you cursed or something?” Jory asked.

The goose took the spatula.

They watched the goose turn and swim away.

Diesa noticed the crew of The Rod’s Curse was watching the goose too.

“Hey boys!” She shouted up to them. “You like to party?”

The pirates looked at each other, then at the fiery first mate that stood by the helm. “Um, no, we’re busy.”

“C’mon, why don’t you invite us up? We have mead!” Diesa insisted.

“What are you doing?” Jory whispered loudly at her.

“Just follow my lead, crazy drunk people are way less suspicious than crazy non-drunk people.”

“Oh man, this is crazy, but I’m down,” said Salys.

The first mate strode purposefully over to the crew and yanked them back from the gunwale. She looked down at The Brunch Club and shouted, “You! Fuck off!”

“Do you like to party?” Diesa shouted back up at her.

The first mate turned without answering and walked away to tend to her ship’s repairs.

“Too bad,” said Diesa as she started rowing back to their island. “She was hot.”


It was near dark. A fire warmed the common room. Dinner was over and Jory excused himself. He went outside, heading to the outhouse.

Salys smiled, waited a few moments, then got up to open the door. She motioned the others over but put her finger to her lips telling them to stay quiet.

A few moments later they heard a shriek, then Jory scream, “What? How? Oh no… Ewww…!”

“What did you do?” Drusilla asked.

“I cast an illusion on the toilet to make the hole look like it was a few inches over,” Salys said proudly.

“Oh, that’s just evil,” Elora laughed.

They heard the outhouse door slam. They peered through the door and watched the silhouette of Jory waddle down to the shore with his pants around his ankles.

When they saw him walking back they ran to their seats.

Jory walked in. He had a confused look on his face. His shirt was wrapped around his waist to cover himself modestly. He clutched his pants in his hand. They dripped with seawater.

“What happened?” Salys asked, trying to keep a straight face.

“I think the lighthouse is still haunted,” he said, his voice a little shaky. “The toilet… moved.”

“That sounds scary,” Drusilla cooed. “You poor thing.”

“Sounds shitty,” said Diesa.

“I’m just going to go to bed,” the confused halfing said as he trudged upstairs to his room.

They waited until they heard his door close then let their laughter escape them. Salys held out her hand so they could all place five silver pieces in her palm.

“Worth every copper,” Diesa smiled.


The next morning they sat in front of Saberhagen, eagerly waiting for him to scry on Captain Santiago.

The cat stared into the bowl. The water, his eyes, and his collar all glowed the same light green color. They saw his pupils widen as the image began to coalesce.

Captain Santiago was running through the woods. He was running fast. His face was bloody. Saberhagen couldn’t tell if the blood was from wounds, or the branches he was ignoring in his panic. The image zoomed out. There were only two others with him. They also had panic in their eyes. Their clothes were stained with blood and they all seemed to have at least minor injuries, but it was not enough to slow them down.

“I guess it didn’t go so well,” said Diesa.

“What now?” asked Salys.

“I don’t know. Maybe once they reach the ship they’ll just sail away?” said Drusilla.

“Or they’ll want to know who sent them up there to get slaughtered,” muttered Elora.

“We need to find out what happened and if they killed any of the gnolls,” said Jory.

“I agree,” said Diesa. “We should intercept them as soon as possible. Before any of their crew goes looking for them.”

They thanked Saberhagen and hurried back to the lighthouse to get supplies before heading out into the forest.

When Jory went to his room to get his gear he noticed something shiny resting in the middle of his bed.

It was his spatula.


Our tale will continue in Episode 40

Episode 39 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

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!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please help us out by sharing it with your friends and rating and reviewing us on your favorite podcast platform. We’d really appreciate it.

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support and follow us can be found at RescuedByDragons.com.

Thank you for listening, and please join me next week to see what my players’ choices, and the roll of the dice, have in store.

Brunch Club LIVE! 038 DnD Game Play

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 038 “HONK”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 038 “Honk”

Listen Here

Listen on YouTube

Transcript

Welcome to Episode 38 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 37, The Brunch Club started their day witnessing Kalavar execute disgraced Mage College President, Kormir outside the gates of Wheaton. They then proceeded on their hunt for gnolls, tracking down a patrol in the forest to the north. Using combined tactics, Drusilla was able to capture the lead gnoll while the party fought off the remaining beasts.

The next day, the party interrogated the captured gnoll, gathering information regarding their encampment – its location, and more importantly that the gnolls were being led by a druid named Rajat, who had promised the gnolls riches and favor in the eyes of their God.

The party agreed to allow the Gnoll to return to the city with them, but he lashed out, attacking Diesa from his restraints. They killed the gnoll and used its severed head to try to convince Mayor Gladstone to provide the party with militia for their journey, which he politely declined.

And now..

Episode 38: HONK

Rife with conversation about their next move, dinner that evening passed quickly. It became apparent that a visit to Saberhagen was in order; the party did not want to jump too quickly into battle without proper munitions and insight from their feline accomplice.

It was late when the party arrived at the SunSpot, finding Saberhagen pouring over his books, his tail twitching back and forth as he read. He purred, looking up to acknowledge them as they stepped into his study.
“We’re sorry to bother you so late,” Salys started. Jory reached into his pack to pull out a recently caught fish.

“Ah. You’ve brought me a fish! Splendid. Please just leave it over there on the counter.” Jory plated the fish, pausing to meticulously position it on the plate.

“Here you go!” Jory exclaimed.

Jumping from his perch onto the countertop, Saberhagan leaned over the plate, tepidly inhaling its scent. With a flick of his paw, he knocked the plate from the countertop to the floor, bits of fish scattering.

“So thoughtful of you.” The plate teetered briefly before settling onto the ground “To what do I owe the pleasure?” He continued casually.

Drusilla began to explain the party’s recent decision to find the gnoll encampment, and their determination to protect the city from a potential onslaught.

“We can’t let what happened last time happen again.” She explained, looking to the party for support.

“I think you’re leaving something out,” Elora observed, raising her eyebrows at Drusilla.

“What?’ Drusilla asked, genuinely confused.

“Maybe… Rajat?” Jory responded with a hiccup.

“Right!” Drusilla exclaimed. “So, it appears the gnolls are being led by Rajat, and what’s more interesting is that he comes from the Bloodwood. We think his activities may be in some way connected to Elora.”

“An interesting theory,” Saberhagan responded, weaving between Elora’s legs and brushing the side of his face against her calves. “But just that, a theory.”

Thoughtful for a moment, the group considered the possibility that they could be reading too much into mere happenstance.

Diesa huffed and crossed her arms. “Well, what about Sudoku?” She asked.

“Yeenoghu,” Drusilla corrected.

“Ah, what about Yeenoghu?” Saberhagen purred, jumping into a chair and sitting down.

“What… is it? The gnoll we captured mentioned fortune and favor in the eyes of their God, Yeenoghu.”

“Ah, yes. Yeenoghu is… a tasteless God, to say the least. Intent on destruction, murderous, and foul. Only a wretched beast like a gnoll would worship such a deity.”

Elora had been contemplative throughout the conversation, and cleared her throat to speak. “Do you think you would be able to scry on Rajat one more time? We need to know more about his plans.”

Saberhagan nodded. “Do you have anything of his this time? Something he has touched, an image of him… anything that could help me to picture him more fully?”

“We still have the gnoll head,” Jory offered, pointing to the large, bloodstained sack he dragged behind him. “He may have talked to Rajat or have some connection with him.”

Saberhagan told Jory to deposit the head next to the scrying bowl. Saberhagen uttered an incantation and waved his paw over the bowl, which began to shimmer with a bright green aura. They stood in silence, allowing the wizard to complete his work in peace.

After several minutes, the feline wizard sighed and the light faded from the bowl. “I couldn’t get anything,” he said, without apology. “He may know we tried to scry on him before and is taking precautions, or his connection with this gnoll was not close enough.”

Dismayed, the party and Saberhagen discussed the logistics of mounting an attack against a small army of gnolls. All but one of them agreed they needed to get a closer look at the gnoll encampment before they made a decision. “You guys are fucking crazy,” Jory said. “Why don’t we just burn the thing down from a distance?” This plan was prepared as a backup option.

The candles lighting the SunSpot burned low by the time the party left, ready to make way to the gnoll encampment the following morning. Before they departed, Jory had gotten bored of planning and began to peruse the magical knick-knacks and curios before finding a pair of enchanted brass goggles. He quickly looked around to make sure no one had watched him wander off, before snatching them off the shelf and putting them on his eyes. He took a look through the candle lit store and squeaked in surprise. With the goggles on, he could suddenly see clearly through the dark store as if it were bright as day, though in grayscale only. Like the world was simultaneously lit up and drained of color. Jory fished through his purse to pull out the hundreds of coins the cat-wizard was asking for in exchange for the magic goggles before purchasing his new night-time eyewear.


The morning was brisk, and The Brunch Club began making headway toward the camp. When they reached the spot where they had previously ambushed the Gnoll Patrol, they found faded paw prints marked in the snow. It had been some time since the last patrol had passed through.

The group made hasty work, checking their surroundings for traps or threats, concluding that the area was clear.

“Alright, you know the plan,” Drusilla said, looking to Salys. She nodded.

“Pip, you ready?” Salys asked her owl familiar, who squawked and ruffled his feathers.

“He’s so brave!” Jory whispered to Diesa, gazing at the owl with admiration.

Meanwhile, Salys sighed at pip as he showered her with insults and objections.

“Really? Again?! Are we forgetting how I died? I swear if I get back here alive I’ll fu-”

“GOOD HEAVENS JUST GO.” Slays barked at her familiar. The owl huffed, taking off from her shoulder.


By the time Pip returned, several hours had passed. Salys breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her companion flying back to their forested camp. He landed on her shoulder and promptly pecked her on the cheek.

“Ouch!” Salys exclaimed, glaring at her familiar. “I don’t know why you have to be so rude. What did you see?”

The owl scoffed. “I don’t know… there was a big wooden wall around a giant cave, some fuckin’ hyena men walking around everywhere.” The owl began to describe the wooden walls, which formed a semi-circle around the entrance of the cave. He also noted two “shitty little” wooden watch-towers on either side of the camp.

“How many gnolls?” Salys asked.

“Look lady, I can’t count that high. I don’t know. A lot, okay?”

The group digested this information, and discussed their next move.

“Well, I could warg into an animal to get another look.” Elora suggested, “I know how to speak gnoll, so if I can get close enough I might be able to gather more information about their plans.”

The party agreed, and Elora began to look for a small, willing creature to transfer her consciousness into. She saw several deer, squirrels, and birds, only to notice one creature that made her blood run cold.

“Guys. There’s an elk nearby,” she whispered, drawing her longbow. Before anyone could react, Elora loosed her arrow, which sped off into the distance and connected with the elk.

“What the…” Diesa gasped as Elora knocked another arrow.

Jory gasped, “It could be Rajat!”

The second arrow sunk into the chest of the Elk, and it fell with an unceremonious thud to the ground. Copper, Elora’s wolf companion, ran ahead to stalk her kill.

On closer inspection, the elk appeared both unassuming and non-magical. Relieved and intent on covering up any evidence of their time in the forest, Elora encouraged Copper to enjoy a fresh meal.


Back at the camp, Salys decided to warg into Pip to gain a closer look at the gnolls. As Pip, Salys flew to the gnoll encampment, perched on one of the il-lconstructed wooden boundaries surrounding the cave, and observed.

Two gnolls walked past underneath her. They seemed to be having a serious conversation. When Salys heard nothing but yips and growls she slapped herself on the forehead with a feathered wing. She did not speak gnoll.

Despite this, she concentrated on the pitch, cadence and length of the yips and growls that made up the creatures’ speech.

Salys flew quickly back to camp after committing a few of the phrases to memory.

When her consciousness returned to her own body, Pip started his usual protest of his treatment, but she ignored him. She rushed to Elora to recite phonetically what she heard to the gnoll-speaking ranger.

The Brunch Club watched with amusement as Salys yipped, growled, snorted and grunted at Elora.

“Is she okay?” Jory whispered to Drusilla with concern.

Drusilla waved him off, conveying he should not worry about it. She didn’t want to speak for fear of letting loose the laughter she was attempting to stifle.

“What in the Underdark was that?” Elora asked when Salys finished.

Salys lowered her head in embarrassment. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Not being able to coax any small woodland creatures close enough to warg into, Elora decided to inhabit Copper. She hoped she could get close enough to the encampment and at least hear what the gnolls were saying.

With a wolf’s eye view of the forest, and keener eyesight and sense of smell, Elora padded silently through the snow. She stayed hidden and got just close enough to the wooden fortress wall to hear the telltale yips and growls of the gnolls inside. The encampment’s stench made her regret having Copper’s keen sense of smell.

At first, the dialogue was unhelpful. Copper breathed an Elora-like sigh as all the gnolls talked about was being “fucking starving” or “needing to take a shit”. She had almost decided to head back to camp when she suddenly heard, “When do you think the ritual will be over?” Her ears perked up, her interest piqued.

“Hopefully soon,” a second gnoll growled, “what’s the Fang doing?”

“He’s helping Rajat with the ritual.” There was a short silence, and then, “Do you think Blitz Tooth is going to pull through?”

“If he does, nothing will stop us,” the other gnoll answered.

The voices began to fade as the gnolls walked away from Elora’s hiding spot, but she had heard enough. She rushed back to camp and returned to her own body. She relayed the message to the group.

“It sounds like they’re creating some kind of super gnoll,” guessed Salys.

“We need to get back to Saberhagen,” said Drusilla, with urgency.

The group hastily packed up camp, and headed back to Wheaton.


During their march, they quietly and heatedly discussed the potential implications of Rajat’s ritual. Elora nearly missed the sound of a twig snapping in the woods in the distance.

“Wait,” she whispered, gesturing for the party to stop walking. Her hand went to her quiver. Now standing in silence, the group could hear the snapping of several more twigs. Something was approaching.

While it’s not uncommon to see a goose in the woods, it is uncommon in the forested areas surrounding Wheaton to see a large, snow-white goose wandering throughout the forest alone. This is precisely what was waddling directly toward the party.

Drusilla smiled and eagerly cast Speak with Animals on the enormous bird that marched toward them.

“Hello, little goose,” she cooed. The Goose stopped in its tracks, now about 20 feet away from the party. It cocked its head, staring at the elvish druid.

“HONK,” it… honked.

“Um, I didn’t catch that?” Drusilla responded, and the goose honked at her once more. Despite her spell, she could not understand what the goose was saying.

“That’s… odd.” She said to the group while keeping her eyes locked on the goose, “I can’t understand it.”

Drusilla realized this wasn’t a normal goose, and wondered if it might be something taking another creature’s form. A feeling of dread came over her as she realized it could be Rajat. She quickly cast Sacred Flame on the goose. The goose emerged from the bright light seemingly unharmed, and a loud HONK reverberated throughout the forest as it turned and began to waddle sadly away.

Drusilla felt an instant feeling of regret..

“I’m sorry Goose!” she exclaimed. “I thought you were someone else!”

The THWISH of an arrow soaring past her cut through the air, and Drusilla turned to see that Diesa had just loosed an arrow upon the bird. The arrow looked as though it was about to hit the goose, but the bird made a sudden turn in the last instant.

“What?” Diesa asked Drusilla, who stared at her incredulously. “You’re the one who just set fire to the thing. I wanted to put it out of its misery…. And I’m hungry.”

Elora was next to steady her bow. “I’ll get it,” she said cooly, knocking an arrow and firing. It sailed through the air with unwavering precision toward the goose’s head. The goose ducked in the last instant and ran behind a tree.

Elora stood, stunned. “That… should have hit.”

Jory took a swig from his bota bag and wiped his lip. “I’ll go chat with it!”

He slowly approached the tree behind which the goose hid, “Hey, goooose?” he sung. “What are you?” He asked. The question was above the caliber of most woodland geese, and the creature simply honked in reply. It slowly came out from behind the tree, examining Jory.

“What are you doing?” Jory giggled drunkenly. The goose Honked, and lunged at Jory. Snagging something from the halfling’s pack with its beak. It hurriedly wandered into the woods.

“HEY! YOU TOOK MY SPATULA!” Jory shouted. Surprisingly quickly, the goose had put several yards distance between itself and Jory “Guys… you should shoot the goose. NOW.”

The party, confused but convinced, began to launch a full blown attack against the goose, firing arrows rapidly. One after another, shots that seemed sure to hit the goose seemed to suddenly change course just before hitting the creature. Exasperated, Elora and Diesa stopped shooting and Jory began to chase the goose.

Catching up, and with some luck, Jory was able to wrestle the spatula from the goose’s beak, just before it waddled behind the trunk of an old spruce and disappeared entirely.

Panting, Jory returned to the party. “I thought.. It might be…. Rajat…. Scry spatula,” he heaved, and a wave of understanding swept over the group. Had the goose really been a wildshaped druid or a wizard’s familiar, the spatula would have been the perfect tool with which to scry on the party’s whereabouts and activities. Could it be that Rajat and the Brunch Club were both trying to accomplish the same objective?

With no other option but to continue on their path to Wheaton, the gnoll ritual quickly became old news, and the party spent their remaining travels speculating about the goose they had just encountered, and what in the Seven Hells they had just seen.


Back at the sunspot, the group found Saberhagan in the study, this time with his human familiar, Jenkins, by his side. Jenkins held a stick with a string attached to it, bobbing it up and down as Saberhagan swiped at the bouncing rope.

“Ahem,” Drusilla coughed, Saberhagan turned to their direction.

“Ah, hello,” Saberhagan responded, “Jenkins, please go tend to something.” Jenkins ]clapped twice and exited the room, presumably to go tend to something.

Drusilla set to explaining their most recent encounter with the mysterious and elusive Goose in the forest. “I don’t know Saberhagan, it was… really, really strange.” she finished.

Diesa sighed, “She’s also leaving out the part about a gnoll ritual at the encampment, a gnoll named Blitztooth, and someone called the Fang who seems to be working with Rajat.”

“Interesting.” Saberhagan began, “And you chose to lead with the goose?”

After a moment, the group mumbled and agreed in unison. “Well, yeah,” said Salys. “That goose was freaking weird.”

Saberhagan stretched, considering the new intel from the Brunch Club. “A Fang is something I’m familiar with. It’s basically a gnoll shaman, a Fang of Yeenoghu. The ritual… is likely one to turn a gnoll into a Flind, which is, as you say, a kind of ‘super gnoll’.”

The group considered this, both satisfied and horrified that they were correct in their theory. Gnolls in high numbers were dangerous enough, but a gnoll army led by a super gnoll with a potentially psychotic druid leading the pack? Facing them would be risky and outright dangerous.

“We can’t do it alone.” Elora said, decisively.

“We need help,” Salys agreed, “And soon.”


Our tale will continue in Episode 39

Episode 38 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!

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

If you enjoyed this podcast, please help us out by sharing it with your friends and rating and reviewing us on your favorite podcast platform. We’d really appreciate it.

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support and follow us can be found at RescuedByDragons.com.

Thank you for listening, and please join me next week to see what my players’ choices, and the roll of the dice, have in store.

Brunch Club LIVE! 037 DnD Game Play

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 037 “Beyonce Gnolls”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 037 Beyonce Gnolls

Listen Here

Listen on YouTube

Transcript

Welcome to Episode 37 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 36, The Brunch Club enjoyed their time off in their own unique ways. Drusilla built her alchemy lab and brewed a batch of greater healing potions for the group. Jory went to Elnor where he made some extra money challenging passersby to “Punch the Drunk.” Diesa also went to Elnor and made some extra money by picking the pockets of those who stopped to watch their fellow citizens attempt to punch a drunk halfling disguised as an elderly gnome. Elora found an exotic animal seller and bought a red-furred wolf, who she named Copper. She spent the weeks training Copper, and together they scouted the gnolls who were still active in the forest to the north of Wheaton. Salys took solace in whittling individual Bahamut pendants for the group to wear in honor of Vorjhon. She also went to Saberhagen’s where they spent time in a warm sun spot, and discussed the meaning of magic. Back at their lighthouse, they decided their next step should be to ambush the gnolls, capture one, and question him.

And now…

Episode 37: Beyonce Gnolls

Since Drusilla introduced the group to the concept all those weeks ago, they fell into the habit of calling every meal before noon, “brunch.” It was after an early morning brunch when they set out on their mission to capture one of the gnolls Elora had seen in the forest to the north. Mere steps into their journey, they saw Kalavar flying in circles above Wheaton. He landed with a thud outside the town, but still towered over its walls.

“Woah, what’s Kalavar doing out here?” Salys asked.

“I don’t know, but we should go say ‘Hi’,” Jory said excitedly.

Nearly the entire population of Wheaton had come out to see the ancient bronze dragon in person. They joined the crowd of people that had taken the two day walk from Elnor to witness whatever event was about to take place. The crowd split in half, moving to either side of the road as a wagon pulled by four guards advanced toward Kalavar. Six wizards in ceremonial robes walked behind. Their hoods were pulled up to hide their faces.

An older man with a wild beard and wilder eyebrows stood lashed to a pole in the middle of the wagon.

The Brunch Club spotted Mayor Gladstone in the crowd and approached him to ask what was going on.

“They’re executing a wizard,” he said dourly.

“Why here? Why not in Elnor?” asked Drusilla.

“They don’t want to sully their precious Crystal District with the blood of a traitor. They consider it more degrading to execute him here, outside the gates of an ‘uncivilized town’,” the mayor said, bitterness obvious in his voice. As if suddenly remembering his official position, he shifted to a more cheerful, pragmatic tone. “On the other hand, these people have walked for two days and will need our taverns and inns. And we’re not so uncivilized that we won’t take their gold.”

The Brunch Club waded through the crowd of people from Elnor to get a better look at the condemned wizard in the wagon. They instantly recognized him as Kormir from the wanted poster, though the former ferocity had been replaced by a look of exhausted resignation.

They listened to the comments from the people in the crowd around them.

“I can’t believe they caught a wizard as powerful as Kormir,” one said.

“Serve’s him right, hiring an assassin and all,” answered another.

“What if he’s innocent?” another suggested. “He didn’t actually do the killing. Maybe Varjo acted on her own?”

The second man pointed at Kalavar. “The giant dragon thinks he’s guilty. You want to go tell him he’s wrong?”

The crowd fell silent as the guards pushed people on either side further away from the wagon.

Kalavar spoke to the bound wizard in a deep menacing voice that echoed off Wheaton’s wooden walls. “Kormir,” the dragon began. “You have been accused and found guilty of the murder of a fellow wizard for personal gain. You are hereby sentenced to death. There will be no appeal. There will be no last words.” Kalavar then cautioned the crowd to shield their eyes.

Lightning jumped from the dragon’s mouth and a magnesium-bright, blue and white flash surrounded the wagon. Everyone in the crowd felt the hair on their arms and necks stand up from the sudden electricity in the air.

When the light faded, all that was left of Kormir and the wagon was a small pile of ash. One of the wizards unceremoniously animated a small broom and swept Kormir into a coarse sack.


Elora led her companions deep into the snow covered forest. It wasn’t until they stopped for lunch that they spoke for the first time since the scene outside Wheaton.

“Man,” said Salys. “That was intense.”

“Yeah,” breathed Jory. “I mean, you hear the stories about how powerful dragons are, but to actually see one in action, up close.” The halfling shuddered involuntarily as he recalled the scene.

“He made a decent roommate for a couple days though,” said Diesa, seemingly unphased.

After some rations and a short rest, Elora told them they were getting closer.

“Salys, can you warg into pip to see if you can spot them as we get closer?” Drusilla asked.

“I can,” Salys said, “But I won’t be able to do anything else, like walk.”

“You can ride Copper,” offered Elora.

Salys excitedly accepted the offer, remembering how much she enjoyed riding Duke between Wyhill and Sturgeon all those weeks ago.

They marched toward one of the paths Elora had seen the gnolls routinely patrol. Salys summoned Pip and shifted her consciousness into her familiar. Drusila and Diesa walked on either side of Salys to protect her helpless form and make sure she didn’t slip off Copper.

The white pygmy owl which held Salys’s consciousness soared above the trees. Her keen owl sight scanned the snow-covered ground beneath her. She saw a small dark shape in the distance. It moved slowly but deliberately toward The Brunch Club. Salys directed Pip back to the group and shifted her consciousness back into her own body.

Pip shuddered and shook his head. “I fucking hate it when you do that,” he muttered, before flying off into the forest.

“They’re coming this way, about forty-five minutes out,” Salys told them.

She couldn’t see how many of them there were, or how spaced out they were, but Elora’s numerous scouting reports had revealed the patrols usually comprised five gnolls walking ten feet apart.

“So what’s the plan?” Jory asked.

“We should hide and set an ambush,” Elora said, as she quickly climbed one of the nearby trees.

Drusilla watched the ranger disappear silently into the snow covered branches. The cleric found her own tree and tried to leap up to the first branch. Her heavy armor weighed her down, but after several minutes, managed to reach it. After another few minutes, she managed to pull herself up to the next branch, which was as high as she got.

“Wow!” exclaimed Jory. “You’re really high up!”

“She’s like six feet off the ground,” Diesa said, “so now she’s mmmm I don’t know, mid chest height to a gnoll?”

“You’re hiding like shit, Drusilla!” Elora called out from her hidden perch.

“Fine!” Drusilla pouted, and jumped back down into the snow.

“Sooooo? What’s the plan? They’re gonna be here soon,” Panic began to creep into Jory’s voice.

“We hide,” Drusilla began. “When the first one’s in range, I’ll use a grasping vines spell to pull it away from the rest of the group.”

“I have a spell that might hold it in place,” Salys said.

“If that doesn’t work I can try and stun him,” said Jory.

“The rest of us can pick them off from a distance while you and Salys are taking care of the leader,” Diesa said as she withdrew her shortbow and nocked an arrow onto the string.

“Did you get all that, Elora?” Drusila shouted up into the tree.

“Yes!” Elora replied quickly, then added in a frustrated voice, “Now will you all please shut the fuck up and hide?”

They shut the fuck up and hid, waiting silently for the sound of footfalls in the snow.

After a few minutes the gnoll patrol came into view. When the lead gnoll was within range, Drusilla stood and said, “Now!” She muttered a prayer, made a gesture with her hands, and a tangle of green vines exploded from the snow. They reached forward and wrapped around the legs and torso of the front gnoll and yanked him forward 30 feet.

Diesa and Elora opened fire with their arrows and pierced the 2nd and third gnolls.

The lead gnoll fought to free himself of the tangle of vines. Salys cast her holding spell on him. He ceased to move, paralyzed and rooted in place.

Jory turned his attention to the rest of the gnolls. He threw two darts into the one closest to him. The darts joined the arrows already embedded in its bloodied hide.

The gnolls sprinted toward the closest targets, which happened to be Jory and Diesa. The deep snow slowed their movement and they were hit by another volley of arrows before they could reach their targets. Salys fired five magic missiles into the one closest to Diesa, killing it. She then hurled a fire bolt at the one engaging Jory. It didn’t kill it, but it was so badly hurt that Jory finished it off with two more quickly thrown darts.

Drusilla had finished binding the lead gnolls hands and feet and joined in on the assault, adding her sacred flame to the piercing arrows which wiped out the rest of the gnolls.

Elora jumped down from the tree, landing quietly in the snow. After eighteen seconds of heart pounding action, the forest around them seemed somehow quieter than it had been before.

“That was a good plan,” said Jory.

“Elora, can you check my knots? I tied them in a hurry.” Drusilla asked her.

The ranger examined the knots, tightening them where necessary. A moment after tightening the last knot, the Gnoll began to move under his own power as his constitution and persistence pushed through the paralyzing hold spell.

He snarled with rage and struggled to pull his hands free. It wasn’t until he attempted to lunge at them that he realized his legs were also tied. He fell face first into the snow.

Diesa rolled him over with her boot.

The gnoll spat and yelled at her in a guttural, snarling language.

“Anyone know what he’s saying?” asked Salys.

“Oh, the usual,” replied Elora. She didn’t remember learning to speak Gnoll, and wondered what made her want to.

“Tell him we’re keeping him safe for the night and that we have some questions for him in the morning. If he cooperates, we might let him live,” Drusilla said to Elora.

Elora relayed the message. The gnoll tongue sounded like a different language when spoken by the elf, but their captive seemed to understand.

“Why wait? Why can’t we question him now?” asked Jory.

“I need time to prepare a zone of truth spell,” answered Drusilla. “It will be easier and more reliable than beating the answers out of him.”

“But not as much fun,” muttered Diesa.

Jory couldn’t be sure, but he thought he saw the gnoll shrink back from Diesa.

As the cold night settled in around them, Elora let Jory sleep with Copper for warmth. Drusilla, Diesa and Elora had their winter wolf cloaks to keep them warm. The enchanted dragonscale boots gifted to Salys upon Vorjhon’s death shielded her from the cold as well. A couple unused blankets kept the gnoll from freezing to death before they could question him in the morning.


It was early and the air was crisp. The group felt well rested after a good night’s sleep. They were well fed thanks to a hearty breakfast provided by Jory.

The gnoll could not say the same. He looked tired, and couldn’t stop himself from eyeing the food the others had been eating.

“All right,” Drusilla announced to the Brunch Club as they stood in a wide circle around the gnoll. “Whoever doesn’t want to be compelled to tell the truth, shouldn’t get any closer. The cleric grasped the pendant of her Raven Queen necklace in her hand and said a prayer. When she was done, she looked at Elora. “He’s ready. We only have fifteen minutes, so make the questions quick. He can’t lie, but he can dance around the truth if he’s smart enough.”

Elora looked at the bound gnoll. In his own language she told him if he answered her questions, he’d be allowed to have some food. If he didn’t cooperate, he’d have to answer to the rogue. She pointed to Deisa who stood with her hands folded across her chest, staring at the gnoll without blinking.

“Where did your patrol come from?” Elora asked him.

He hesitated at first, but a low growl from Diesa, inspired him to speak.

“We have a camp to the north,” he said gruffly, but said no more.

“How many gnolls in the camp?” asked Elroa.

“I don’t know. I can’t count that high.” the gnoll replied.

“There were five in your patrol. How many patrols could the camp have?” asked Elora, trying to simplify things for him.

The gnoll seemed to count slowly in his head. “Four or five,” he answered finally.

Elora relayed the information to the group.

“Ask him who their leader is,” Drusilla said.

“He calls himself Rajat,” said the gnoll.

“Describe him,” commanded Elroa.

The gnoll’s description matched that of the druid they had seen transform into an elk through a scrying vision at Saberhagen’s.

The ranger tried to recall all she could about gnolls, then asked. “Gnolls are tribal, nomadic. Why would twenty five of you camp together and take orders from an elf?”

The gnoll growled, then continued, “He has promised us power and riches, and glory in the eyes of Yeenoghu.”

Elora recognized Yeenoghu as the god most gnolls worshiped. He was not a benevolent and friendly god.

Elora relayed all the information to her companions and asked if they had any other questions.

“Ask them if they have plans to attack Wheaton again,” said Salys.

“And what Rajat’s other plans are,” Drusilla added.

“I don’t know,” the gnoll answered. “We do what Rajat tells us when he tells us.”

The spell then ran out and the gnoll stopped talking.

“So what do we do with him now?” asked Diesa.

“We can take him back to Wheaton,” suggested Salys. “Maybe the town guard and Saberhagen can question him more.”

“It might help the mayor take the gnoll threat more seriously,” Drusilla added.

Diesa walked up to the gnoll and pointed her axe at him. “Or we could just kill him and Drusilla can cast Speak with the Dead later.”

The gnoll didn’t understand Diesa, but seemed worried by her tone. His eyes locked on her and burned with rage.

“It would be easier and faster to have him walk on his own instead of us carrying his corpse all the way back to Wheaton,” Jory added, not eager to watch Diesa cleave a bound gnoll in two.

“Elora,” Drusilla said, “Please tell our guest he can walk back to town with us, or he can die here in the snow.”

Elora told this to the gnoll. His answer was to lunge forward and sink his long fangs into Diesa’s neck.

“No!” screamed Jory as he leapt for the gnoll. Four, lightning-quick punches to the muzzle caught the beast off guard and stunned him. With each punch the halfling shouted at the beast, “You! Won’t! Harm! Diesa!” Jory finished his flurry of punches with two quick and painful jabs to the gnoll’s snout.

The blood that poured from the beast’s mouth and nose stained Jory’s hands.

Before the gnoll could recover from the halfling’s surprising ferocity, Elora shot it through the throat. It died in the snow, just as Drusilla promised.

“I’ve changed my mind,” Diesa said to Jory as Drusilla cast a healing spell on her. “I think I can teach you to be tough after all.”

Diesa chopped the head from the creature’s corpse, and they headed back to town.


The Brunch Club was in poor spirits when they walked out of the town hall later that day. The decapitated gnoll head was not enough to convince the Mayor to provide them with a militia to march upon the gnoll encampment to the north. They begrudgingly had to admit he had a point. He could not leave the city defenseless. His observation that the five of them were more powerful than any ragtag militia he could cobble together did boost their egos a little, but that still left them with a problem. There was a camp full of Gnolls led by a powerful Druid who held a grudge against Elora.

“We should go talk to Saberhagen, he might have some ideas,” suggested Salys as they stood outside town hall pondering their next move.

“We should get some dinner first,” suggested Diesa.

“We should get rid of this,” said Jory, holding up the gnoll’s, grotesque head.

Our tale will continue in Episode 38

Episode 37 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

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!

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Brunch Club LIVE! Episode 36 DnD RPG Session

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 036 “The Meaning of Magic”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 036 “The Meaning of Magic”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 36 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 35, The Brunch Club dramatically returned to Elnor. As a reward for bringing Kalavar to the city, Solania granted them access to the Crystal Spire Library.

After being warned that they should steer clear of Elnor and lay low for a week or so, the group returned to Wheaton to check on the progress of the lighthouse and recover after their latest adventure.

Back at Wheaton, the group decided to commemorate Vorjhon with a Weathervane atop their lighthouse. Drusilla set out to create an Alchemy Lab in the lighthouse to brew potions. With six weeks left until Drusilla finishes her lab and potions, each member of the Brunch Club must decide what to do with their unexpected, yet welcome, time off.

And now…

Chapter 36: The Meaning of Magic

Of the latest adventures the Brunch Club had embraced, grieving had not been one of them.

The past weeks had taught Drusilla the value of a well-brewed potion. Not only had the Brunch Club been unable to save Vorjhon, they had once again faced their demise when attacked by Harpies. It was only thanks to Kalavar that they continued to live and breathe.

With this in mind, Drusilla easily convinced the Brunch Club that an alchemy lab to brew potions would be of great benefit to the group.

After laying low for a week, as Kalavar suggested, the group began to set off on their individual adventures. They came and went from the lighthouse, addressing individual agendas while on reprieve from fighting monsters and ghouls.

Some, like Salys, were around a bit more, occasionally peeping into the lighthouse to monitor progress. Drusilla noted that she seemed lost in her thoughts as she came and went, carrying a heavy aura. Elora, on the other hand, disappeared for longer, setting off with her ranger gear without much explanation as to where she was headed.

“I’m off to run errands,” she explained to Drusilla as she shouldered her longbow. “Don’t wait up for me!” She called over her shoulder, striding away from the Lighthouse.

Diesa and Jory decided they would set off to Elnor.

“And where are you two headed?” The elf called after them as they walked away from the lighthouse, “I could use help setting up these tables!”

Diesa eyed the pile of building materials growing behind Drusilla.

“Gosh we would, but..” Jory started.

“…But we’re busy. Bye.” Diesa finished. The two set off to Elnor, both intent on earning coin. While Jory wanted to use his time off to prove his worth, Diesa simply missed the rush of a pocket well picked.

To begin, Jory and Diesa set off to the library, each endeavoring to learn more about their trades. Jory was disappointed to find little information on Chenkajia, while Diesa had more luck investigating the lost Treasure of Bonlohdir.

She was surprised to find the most intel from a storybook, which spoke of the treasure as if it were a long-revered fable. The tale spoke of a dwarven merchant who made his coin by selling Jewelry. People would travel from far lands to purchase the wares of Dolvar Whitemountain.

Dolvar made a fortune, and began to obsess over his treasured jewels. It was rumored that the merchant retired to an impregnable fortress he built in the mountains, which over time came to be known in Dwarfish as Bonlohdir, or The Lonely Keep in the common tongue. Conflicting records described the defenses and nature of the keep differently.

In addition to the Treasure of Bonlohdir, Diesa found information on the Blade of the Mountains, a gemstone encrusted battleaxe that was sharper than steel and stronger than stone, and was rumored to have been crafted by Morodin, a Dwarven God. Those possessing the axe would receive immunity from affliction, disease, and resistance to cold and heat.

Excited, Diesa closed the book, imagining her return home with the battleaxe at her hip. Lost in her imagination, Diesa was startled back to reality by a hiccup beside her.

“I’m bored,” Jory slurred, “My botabag is almost empty.” He looked at Diesa with puppy dog eyes.

Diesa sighed. “Let’s go. This place is for nerds.”

The next morning, Diesa and Jory went their separate ways in Elnor. Jory found a large swatch of parchment, scribbling “PUNCH tHE DRUNK” on its surface. For the fee of one silver, Jory began allowing the locals to take a swing at him. Should they hit him, two silvers would be returned.

The game was one created back in his days as a pirate captive. Late at night, when the deck below the ship stank of whiskey and the barreling voices of the pirate crew took on a slur, they would insist on Jory’s company to provide entertainment. Betting coins against one another, they would try (and fail) to land punches against the scrawny, inebriated halfling.

Still in his Jerry-atric disguise, passerbys would glance at his sign and eye the drunk old halfling. “Come onnnn” he slurred, “Dont ya want to land a swing at this?” He gestured down his body, wiggling.

“Please,” a gruff passerby was the first to approach him. He was an ominous half-orc, his muscles immense and his demeanor frightful, “just to shut you up,” he growled.

He dropped a coin in Jory’s basket and swung back. Jory smiled, “Try me!”, he shouted as the half-orc swung. To the onlooker, he was sure to hit, but at the last moment Jory seemed to contort, folding backwards so his hands landed behind him in the pavement, forming an arc.

People passing by took pause, cheering. Slowly, a crowd began to form as more and more townspeople decided to adopt the challenge.

Day after day, townspeople gathered around to watch one another attempt to hit Jory. He encountered many frustrated dwarves, several humans, elves, and others, all failing to land a punch on him. .

On one of Jory’s final days in Elnor, he met Chad.

“Sup, lil’ dude?” Chad asked, dropping a silver into Jory’s coffer.

Jory retorted, “Who’re you calling lil-” a THWACK reverberated through the crowd as Jory was knocked several feet into the air, to crash down on the pavement.

“Sorrry lil dude, looks like I win this round.”, Chad could be heard apologizing as he reached a hand into Jory’s coffer, claiming two silver pieces. He then reached over and grabbed Jory by the shirt, pulling him back into a standing position.

Later that night, Diesa joined Jory at the pub. He gazed into his cup, saddened by his defeat.

“Say, Diesa,” he hiccuped, “You’re really tough and I just… I just want to be tough like you guys.” He sighed. Diesa eyed the Halfling, taking a sip of her ale.

“Can you… teach me how to be tough?” He asked. Diesa spat out her drink, ale dripping down her chin.

She wiped it off with the sleeve of her shirt, scowling at the halfling.

“Yeah. Whatever.”

Since visiting the library, Diesa had woken each morning feeling like someone new. Unfurling her disguise kit, she would approach each new day with a combination of paints, fabric, and adhesives to disguise her natural appearance.

Walking through the bustling streets of Elnor, Diesa would ease into the small crowd that gathered around Jory.. From the back of the crowd, she could hear him, drunk and jeering, “You punch like a baby goblin!”

‘Today’s the day,’ she would think to herself, approaching the front of the crowd.

Every day, Diesa tried and failed under a new disguise to punch Jory, and every day, her frustration grew. While it was unlike Diesa to spend money to punch her friend when she could just do it for free, the silver it cost was nothing compared to the daily income she made by slipping her fingers into the pockets of bewildered onlookers.

Sitting at the pub each night, she would join Jory and he would ask about her day. Each day, she told him to mind his own damn business.


Elora also made a stop in Elnor, deciding to visit the library and make a purchase she had been contemplating for some time.

At the library, Elora spent several nights in search of information on the Obsidian Watch. Late one night, her eyes burning and struggling to stay awake, she was astonished to find a leatherbound book with delicately scrawled records of their whereabouts.

The book detailed the quests of the Adventuring Group, which appeared to have been prominent about 100 years prior. Suddenly, Elora was full of energy. The book detailed the final recorded quest of the Obsidian Watch, which was comprised of a dwarven fighter named Kelgorn Kilarny, a human warlock named Alexis Sinclair, a human druid named Brendon Bearclaw, and Elora Riveleaf, a wood elf ranger from the Tenochtilan jungles.

Her heart racing, Elora began to read the details regarding their last recorded quest. Reports stated that two party members had never been seen again; one had been confirmed dead, the other, Elora, recorded missing. The Obsidian Watch had been hunting a vampire masquerading as a Drazaenean noble. The mission was notably unsuccessful.

Elora also spent time researching the healers described to her by Kalavar, and jotted their names and whereabouts down before deciding it was time to retire for the night.

Energized by sleep and her recent discoveries, Elora eagerly entered a small shop the next day to inquire about their latest inventory. She quickly made a selection.

“That’ll be fifty gold,” a shopkeep told her, reaching out her hand.

“A fair price.” Elora responded. She bent down, extending her hand to the creature in front of her, allowing it to take in her scent. “Come on, Copper,” she continued, and was soon followed by a large wolf from the shop.

The following days were spent with Elora training her newest companion in the mornings and scouting together in the afternoons. Quickly, the two became a loyal pair. While scouting, they would crouch in the brush, both silent and alert.

They tracked the activities of the gnolls to the Northwest of the city. It seemed every day several groups of five would patrol the area, circling around what she imagined to be where they had made camp. For weeks Elora studied their actions until she was satisfied by her intel and confident about their routines. Finally, she decided to return to the Lighthouse, Copper diligently padding along by her side.


Back at the lighthouse, Salys was contemplative. She was saddened by the death of Vorjohn, and shocked by her two encounters with death. The gnome couldn’t help but wonder why she had been spared not once but twice, and how to cope with her new, overwhelming powers.

Perhaps hoping to return to a simpler time, Salys mindlessly gathered driftwood from the beach and began to whittle the pieces of wood down. As the hours drew on, the figure of the dragon Bahumut took form from the beachwood, forming five tiny wooden statues.
Salys found strips of leather to string through each pendant, gifting them to the members of the brunch club as they came and went.

Although Salys considered visiting the great library of Elnor, she was apprehensive. Her questions were overwhelming her, and she was nervous to trust their answers to the unwavering resolve of printed word. Instead, Salys wandered the island in quiet contemplation, occasionally visiting with Drusilla to enjoy a small meal or drink of wine on the beach.

One by one, the remaining members of the Brunch Club began to return from their adventures. The last to return was Elora, who seemed energetic and confident as she strode toward the lighthouse. Her skin was dirty and hair knotted, but she was smug. To the surprise of her companions, a wolf emerged beside her, walking diligently by her side.

Later that night, the Brunch Club sat around a fire, discussing their adventure. Copper sat cooly watching the expanse of the beach, each unfamiliar sound causing her ears to perk as she kept watch for hidden dangers.


The next morning, the group set out to have brunch at the Barstool and Bluefish and discuss their next move. After the group discussed their adventures, they agreed that Elora’s recent intel regarding the band of gnolls to the Northwest would be the best starting point for their next adventure.

“Well,” Jory started, turning to Elora, “You do know their exact daily schedule… what if we capture a gnoll and interrogate them? Diesa, I bet you could lead a great interrogation.”

Diesa nodded in agreement, smiling to herself as she imagined interrogating one of the hideous beasts. Then, another idea struck her. “You should do it, Jory,” she suggested, “You want to become tough, right?”

Jory gulped, and the group laughed.

“Well, I guess that’s that.” Drusilla stated. “Let’s go capture some gnolls.”

Salys seemed uneasy. “Um, I have to take care of something first.” Much to the group’s surprise, Salys immediately excused herself, exiting the Barstool and Bluefish.


Standing outside of the Sun Spot, Salys took a deep breath to steady herself, knocking on the door.

“How unexpected,” the wizard Saberhagan purred as she entered, inviting Salys to join him on the sunny bench where he lay. He yawned and stretched on the bench, wrapping his tail around his body.

“What can I help you with? Are your friends on the way?”

Salys shook her head. “I’ve been… doing a lot of thinking. And processing. I just died. Twice. I have all of these powers and strange spells and abilities… and I really don’t know where it all came from. Like, where it really came from.”

Saberhagan purred, allowing Salys to continue.

“Look, I guess what I’m trying to say is… I was wondering if you had any answers. Where did Arcane magic come from? I just want some clue as to why this is all happening – I feel so lost. Like, what is the meaning of magic?”

The cat rolled onto his back, stretching his claws into the air. Saberhagan began slowly kneading the open air with his paws. “I do enjoy coming here to sit in the sun,” he mused. “It’s a most excellent thinking spot, where I contemplate things like… why do fish taste so good, but they are so unpleasant to retrieve? Why do I find cows cute? I think about the tall trees and the short grass and about how they aren’t so different. I wonder why I am talking cat, with a human familiar?”

“and I, too, have contemplated the meaning of magic,” he continued.

“How did you discover magic?” Salys asked, curious.

“Necessity,” he curtly rolled from his back to his stomach. “I didn’t exist until magic was pushed upon me, against my will. I am thankful for it, but before I was just a cat. Incapable of thinking about the tall trees and the short grass; I mostly just thought about getting treats from my human. Now, I am acutely aware of many things.”

“Where did it all come from, though? I used to just be a normal gnome, going about my day, and now I have all of this power I just don’t know what to do with it.”

“If something can’t be fixed or changed… why worry about it?” the cat mused.

“It feels like such a big responsibility.” Salys responded.

“It is,” the cat replied. “Sometimes the big picture is overwhelming. Sometimes, if you break it down into detail, it can be easier to appreciate. You may do better to look at the brushwork, the canvas, and the frame, instead of the work of art as a whole.”

“Can you tell me what you know? I have something for you, you might like this.” Digging through her satchel, Salys presented Saberhagan with a dead morsel of fish she had gathered off of the beach the day prior. She set it on the bench.

With a wave of his paw, Saberhagan smacked the fish to the floor with a small thud. “Thank you, that is very kind,” he nudged his head against Salys’ arm.

Saberhagan then began to tell Salys of the origins of magic. At least, as they are commonly understood. He described two beings, greater than Gods, who existed in eternal disagreement. As a way to enact their frustrations and play out their desires, they created the world to use as their personal playground. They gave life to many beings to fill the land. One created beautiful creatures and plants that brought joy, while the other created calamitous beings shrouded in darkness and evil. Together, they created elves and dwarves and humans, which seemed to balance the two within them.

The Beings first created Elves, only to find their helplessness a bore. Together. The beings breathed magic into the world in an attempt to give these helpless beings more power and control.

Salys sat for several minutes in silent contemplation after Saberhagan finished his tale, savoring the warmth of the sun pouring through the windows.

“Thank you,” she finally said, “I think you’ve given me a lot of needed perspective on things.” Salys stood up from the bench and made her way towards the door.

“Oh and one more thing my lost little gnome.” Salys paused to look back at the purring cat. “Your road isn’t going to be all fresh fish and catnip, but you knew that already. It’s much more of a journey for us to find our own happy little sun spots, but I believe in you Salys Garrick. You’ll find yours.” With that Saberhagan closed his eyes and pretended to drift off into a cat nap as Salys left the Sun Spot. Joining her friends back at the pub, she slid into her seat.

“What was that all about?” Elora asked of a now visibly calmer Salys.

“Oh, nothing. Is anyone going to eat that biscuit?”


Our tale will continue in Episode 37

Episode 36 was written by Bethany Powers, Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Brunch Club LIVE! DnD Game Play for Episode 35

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 035 “Vacation. All I Ever Wanted”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 035 “Vacation, All I’ve Ever Wanted”

Listen Here

Listen on YouTube

Transcript

Welcome to Episode 35 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 34, The Brunch Club reached Kalavar’s island, but their ship could not get close to shore. They took rowboats to complete the journey but were attacked by eight harpies who immediately charmed everyone but Diesa. The dice rolls of fate were repeatedly not in their favor and one by one, the members of the Brunch Club fell. Fortunately a great bronze dragon living on the island took pity on them and came to their rescue. When they awoke in the dragon’s cave, they learned that he was, in fact, Kalavar. They convinced him to come back to Elnor with them. As a reward for their courage, he gave them a set of enchanted leather armor, which the group decided Diesa should have. Kalavar let them rest to regain strength after their near death experience. The next morning they rode Kalavar back to Elnor where he made a dramatic entrance by landing on the Crystal Spire of the great library

And now…

Episode 35, “Vacation, All I’ve Ever Wanted”

A small throng of merchants and tradesmen, who were normally up at an early hour, gathered below the Crystal Spire Library to watch the mighty bronze dragon shoot lightning into the air.

Kalavar heaved himself off the crystal spire and glided down to the large expanse of steps that led to the library. When the dragon landed, those watching noticed there were six people riding the dragon’s back. A chorus of “Who are they?” passed through the onlookers as they watched five members of the group slide down the dragon’s tail. They landed gently on the steps, as if dismounting from a dragon was an everyday occurrence for them. The sixth member, a silver haired elf in black armor, tripped on one of the dragon’s scales and tumbled down the side of the noble beast. She landed in a heap behind her colleagues.

“Way to kill our dramatic entrance, Dru,” Salys kidded her.

Drusilla stood up quickly, acting as if everything was normal.

A portal appeared on the steps in front of them and Solania stepped through it. She looked as powerful and beautiful as ever, not like someone who had just been woken up by the arrival of a dragon in their city two minutes earlier.

“I’m glad to see you’re all safe,” she said warmly. “I began to worry when The Damsel arrived without her passengers and Captain.” She smiled at Captain Butler. “Thank you, Frank. Another job well done. Your crew will be happy to see you.”

Captain Butler bowed, knowing this was his cue to depart. “My pleasure, as always,” he said and walked down the steps, ignoring the astonished stares of the small crowd.

The dragon seemed to shimmer for a moment. It’s giant body collapsed in on itself and shrunk in a twisting blur of smokey ribbons before coalescing into the form of a stern looking, elderly wizard in bronze robes.

“Solania,” the dragon greeted her.

“Kalavar, thank you so much for answering my request.” Solania maintained an official air of dignity, but the others could tell she was barely containing her nervous excitement.

Solania turned to the Brunch Club and asked them to each hold out their hands so they might receive their reward. All of them did, except Jory who stepped back, not sure if he had been with the group long enough to deserve one. Diesa elbowed him in the ribs and silently gestured for him to hold out his hand. In each of their hands, Solania placed a stone. The stones were hexagonal and engraved with the symbol of the Crystal Spire Library. Elora, Salys and Drusilla stared at the stones and realized that after all this time, they finally gained access to the fabled library, and possibly the answers to their questions they had been seeking for so long.

“Cool rocks,” Diessa commented.

The stones vanished in their hands. The symbol of the Library glowed faintly beneath the skin of their palms before fading away.

“Very cool rocks,” Jory agreed.

“The library cards are a part of you now. You are able to come and go to the library as you please,” Solania said to them.

“Speaking of coming and going,” interjected Kalavar. “It might be best for you to leave Elnor for a week or so. Not everyone is going to be happy I am here, and if they learn that you are responsible for my arrival, it may not be safe for you.”

“We should go back to Wheaton,” said Drusilla.

“Excellent idea. Follow me,” said Solania as she ascended the steps to the doors of the library.

They entered into a large hallway with runes carved into the floor. When they stepped across the markings, they felt their hands tingle slightly. They looked at them and saw the sigil of the Crystal Spire Library glow just beneath their palms once more.

Just past the hallway, another engraving was etched into the floor. This was a round design and large enough for several people to stand in the middle. As the group approached, energy arced and crackled just above the floor’s surface. Solania put her hand out to stop the group. A portal opened in the middle of the carved runes and a large figure stepped out. He was a half orc. He wore nothing more than boots and a kilt. A large bag was slung over his shoulder. A cockeyed chicken poked its head from the bag’s opening as the strange figure passed them without acknowledging their presence.

“Master Gobbler,” Solania greeted him curtly with a quick nod.

The half orc grunted a quick “Good day” and continued down the hallway.

Solania made no further mention of the half orc and invited The Brunch Club to step inside the circle. She took a large gem from the inside of her robe, which caught Diesa’s appreciative eye. Solania held her hand over it, muttered an incantation, and a bright blue light surrounded the party, obscuring their view of everything else in the room outside the circle.

The light faded and they found themselves standing in front of the fountain in the main square of Wheaton. The party looked around appreciating their sudden change of surroundings, except for Drusilla who teetered, off balance.

“Sorry, I wasn’t expecting that,” she apologized as she grabbed Diesa’s shoulder to steady herself.

“Elves,” Diessa muttered under her breath. “Too damn tall.”

“I heard that,” Elora said.

Wheaton looked in much better condition than when they had left it. The buildings that were burned during the gnoll invasion were nearly repaired. The city gates and guard tower were completely rebuilt.

“So what now?” Jory asked.

“Brunch!” the rest of them said in unison, and led Jory to the White Claw Inn.


At brunch, the group decided they should go see Saberhagen and catch him up on their adventures, and give him the supplies he had asked the group to fetch for him while in Elnor.

“Who’s Saberhagen?” asked Jory.

They told Jory and Diesa that Saberhagen was the wizard who owned the Sun Spot magic emporium and acted as a sort of patron for The Brunch Club in exchange for them spreading word of his store and magic inventory across the land. They hadn’t actually seen much of the land outside of Wheaton and Elnor though, so as of yet, they hadn’t lived up to their part of the bargain. Elora told them it was Saberhagen that gave her the Phoenix arrow. They all conveniently left out the small tidbit of information for Diesa and Jory that Saberhagen was a cat.

Drusilla, Elora, and Salys led the way to the Sun Spot, a few paces ahead of Jory and Diesa.

“I feel like we’ve experienced so much since we were last here,” Salys said.

“I do too, and it hasn’t even been that long,” Drusilla agreed.

“We should walk through town like we’re really cool,” suggested Salys.

“Yes!” Drusilla agreed enthusiastically. “Like in a flying ‘V’ formation!”

Diesa and Jory watched as Drusilla stepped forward and Salys and Elora fell back a bit on either side of her. They matched strides, although Salys did have to add a couple steps to keep formation.

“Why are they walking so slowly?” Jory whispered to Diesa.

“I have no idea,” she answered.

“Weird… How long have you known them?” he asked.

“Not long enough, apparently,” said Diesa.

They saw a familiar face on the way to the Sun Spot. It was Druron, the blacksmith who had given Vorjhon his two headed flail, Eclipse, as a gift for saving the town from the gnoll attack.

“We should probably let him know about Vorjhon,” Salys said solemnly.

They approached the blacksmith who greeted them politely. Drusilla told him what happened to Vorjhon, and apologized for not being able to return Eclipse to him, but assured him it served the paladin right up until he sacrificed his life to save his friend.

Druron accepted her apology and wished the rest of them luck and hoped they did not befall a similar fate. He also told them the gnolls had not returned to the town, though small groups of them were regularly spotted in the forest to the north.

They bid the blacksmith good day and proceeded, in formation, to Saberhagen’s.


The magic bell rang when The Brunch Club opened the door to the Sun Spot.

“Wow!” exclaimed Jory, with wonder. “I’ve been in magic shops before, but this place is incredible. It looks like an eccentric wizard’s attic.”

“Thank you,” a voice said behind him.

Jory turned to see a formally dressed human male standing there. His hands were extended and held a pillow. A black and white tuxedo cat with a fancy jeweled collar sat regally on the pillow.

“I’m glad you like my little store, halfling,” the cat said.

“Oh my gods! You have a talking cat! This is great!” Jory said happily. “You must be the best wizard ever!”

Saberhagen narrowed his eyes at Jory. He then noticed Drusilla, Elora and Salys standing in the doorway, grinning mischievously.

“You didn’t tell him, did you?” the cat asked them.

“Nope!” said Elora, no longer able to conceal her laughter.

“Saberhagen, this is Jory. Jory, this is Saberhagen,” Salys said, introducing them.

The wizard glared at Salys. “I now prefer to be addressed as, ‘His Lordship Saberhagen, Bane of Canines, Master of Magic, Taker of Naps.’”

Salys shrugged. “Whatever, ‘Saberhagen’s’ been working so far.”

Saberhagen seemed to notice the dwarven rogue with the fresh scars on her face for the first time.

“You’re terrifying,” Saberhagen said matter of factly to Diesa

“Thank you,” replied Diesa in the same tone, before sneezing loudly. “I’m allergic to cats” she said without apologizing.

Jenkins placed Saberhagen, as well as his pillow, on a stool next to the shop’s counter.

Drusilla presented a cloth sack to the wizard. “Here’s the items you wanted us to get you from Elnor,” she said.

“It took you long enough. That was weeks ago,” the wizard replied curtly. “You go off on adventures and forget about old Saberhagen. I see how it is.”

Drusilla told Saberhagen everything the group had done and been through since they were last in Wheaton. If the cat was sad about Vorjhon’s demise, he did not show it.

When Drusilla finished her tale, Saberhagen said, “Jenkins!”

Jenkins clapped twice to summon himself to his master’s side. He began taking the items out of the bag one by one. As Jenkins placed each item on the counter, Saberhagen looked at them and said “Excellent,” then batted each one onto the floor with his paw.

“Jenkins, pick those up,” the cat said once the bag was empty. “Better late than never,” he then said, turning to the Brunch Club.

“Um, technically, you never gave us a deadline,” Salys pointed out.

Saberhagen ignored her. “If there’s nothing else then, I have to get back to my nap,” he said, hoping to dismiss them.

“Actually,” Drusilla said, much to the cat’s annoyance. “We found these in the tomb where Vojhon died. Can you identify them for us?”

Drusilla placed a purple gem, a gold brooch, and two identically engraved, rectangular stones on the counter.

Saberhagen looked at the objects. His tail twitched with interest. He dismissively slid the stones to the side and said, “these are just sending stones,” before inspecting the gem and brooch more closely.

“What are sending stones?” asked Elora.

The cat rolled his eyes and huffed at the group’s ignorance of all things arcane. “It allows two people holding the stones to cast a sending spell between them once per day,” he explained quickly.

Drusilla picked the stones up excitedly and exclaimed, “Cool! Rocky Talkies!”

Saberhagen stared at her blankly. “Sure,” he said before turning his attention back to the remaining two items.

“This,” he said, pointing to the gold piece of jewelry, “is a brooch of protection. It will give its wearer extra protection against force damage.”

The group decided Salys should wear that. She took it and pinned the small gold shield happily to her robe.

“Now this,” said Saberhagen with a hint of excitement creeping into his normally aloof manner, ”is an Ioun Stone. It’s very useful.”

“What does it do?” asked Diesa, admiring the beautiful gem.

Saberhagen moved it around on the table with his paw, tipping it over and over to admire its facets. “As of yet, I am not quite certain. There’s a few different varieties of these. Only one way to be sure.” The cat began muttering an incantation as his eyes glowed with a silver energy. One quick Identify spell later and he had an answer for them. “A caster can store a small amount of spell energy in this stone for later. The spells can then be cast by anyone wielding the stone, regardless if they are a spell caster or not,” Saberhagen explained.

“Given our luck lately, we should fill it with healing spells,” muttered Jory.

Drusilla took the Ioun Stone, thanked Saberhagen for his expertise, and hoped he enjoyed his nap.

“It was nice to meet you, His Lordship Saberhagen, Bane of Canines, Master of Magics, Taker of Naps,” Jory shouted back to the wizard on the way out.

“I like that one,” purred the cat as he curled into his warm pillow.


“Where to now?” Salys asked as they stood outside the Sun Spot.

“We should pick up something to make a shrine for Harir on the Island,” Drusilla suggested.

“Oh yeah!,” agreed Elora. “Maybe a big pile of beef jerky!”

“You’re not going to build a shrine to Vorjhon?” Jory asked curiously.

“Oh yeah, I guess him too,” said Drusilla.
“We could get a pair of silver plated boots,” suggested Salys.

After much debate about an appropriate tribute to Vorjhon, they finally decided on a shining steel weathervane in the shape of Bahamut for the top of the lighthouse.

They placed the order with Druran at his forge, then went to Wilhelm’s Wares dry goods store to get beef Jerky before heading to the island.

The craggy ex-fisherman Morton greeted them warmly at the docks and pointed out a rowboat that was reserved for them to go to and from the island as they pleased. As they rowed across the harbor, Drusilla pointed out which of the two lighthouses in the harbor was theirs and told Jory and Diesa, “When we first came to this lighthouse it was infested with herpes.”

“Your lighthouse had herpes?” Jory asked, confused.

The others burst into laughter.

“I said ‘Harpies’” Drusilla protested.

“Oh no,” Elora laughed. “You definitely said ‘herpes.”

“Man, I hate it when your lighthouse gets harpies. They’re so annoying and hard to get rid of,” Salys joked.

“They keep coming back too,” Elora added through tears of laughter.

“Fuck you guys,” Drusilla said, crossing her arms in frustrated submission. “You know what I meant!” she pouted playfully.

They tied the dory up at the newly rebuilt dock and walked to Harir’s stone grave to place their offering of beef jerky upon it. After a respectful moment of silence, they continued to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse looked bright and fresh with a new coat of white wash on it’s stone surface. The scaffold was still up, but it had begun to be dismantled. A new, thick, freshly varnished oak and iron door was now in place. It wasn’t until they went to open it the group realized none of them had a key.

“No worries,” said Diesa. She took out her lock picking tools and began feeling around the tumbler mechanism inside. It was a quality lock, but Diesa was able to open it within a few minutes.
The transformation inside the lighthouse astonished them. The once abandoned, rotting lighthouse interior now looked like a warm inviting home. The first level contained a kitchen and dining area with several comfortable chairs and sofas in a separate conversation area. The next three levels were split into living quarters. The top floor, where the beacon and other equipment once sat, was now an open circular room encased in glass.

“This would make a great alchemy laboratory,” Drusilla said with enthusiasm.

They took the rowboat back to shore and went to see Mayor Gladstone to tell him of Kalavar’s arrival in Elnor. The mayor seemed genuinely glad to see them and seemed hopeful that Wheaton’s strained relationship with Elnor might improve if Kalavar could indeed check the Council of Five’s power.

“How long do you plan to stay in Wheaton?” the mayor asked them.

They looked at each other quizzically. They hadn’t thought about what their plans were other than laying low for a week.

“I could use a little break after dying twice in less than a week,” Salys said.

“I’d like to set up my alchemy lab and make us some healing potions,” said Drusilla.

“How long will that take?” asked Elroa.

“About six weeks,” the cleric answered.

“Six weeks with no one trying to kill us,” Salys said, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms behind her head. “That sounds like the perfect vacation.”

Our tale will continue in Episode 36

Episode 35 was written by Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Brunch Club LIVE! – DnD Game Play for Episode 34

Listen To The Fun Behind The Fiction!

A recording of the Dungeons & Dragons game play session that became the source material for the fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of The Brunch Club 034 “Saved by the Bung Hole”.

This podcast contains alcohol use, cussing, shouting, tangents, forgetting which dice to roll when, and plenty of decisions that make our dungeon master wonder why he agreed to do this in the first place.

In short, it’s a typical DnD night.

We didn’t start recording our sessions until this episode, but don’t worry, we’re at the beginning of a new story arc, and you can catch up with our story by listening to the Tales of The Brunch Club fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 034 “Saved by the Bung Hole”

Listen Here

Listen on YouTube

Transcript

Welcome to Episode 34 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 33, The Brunch Club finally agreed to let Jory join their group. Diesa disguised him as an elderly halfling to help hide him from the pirates. Solania appeared in their room and gave them a new mission: Find a wise and powerful hermit named Kalavar and convince him to return with them to help restore political balance to Elnor. Solania had a ship waiting for them to take them to the island home of the mysterious Kalaver. The ship was commanded by Captain Butler, who Elora recognized as the bartender who slipped Vorjhon the note about restoring divine magic to Elnor while they were at Lady Tiroll’s party. The journey started pleasantly, with Jory taking over the galley to make everyone waffles and pumpkin spiced coffee. The smooth sailing was interrupted by a pair of Water Elementals that attacked the ship, killing one of the crew members before The Brunch Club, with the aid of Captain Butler, finished them off.

And now…

Episode 34, “Saved By The Bung Hole”

The brunch club stood, shaken, on the deck of The Damsel. They were tense; the encounter with the Water Elementals was unwavering proof that open waters were rife with peril. Drusila, in particular, looked pale and shaken by her unwelcome brush with death.

Her hand lay on her chest where the elemental had struck her, swiftly knocking her unconscious during battle. The color was slowly returning to her cheeks, but she was weary.

Before anyone could speak. Captain Butler emerged from his cabin, now dry and donning a modest white blouse. Both Diesa and Elora sighed, lamenting the fact that he no longer appeared salty, wet, and shirtless.

“Any of you spellcasters able to patch me up?” Captain Butler grunted, eyeing his weary passengers. Drusilla nodded, and with a wave of her hand reduced Captain Butler’s fresh wounds to faded scars.

“Thank you, by the way,” Drusila said, “we’d have had a hard time beating those things without the help of you and your crew”.

Captain Butler nodded, looking out to sea. “Like I’d let a few armed puddles destroy my ship. They won’t be coming back if they know what’s good for ‘em.”

Drusila nodded, and set to healing herself from the battle. Shortly, she seemed to regain her composure, looking enlivened and rejuvenated.

**

After several hours of uneventful travel, Salys noted the appearance of a small speck of land on the horizon, squinting her bright green eyes as she gazed into the distance. The island was small, with jagged rocks on the shore and what appeared to be a small mountain emerging from the center. It was lush with trees and plant life, slowly taking shape as the ship drew closer.

“About time,” Diesa said as she pushed herself up from a seated position, groaning. Looking overboard briefly, she scowled, “I’ve never much liked the ocean.”

“I think it’s kind of neat!” Exclaimed Jory, popping up next to Diesa. He took a deep swig from his bota bag. “I mean, yeah, it totally reminds me of that time I was captured by sailors and kept prisoner and abused and beaten by pirates and I really wasn’t sure if I’d ever be free again… but other than that, I find it really peaceful and calming!”

Jory beamed at the open sea, taking in a deep breath of the crisp salt air. The group looked at him and then exchanged glances with one another, stupefied by his unwavering positivity.

Oblivious to his companions, Jory surveyed the horizon, his eyes locking on a speck soaring through the air. “And the nature, I mean – look at that bird! From all the way over here? That thing must be ENORMOUS. Really, these ecosymptoms are just fascinating!” He hiccuped.

“I think you mean ecosystems?” Elora sighed, looking in the direction of the flying creature.

She paused, her stomach knotting. “Um, guys…” Elora trailed off, her eyes fixated. “I… don’t think that thing is a bird.” The speck slowly grew larger and larger as the ship continued its course.

“Of course it’s a bird,” Diesa retorted. One of the crew members looked on beside her, nodding in agreement.

“It’s… I mean, I think that’s a Wyvern.” Elora stated slowly, evaluating the long barbed tail and two hind legs.

“Ah, for fuck’s sake,” Captain Butler exclaimed as he joined the group. “You five are just magnets for disaster, aren’t ye? That’s a Wyvern alright.”

Still exhausted from their encounter with the Water Elementals, the group debated the best course of action. Jory suggested the ship turn away, giving them a chance to rest before returning under the cover of nightfall. Torn, they turned to Captain Butler for his thoughts.

“As much as I dislike the idea of fighting a Wyvern today… I dislike the idea of encountering one tonight much more.”

His point was taken. Should the Wyvern attack at night, the crew would be at a serious disadvantage. Finally reaching a consensus, the Brunch Club conceded to the fact that an immediate encounter may be their only option, despite still being exhausted from battle.

Drusila, Diesa, and Jory swiftly took position on the deck of the ship, each brandishing crossbows. Captain Butler and his crew manned the cannons. As the Brunch club debated who should strike first against the rapidly approaching beast, they were interrupted by a sudden cry of “FIRE!”

Two cannons boomed from inside the ship, causing it to rock and throw the group off balance. One of the well-aimed cannon balls hit the Wyvern square on its scaled chest. It let loose a high-pitched shriek. It faltered, dropped several feet, then regained its composure. With a renewed, angry vigor, it pushed through the air toward The Damsel.

Another cannonball hissed through the air, striking the Wyvern a second time. Recovering, the Wyvern ascended higher, now a mere fifty meters from the ship. Drusilla, Diesa and Jory steeled themselves with their crossbows. They held their aim steady, save for Jory, as they waited for the beast to descend upon the ship.

Suddenly, a scream escaped from the Wyvern. Its piercing howl cut through the air as it lost control of its movement, and plummeted from the sky. It collided with the ocean and skipped across its surface. The water quickly closed in around its lifeless corpse, enveloping it in a watery grave.

Satisfied, Elora grinned to herself as she placed her phoenix arrow back into its quiver.

“NICE SHOT ELORA!” Jory cheered, tossing his bow to the side. “WE DID IT!”

The ranger smiled coyly, looking toward her companions. “It was alright, I guess. At least The Damsel is no longer in distress.” Her joke was met only with groans.

Elora glided back toward the group, tucking her bow and arrow away and allowing herself to smile with relief Though she hadn’t admitted it, she had feared this battle could have been the last for her and her companions. “Brunch, anyone?”


Under the guidance of Captain Butler, the Damsel eventually anchored offshore. The Brunch Club divided into two rowboats. Drusilla agreed to row the statue for Kalavar to shore in one, and the remaining members of the Brunch Club piled into the other.

Jory stood in the stern of the rowboat, slurring instructions to the group. “Stroke! Stroke!” He shouted, teetering as the small skiff navigated the crashing waves.

The shoreline grew clearer as they made headway toward the island. Panting, they continued to drive their oars into the water, pushing steadily along. The party was about sixty feet from the shoreline when they heard the familiar sound of screeching from above pierce through the wind.

Eight winged, humanoid figures emerged from the mist, descending toward the rowboats. “STRO- oh my God!” Jory exclaimed, the first to locate the source of the screeching. “H-harpies!” He shouted over the noise.

“We’ll skin you alive,” They could hear the Harpies screeching, coupled with laughter more chilling than the cold winter mist. The harpies continued to taunt the group, and a particularly hideous Harpie could be heard shouting “You’ll make a fine feast!”

The Harpies began to swirl above the Brunch club like vultures preparing to descend upon rotting corpses. Suddenly, their stream of insults stopped, and was replaced by an enchanting song.

One-by-one, the party members were lulled into submission, until Diesa was the only alert member of the party.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Diesa screamed. Her comrades sat around her. They were dazed and did nothing, bedsides rock slowly back and forth to the Harpies’ song, each oblivious to their surroundings. “You’re just… sitting there?! This is pathetic!” The dwarf huffed in frustration.

“Elora… shoot them!” Diesa continued, pointing aggressively toward one of the nearby Harpies. Instead of reacting to the plea, Elora just sat there, staring glassy-eyed at the Harpy who charmed her.

The winged predators quickly descended upon the group, launching a series of attacks against Diesa and Drusilla. Diesa screamed, and Drusilla jolted as if waking suddenly from a deep sleep.

Now alert, Drusilla unsheathed her Long Sword, and swung it aimlessly through the air in an unsuccessful attempt to dissuade her attackers. Meanwhile, Diesa attempted to waken her companions by brute force.

“WAKE. UP.” She shouted, swinging at Jory. Despite his charmed state, he nimbly avoided her series of desperate punches. Exasperated, she instead turned to Salys, striking her across the face.

Hardly reacting, Salys continued to gaze out to sea.

Moments felt like a lifetime to Drusilla and Diesa, who were panting heavily, drenched in the cold mist. The group of Harpies continued their overwhelming attack against them. They clawed at the dwarf and the elf as they attempted to ward off their attacks.

One of the Harpies swept down upon Drusilla, striking her across the chest. She fell, her vision going black. With just a statue beside her, the cleric began to bleed out into the rowboat. Diesa was the last member of the party standing. She grunted in frustration as the Harpies descended around her. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of opponents, it wasn’t long before Diesa also fell unconscious from the Harpies’ attacks.


Death is a funny thing.

As they died, the charmed members of the party felt only vaguely aware of the claws pressing into their flesh. They were oddly relaxed as the Harpy claws dug into their skin.

One by one, each member of the Brunch Club, as the old adage goes, saw their lives flash before their eyes.

Fading slowly, Diesa recalled images of being a small girl in the Cliffgate Mountains. Her father, the Chieftain, scolded her for once again stealing from the kitchens. She recalled Adrick Craghold, a member of the rival clan, and how her hand felt in his. She recollected the shame she felt being banished from her clan. In her final moments, Diesa wished for redemption.

As Jory’s skin was slowly picked apart, he couldn’t help but wonder if his parents would be distraught over never hearing from their son again. His final thoughts wandered toward his heroes, the Brunch Club and his long lost friend Coyra, who had taken him under her protection when he was kidnapped.

As Elora’s thoughts faded into darkness, she lamented the fact that she was about to die without the knowledge of who she really is. Lost memories flickered briefly through her consciousness, portraying the Obsidian watch, vampires, and the Feywild as she spiraled into darkness.

Drusilla’s memories portrayed a more simple time. She was brought back to a beautiful city with golden spires, surrounded by a lush jungle paradise. She could see her friends and family surrounding her, and the air was filled with laughter and song.

Salys envisioned herself cozy at home with a book, aware that her father was out there somewhere, soon to return home. In the distance, she could hear gnome children giggling throughout the forest. The ease of the afternoon brought a smile to her face, and she felt safe and at home.

For each member of The Brunch Club, everything soon faded to black.

**

Suddenly, Salys awoke. There was no light around her.. Her eyes widened with terror when they adjusted to the darkness.

A creature stared back at her. Its enormous eyes were larger than her body. She could hear the steady, deep breaths of the creature over the sounds of nearby water breaking against stone. With each exhale, a warm breeze seemed to creep over the gnome’s skin and bright red hair. In the gloom she couldn’t make out the edges of the beast, but she knew it was big. Really big.

“Do you make a habit of dying on peoples’ doorsteps?” The creature asked.

Salys blinked, unsure if she was dreaming. “Where am I… w-what are you?” Salys asked.

“I’m a dragon. A very old, very annoyed dragon.” Its low voice rumbled throughout what appeared to be a dank, uninviting cave. It sounded inconvenienced. “Some Harpies seem to have taken a liking to your group. They seemed hungry for gnome meat… hmm, well, three days ago now.”

“We’ve been here for three days?! M-my friends!” Salys exclaimed, panicking.

“Your friends are fine,” the dragon assured her, gesturing behind Salys. She turned. Her eyes were still adjusting to the darkness of the cave, but she could vaguely make out the shapes of her comrades laying upon the cavern floor. Turning back to the dragon, a realization struck her.

“Wait, are you.. Kalavar?” She asked.

“Yes.” The dragon responded, without the intent to elaborate.

“Wait… wh-what? You’re… a dragon?!” Not once had she, or the other members of the Brunch Club, considered the possibility that the object of their quest would be anything other than an old hermit living on a rock.

“Clearly your recent mishap is clouding your cognitive abilities. Yes, as I explained, I am a dragon.” Kalavar responded.

“Do you… want to hang out? Talk? Oh wow. This is just, this is a lot to take in mister Kalavar.” Salys stammered, terrified and excited.

He ignored her invitation. “Tell me, gnome… why are you here?”

“We came here on behalf of your friend, Solania. She… wants you to lead the five and take charge of Elnor.” Salys said. She gestured toward the moonstone statue laying haphazardly to one side of the cave, explaining that it came from Solania as a symbol of change and good will.

The dragon sighed, taking the statue into its long claws and relocating it among a massive pile of gold and jewels. He seemed to admire the statue, and placed it prominently amongst his collection.

After a pause, Salys gathered up the courage to ask, “So, my friends… are they going to make it?”

Kalavar nodded slowly, and Salys turned to her companions, who lay scattered across the floor of the cave. To her surprise, Captain Butler lay amongst them, his chest slowly rising and falling.

“You should get some more rest,” Kalavar encouraged, eyeing the brave gnome. Salys nodded, realizing how exhausted she truly was. She lay back down, resting her head on her tiny arms, and drifted back to sleep.

**

“What the… guys?!” Jory exclaimed the next morning, jolting up from his sleep.

“You are so shrill! Can you just shut up a minute? My head is killing me.” Diesa exclaimed, covering her ears as she lay in the fetal position.

“Is this the afterlife?” Drusilla moaned, as one by one, each member of the Brunch Club awoke from their sleep.

“Guys, I don’t know when he’s going to be back so I’m just going to say it,” Salys blurted. “Kalavar is a friggen dragon! I woke up, we talked, it was weird. I think we all died, but he saved us.”

The group stared at Salys, each processing the fact that they had perished.

Captain Butler shook his head. “I saw you muscle heads getting your asses handed to you… you were definitely dead, or close to it.”

The group agreed that, while waking from certain death in a cave with a dragon may be horrifying, there had been ample opportunity for them to become dinner in the prior three days. At the very least, it seemed, Kalavar would not harm them.

“Look. guys, we can talk about this more later, but I told Kalavar about our quest. He didn’t sound entirely convinced about his return to Elnor.”

The Brunch Club processed their unfamiliar surroundings, examining the dank cave and the massive pile of treasure that lined the wall. Kalavar soon returned, landing with a loud thud onto the floor of the cave.

Jory stood upright, and in a panic he recited, “SOLANIA HAS EVERYTHING ON HER END COMPLETE. THE LAWFULNESS OF ELNOR HAS BEEN CRUMBLING. SHE HUMBLY ASKS YOUR ASSISTANCE IN SETTING EVERYTHING RIGHT.”

With his statement out of the way, Jory suddenly fainted, a small thud reverberating through the cave as he hit the solid rock floor beneath him.

It took time for Jory to recover, and after waking he continuously shifted his gaze toward the dragon and away again. Kalavar presented Jory with fish eggs and seaweed, suggesting that he distract himself by providing nourishment for his friends.

At dinner, Kalavar presented a wooden barrel to the Brunch Club, explaining that he has no use for drink. The party examined the barrel, debating the best way to reveal its contents. Eventually, they resolved to open the bung hole and give the contents a sniff. To their delight, they identified it as fine, well-aged whiskey.

Drusilla portioned the whiskey into small shells they gathered from the floor of the cave. Once each member of the party had a drink in their hands, she raised hers. “To our lives,” she stated, tossing the liquid back.

“To our lives,” the group responded.

As the group sipped their whiskey, Kalavar inquired of their plans.

“Well, we’re hoping to bring you back to Elnor,” Salys responded, eyeing the dragon.

Kalavar sighed, shifting. “I think I would like to return to my slumber.”

“Oh, hell no.” Diesa responded, grounding herself. “There is no way we came this far just to wake you up and lull you back to sleep. I’ll be damned if we came all this way for nothing!” Her words rang sharply across the cave. Drusilla gently rested a hand on her friend’s shoulder, to calm her before speaking up herself. Her voice trembled at first, but Drusilla slowly gained confidence as she addressed the ancient dragon.

“We lost our friend, a dragonborn, who would have gladly died a second time to see peace restored to Elnor. We accepted this quest in his honor, and we urge you to reconsider. People are being subjugated and unjustly punished. You have the power to shape the way of life in Elnor and to guide it back to something to be proud of. Please, we urge you to reconsider and to see the opportunity for good that lies ahead of you.”

Kalavar gazed at Drusilla, silent. She continued. “If you have the opportunity to make this messed up world a better place, and you pass that up then…” she faltered briefly as she remembered she was more or less scolding an ancient dragon. “Then you aren’t the leader Solania would have us to believe.”

The dragon sighed. “Elnor has the potential to thrive under just rule, but it is festering under corruption. Perhaps I should just burn it to the ground and start anew?” Kalavar mused.

Salys looked at the dragon. “But not everyone is corrupt. We need to believe there’s a better path for the city… without burning it to the ground. Solania believes you can hold The Five accountable and bring justice to Elnor.”

“You make a convincing point,” the dragon responded, surveying the group. “I do appreciate that you all gave your lives, to deliver this message.”

“Well, that wasn’t exactly plan A,” Jory muttered into his shell after refilling it with whisky.

Kalavar breathed steadily. He seemed to be weighing his options. “If Elnor is as you say it is, and Solania is ready… I will do my best to make right of it.” He turned to face Elora. “You’ve been… quiet. Do you have anything to add?”

Elora stared at the dragon, unphased by his enormity. “No,” she stated, “I think that just about covers it.”

Salys paused, “Well… wait.”

Everyone turned to face her. “Look, um.. Elora has been having some issues with her memory. Like, she lost it. She has just about no idea who she is or where she came from. You seem powerful, so, do you know anything about memory restoration?

The dragon paused. “I haven’t much experience in the art of restoring memory, but I might be able to point you in the direction of those who can assist you.”

“Do continue…” Elora implored.

“There is a shaman named Ander Stormwinds in Northern Halstein that may be able to help you with your memory loss. To the west of Drazan, there is also Amica LeCroix, and to the south, Diero Astorio. They are all powerful in their own right, and while I make no guarantees… they may be able to restore you.”

Elora sat silent for a moment. Fear and excitement filled her, although outwardly she remained stoic. The prospect of discovering her identity both thrilled and terrified her.

The silence in the cave was thick as the party reflected on this new information, but after a few moments, Diesa could no longer help herself.

“You seem like you enjoy the finer things in life,” she stated, gesturing at the hoarded gold and treasure surrounding the party. “We’ve heard of the lost treasure of Bonlhodir… do you know if there is any merit to the legend of his treasures?”

The dragon eyed Diesa, “I knew him,” he responded. “A very stubborn dwarf, though he was a very successful merchant and weaponsmith of his time. If material wealth is what you seek… it isn’t a bad place to start.”

“It’s a means to an end,” Diesa responded.

The group continued to probe the dragon for more information regarding their histories and travels, but it seemed they had exhausted his wealth of relevant knowledge. Finally, Drusilla asked the one question the entire party had feared bringing up.

“Look, I don’t know if this is offensive, but… if you’re heading back to Elnor, can we hitch a ride?”

For the first time, the dragon seemed to laugh. “I was going to suggest it.”

“AWESOME!” Jory exclaimed, thrusting his fist into the air.

“And,” Kalavar continued, “I’d like to offer you a favor. You risked everything to deliver this message, and a favor from a dragon is one of the most valuable gifts that can be received. All I ask is that you use it wisely, and at the right time.”


Come dawn the next day, Kalavar’s voice reverberated throughout the cave. “Wake up, it’s morning.” he boomed, abruptly startling the party out of their slumber.

“I have one last gift for you,” he said. “For helping me realize where I am needed.” The dragon pointed one massive claw toward a set of fine, enchanted leather armor that had been separated from the pile of treasure.

The party unanimously agreed that Diesa should don the armour.

Kalavar told the party it was time to leave. They tentatively climbed on top of the bronze dragon’s enormous back. His massive wings propelled them rapidly higher and higher. As they ascended into the air, they saw the remains of harpies scattered across the beach.

Within the hour, Elnor emerged before them. With power and grace, Kalavar landed atop the city’s famed library. His massive talons wrapped around the crystal spire and dug into its translucent stone surface.

The impact of the mighty bronze dragon’s landing echoed off buildings throughout the Crystal District. The echoes were followed by a deafening roar. The air around the party crackled with electricity as Kalavar unleashed an arc of lightning into the early morning sky, announcing his arrival to all of Elnor.

Our tale will continue in Episode 35

Episode 34 was written by Bethany Powers and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Tales of The Brunch Club 033 “Undercover Butler”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 33 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 32, The Brunch Club hadn’t decided on letting Jory join them yet, but did invite him to spend the day with them to see if he’d be a good fit. They bought Salys some new clothes and equipment to finally replace what she’d lost when she was disintegrated. Diesa, Elora and Jory entered a pit fighting tournament. Elora won a two hundred gold prize for coming in third place. They celebrated at a local tavern where a group of pirates recognized Jory. Before Drusilla could negotiate a price for the halfling, Diesa broke a bottle on the table and attacked the pirates. One of them picked up Jory and tried to get away with him, but he was stopped by Salys. The Brunch Club left the tavern in a hurry and decided staying at the Rampant Wizard Inn was no longer safe.

And now…

Episode 33, “Undercover Butler”

Diesa entered the large single room The Brunch Club had rented at the Victorian Inn. It was crowded but they hoped that renting only one room would disguise the fact that a group of five had checked in. She put the basket of fruit and bread on the small table in the middle of the room.

“Any sign of pirates out there?” Salys asked.

“Not that I saw,” Diesa said as she peeled an apple with her knife.

“Were you followed back?” asked Jory.

Diesa shot him a glaring look.

Jory took that as a “no”.
No one spoke while they ate breakfast.

“Jory, I want to apologize for the past couple days,” Drusilla said when they had finished eating. “Vorjon’s death affected me more than I want to admit, and I know if he were here, he’d want us to help you.”

“Yeah,” agreed Elora. “I was a bit mean to you too. I can’t really call myself a monster hunter if I become a monster. And I don’t want to become what I hunt.”

“Vorjhon was kind of our moral compass,” agreed Salys. “He gave his life for me, but he’d have given it for any one of us. We owe it to him to try and be good.”

“Um, exactly how good do you think he’d want us to be?” asked Diesa, wondering if ‘being good’ meant she had to stop stealing shiny objects that caught her eye.

“Does this mean you’re not going to dress me up like a little girl?” Jory asked, hopefully.

“I’m not saying it’s off the table,” Drusilla smiled at him. “But if someone has another idea…”

“Let me give it a shot,” Diesa said. She rummaged through her rucksack and pulled out a strip of rolled canvas. When she unrolled it they could see it had pockets for makeup brushes, tubes of grease paint, and other items that made up a theatrical makeup kit. She told Jory to sit on the low coffee table in front of her and she got to work.

When she was done, Jory stood before them as an elderly halfling. His hair was gray, and cut to make it look like it was thinning. His eyebrows were white and bushy. He had a scraggly chin beard, and dark circles under his eyes. A rolled up pillow case in his shirt gave his belly a paunch.

They were all impressed by the transformation.

“Something’s still missing,” Drusilla said, though she couldn’t identify what it was.

“I think I know,” said Jory.

He borrowed Salys’s staff and held it like a walking stick. He bent forward slightly and began using the staff to walk gingerly around the room.

He said in a strained shaky voice. “Hello there. My name’s Jerry. Jerry Atric. It’s nice to see young people these days taking an interest in adventuring. Why, back in my day…”

Diesa threw a piece of bread at him to make him stop.

“Now it’s perfect,” Drusilla said.

Jory bowed, taking credit for his performance.

“Who’s the young halfling playing dress up?” asked a voice that belonged to no member of The Brunch Club.

They all leapt to their feet and pointed their weapons at the cloaked figure who suddenly stood in the small room with them.

She pulled her hood back from her face.

The Brunch Club relaxed and put their weapons away.

Jory stood wide eyed and amazed. “Solania!” he said with star-struck reverence.


Solania made herself as comfortable as she could in the cramped room. They offered her the room’s only chair, and she accepted. The rest of them sat on the two beds, except for Diesa. She stood leaning against the door with her arms crossed.

They started to tell her what happened in the crypts beneath the ruins of the old Raven Queen temple, but she stopped them, offering to wait until Vorjhon joined them.

She looked genuinely sad when they told her what happened to Vorjhon. She also looked disappointed. After a moment’s pause she bade them to tell her what happened.

“An undead beholder. That is unusual,” said Solania when they finished their tale.

She also told them that the room guarded by the magical suits of armor was the tomb of the great warrior, Siriden Hindel. The guards were animated constructs known as helmed horrors, created specifically to guard Hindel’s resting place.

She thanked them for uncovering the source of the undead and killing the beholder. She told Drusilla she could keep the license to use divine magic while in Elnor, but asked her to only use it when absolutely necessary. She also told them she would start the process of getting them access to the library

She looked as though she was about to share something with them, but then stopped, and rose to leave.

“Solania,” Drusilla asked. “What did you want to use Vorjhon for?”

“Yeah, we know about the note you had given to him at Lady Tiroll’s,” said Salys.

Solania sat back down. She thought about where to begin, and decided to start at the beginning.

“Centuries ago, Elnor was ruled by a triumvirate of powerful clerics. Magic users such as myself, and Salys, were considered abominations and hunted as heretics. The clerics, with no one to check their power, became corrupt, and the citizens of Elnor suffered. Eventually a group of five powerful mages began a secret teaching college where they taught other gifted people the arcane arts. They also rallied the oppressed people and together they overthrew the triumvirate. Those five mages were the original Council of Five. They tore down all the temples, banished the clerics, and made divine magic ilegal inside the city walls.”

“They took their mage college out of the shadows and invited anyone around the world to study there. They took every book, scroll, journal, and sketchbook from all the temples and used them to start the Crystal Spire Library’s vast collection. It ushered in the golden age of arcane magic and made Elnor the education capital of the world. But just like the clerics of old, without anyone to check their power, the Council of Five eventually became as corrupt as the triumvirate they had overthrown. Once again, the common people suffered.”

“I want to restore the clerics to Elnor, and reshape the government to one ruled by clerics, wizards, and common citizens. Vorjhon told me he would help, but now that he’s gone…” her voice trailed off. The look of disappointment once again appeared on her face.

“Why can’t we help you?” Drusilla asked. “I am a cleric of the Raven Queen, and I would like to see her temple restored to its former glory.”

“He took a death ray for me. I’m in,” said Salys.

“Sounds like fun,” Elora added.

“So, how exactly are we supposed to help you?” Diesa said, sounding unimpressed. “We got our asses kicked by Ahura Mazda, and lost one of our own to a rotting beholder. How are we supposed to take on a bunch of power hungry wizards?”

Jory looked appalled. “Don’t talk to Solania that way!” he scolded Diesa.

The rogue rolled her eyes at him and waited for Solania’s answer.

“She’s right,” Solania said, agreeing with the surly rogue. “I would never ask you to take on Ilian and his supporters.”

“Ugh, I knew Ilian was a creep!” scoffed Elora.

Solania smiled, then continued. “I need you to find someone for me. A wise old hermit named Kalavar. He is very powerful and could help check the Council’s power while a new government is formed. He may not be willing to help though, so I need you to convince him on my behalf.”

Diesa cracked her knuckles. “I think we can convince him.”

“How do we find him?” asked Drusilla.

“He lives on a rocky island twenty miles east of here. The waters are treacherous, but it’s a day’s sail, if you leave early enough. There’s a boat named “The Damsel” at the docks. Captain Butler is expecting you tonight so he can set sail with the tide before dawn.”

“Is there anything you can tell us that might help convince him?” Salys asked.

“A gift for him is already on the ship. When you present it to him, tell him, ‘The foundation of Elnor continues to crumble. Solania has upheld her end of the agreement and humbly asks your assistance in setting Elnor right.’”

They all agreed they would help and would be on The Damsel that evening.

“Great. Another ship,” Jory muttered, but agreed to go along.

Solania thanked them, and again gave her condolences to the fallen Vorjhon, before disappearing through a portal.


The sun was setting as they walked through the Port District. They could hear the creaking of masts, the hum of wind through an infinite number of ropes, and the call of gulls circling the docks, looking for scraps.

Jory noticed a larger number of gulls on the boardwalk nearby. They were circling above an open air market.

“I’ll be right back,” he told his companions, as he hobbled quickly away, committing to his Jerry Atric disguise.

He returned a few minutes later. A large burlap sack was slung over his shoulder. It almost touched the ground and he was struggling to carry it.

“Give me that,” Diesa said as she grabbed the sack and flung it over her shoulder with ease.

“Thank you,” Jory said. “Don’t look inside. It’s a surprise.”

Diesa grunted and they continued to The Damsel.

They announced who they were and Captain Butler invited them aboard. The Captain was average height for a human. He was clean shaven and had close cropped hair and brown eyes. He had the face of a sailor exposed to years of sun and salt water.

“I recognize you!” Elora exclaimed when they reached the deck. “You’re the bartender that gave Vorjhon the note at Lady Tiroll’s party,” she then added in a quieter, more conspiratorial tone.

Captain Butler bowed. He replied, “At your service.”

“What’s that?” Salys asked. She pointed at what appeared to be an elf-sized statue wrapped in quilted blankets and rope being loaded onto the ship.

“I believe that’s what you’re supposed to deliver,” Butler told them. “Come, let me show you to your cabins.”

“Can you point me to the galley?” asked Jory.


The boat was underway and well out of Elnor harbor when the Brunch Club gathered on deck in the morning. There was no sign of Jory. They noticed the crew were all smiling. Most had mugs with steam visible from their hot contents. Some were holding plates or had empty plates next to them.

Captain Butler approached them. He smiled happily. “Thank you for sharing your cook with us! This is the best breakfast our crew has had in a long time. We don’t have a cook, we usually just take turns, but now I think I might have to spend the money for one!”

“Hi guys,” Jory said behind them. He was out of his Jerry Atric disguise and holding a tray. It had four mugs and four plates of what looked like waffles, but they were orange. “Want some pumpkin waffles?”

“That sounds weird,” said Diesa, but they all tried some.

“These are delicious!” Drusilla said.

“So good,” agreed Elora.

“Better than I was expecting,” offered Diesa, who then asked, “What’s in the mugs?”

“I call it ‘Pumpkin Spice Foamy Coffee’,” Jory said proudly. Even though no one asked, he began a detailed description of the recipe. “The tricky part was rapidly whisking milk over a low fire to make it frothy before it burns.”

The hot drink tasted like pumpkin pie. It was especially enjoyable in the cool, brisk ocean air that blew across the deck.

“Ew! Gross.” gagged Diesa. “This tastes like a toddler’s drink.”

“Some people don’t like it,” Jory admitted. “I guess there’s no accounting for taste. I’ll go get you some black coffee.”

They stood on deck, sipping their coffee, waiting for the island to appear on the horizon.

Salys took out her scroll of find familiar and sat on the deck. As she read it, they saw the familiar sight of the letters glowing, then burning away. When she was done, a small white pygmy owl stood in the ashes.

“Where are we? What the hell happened in the tomb? I thought we died!” Pip looked around him nervously, trying to adjust to his sudden surroundings.

“It’s okay,” said Salys in a soothing voice. “We’re fine.”

Pip looked up at Jory. “Who’s the short one?”

“That’s Jory,” Salys said, then finished the introduction. “Jory, this is Pip.”

“What’s going on?” Jory asked, visibly confused.

“This is Salys’s familiar,” explained Drusila. “He understands us and can talk, but only Salys hears him.”

“Wow!” said Jory. “You guys are so cool!”

“Hey. Wait a second,” Pip said to Salys as he swiveled his head from side to side. “Where’s the big dumb dragonborn?”

Salys told Pip everything that happened and how Vorjhon gave his life to save them. Pip stared at her and said nothing. His beak quivered. His eyes watered. “I can’t believe his gone!!!” he wailed. Tears streamed down his feathers. He buried his face in Salys’s shoulder and wept.

“There. There,” said Salys softly as she gently patted him on the back.


The Brunch Club sat on deck. The island had become visible on the horizon, but the head winds were causing them to have to tack and jibe rather than make for it in a straight line. Their progress was agonizingly slow.

“Sailing is boring,” Elora observed.

“Yeah,” Jory agreed. “They don’t sing about this part in the ballads.”

The group said nothing for a few moments as the wind breezed across the deck. Every minute their vessel crawled slowly towards their destination.

A sudden lurch of the boat caught them off guard, causing them to almost fall ove. They felt the wind pick up. Waves crashed against the hull on both sides and sent water spraying over the deck.

“This doesn’t feel right,” Jory said. The worried look on his face concerned the others.

They stood up and fastened the safety lines around their waists.

The waves pummeled the boat even faster now and the wind whirled around them. Captain Butler called for the sails to be furled in. The last sailor was climbing down from the mast when he was hit by a wave that knocked him across the deck.

“Woah! Did you see that wave?” Diesa shouted over the roar of the ocean.

“That’s not a wave,” Captain Butler said, coming up behind them. His shirt was off, revealing a well-muscled torso, which Elora approved of.

The water that had splashed across the deck, pooled together and rose up in the form of a large humanoid. It had no legs, but moved around the deck easily on a column of water. It had large arms and hands which it used to pick up the dazed crewman and slam him down into the deck head first, breaking his neck with a sickening snapping noise.

The Brunch Club drew their weapons. Captain Butler drew a scimitar that seemed to glow and shimmer. “It’s a water elemental,” he said. “They’re hard to kill. Magic works best,” he told them as he raised his sword and charged.

Elora’s phoenix arrow beat him to the creature. Steam hissed from its front and back as the arrow seared through it and returned to Elora’s quiver.

Captain Butler sliced an arm off the watery beast. It fell to the deck and collapsed into a large puddle.

Drusilla called forth a sacred flame on the creature. It gurgled and seemed to arch back in pain as steam poured off it. It swung wildly with its remaining arm and knocked Captain Butler off his feet. Then it charged Drusilla and punched her in the chest with a fist the size of her torso. The cleric grunted with pain but managed to keep her feet.

Salys fired several magic missiles into the beast. The surface tension that bound the water in its elemental form seemed to shake and tear apart.

Jory saw his chance and kicked it twice. He followed the kicks with two quick punches which was enough to reduce it to a harmless puddle.

Another wave crashed over the side of the boat and morphed into a second elemental. It attacked Drusilla with another powerful blow to her chest, which knocked her unconscious. She looked immediately pale. The others knew she’d been critically wounded.

“Diesa! Jory! Help Dru! We’ll hold it off!” shouted Elora as she sunk two more phoenix arrow shots into the creature.

“Will fire do more damage to it?” Salys asked the captain as she raised her hands.

“Please do NOT conjure fire on my boat!,” implored Butler as he charged the creature.

“Good point,” said Salys. She fired another volley of magic missiles at the water elemental. It staggered back upon the impact.

Jory held Drusilla’s head up while Diesa poured a healing potion into her mouth. She coughed and sat up.

“Thanks, I needed that,” she said.

Elora and Salys hit the water elemental again, wounding it enough for Captain Butler to finish it off with a final swing of his scimitar.

They all got in defensive positions, waiting for the next elemental to appear, but none did.

The waves calmed down and the wind returned to a gentle breeze.

Our tale will continue in Episode 34

Episode 33 was written by Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Tales of The Brunch Club 032 “The Brunch Club Goes LARPing”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 32 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 31, The Brunch Club enjoyed a delicious breakfast at a small tavern. They raised a glass to the fallen Vorjhon. As they were leaving, the halfling who had been serving them asked for their assistance. He introduced himself as Jory, a cook and master mead maker. He told them he had been kidnapped by pirates. During his escape he stole a map to the Lost Treasure of Bonlhodir. The pirates were looking for him and he needed their protection. They told him they would think about it and would meet him the next morning to let him know their decision.

And now…

Episode 32, “The Brunch Club Goes LARPing”

The Shivering Nip tavern was empty when The Brunch Club walked in. They sat at the table they used the day before and waited for Jory. A dwarf with a sullen expression on his face approached their table.

“What can I get ya all?” he asked them. They had the sense he wasn’t used to greeting the customers, but was doing his best.

“Where’s Jory?” asked Drusilla.

The dwarf snorted. “I fired him. He took off yesterday right in the middle of his shift,” he told them. He was visibly annoyed. “Fucking halflings,” he then added under his breath. His eyes betrayed a sudden panic when he noticed Salys, but he relaxed when he realized she was a gnome.

They ordered brunch and mead from the dwarf. When their meal arrived they were disappointed. It tasted bland and mediocre.
“Jory must have been the cook,” Diesa guessed.

Fortunately the bottled mead was still good.


“Hey guys!” a familiar voice called out to them. They turned to see a halfling running toward them. He was wearing a short cloak with the hood pulled down to hide his face, but they knew it was Jory.

“Sorry I couldn’t meet you,” Jory apologized. “I got fired.”

“We heard.” Salys said, sympathetically.

“So, did you make a decision? Can I join your group? Well not ‘join’ join, but hang out with you for protection?” the halfling asked eagerly.

They looked awkwardly at each other for a few moments.

“We kinda forgot to talk about it,” Elora admitted.

“We’ve had a lot on our mind,” said Salys.

“That’s okay, I understand,” Jory said softly. He was unable to mask his disappointment.

“Tell you what, Jory. Why don’t you spend the day with us? That way we’ll be able to see if you fit in,” suggested Drusilla.

“If we do take you under our protection, you’ll have to do all our cooking and cleaning though, since you can’t pay us,” said Elor.

“Well, I am giving you a treasure map, but I was probably going to cook for you anyway, so sure.” Jory agreed, with some apprehension.

“And whenever you introduce yourself you have to tell people you spell your name J-o-r-i-e with a heart over the ‘i’,” added Drusilla.

“Um, that’s not how I spell it,” Jory said.

“‘Jorie, with a heart.’ That’s your new name,” repeated Drusilla.

“Wow. I guess they were right. Vorjhon was the nice one,” Jory muttered under his breath.

An awkward silence fell over the group. No one was sure what they should do next.

“Um, guys,” Salys finally said. “I could use some new clothes.”

They suddenly realized that Salys had been wearing nothing but Elora’s winter wolf cloak and the silver boots for two days now.

“I grew up here! I know just where to go,” said Jory, happy to be helpful.

Salys found a new robe that was her size, and close to the same color purple as her old one. She bought a new dagger, staff, bedroll, and other supplies that a wandering adventurer might need. She also bought another scroll of find familiar to resurrect pip with. The rest of them pooled their remaining gold to get her a new health potion as well.

On their way out of the potions shop Salys ran up to a bulletin board.

“Guys! Look at this!” She called to them.

They saw a wanted poster depicting a man in wizard robes. He had a long beard and matching eyebrows. His nose was long and hooked. His small eyes were set narrowly together. The poster read, “WANTED: Mage College President Kormor for conspiracy to murder his predecessor through the well known assassin, Varjo.”

As the group inspected the unflattering portrait of Kormir, Diesa noticed the poster below it.

“I think I found a way to replace some of our gold,” she said, pointing to the bulletin.

“The Selsuns’ Annual Pit Fighting Tournament” the headline said.

“Accepting all comers. 10 gold entry fee. 500 gold grand prize! No Magic Users!”

“It starts in an hour!” Diesa noticed.

“Well that’s lucky,” observed Salys. It wasn’t so much luck as a last minute plot device placed by the Dungeon Master to move the plot along since the players couldn’t figure out what they wanted to do next.


Captain Pernold was at the registration table when they arrived. He grinned when he saw them. “Well if it isn’t the giant dick killers!” he greeted them, laughing at his own joke. “Where’s the dragonborn? He’d be a great entry for the tournament.”
“Vorjhon’s no longer with us,” Salys said softly.

The smile faded from Pernold’s face. He assumed a proper and official tone of voice. “I’m sorry to hear that. I liked him. He seemed like a kind and just paladin,” he said with respect. He paused for a moment then asked if any of them were there to sign up for the tournament.

“How does it work?” asked Diesa.

Pernold explained that it was a bracket format with the first round opponents being chosen by random. Wooden weapons were supplied by the Selsuns. A fight ended when one person was either knocked unconscious or submitted. Headshots to opponents without helmets were frowned upon, but not necessarily cause for disqualification.

Diessa entered and chose two wooden hand axes as her weapons.

Elora entered when she noticed wooden arrows were included in the provided arsenal.

“We’d like to enter one more,” Drusilla said.

“Sorry, no magic users,” Pernold reminded her.

“No. Not me. Put down ‘Jory’…”

“Wait, what?” Jory said, interrupting Drusilla.

Drusilla continued as though she didn’t hear him. “Jory, J-O-R-I-E. With a heart over the i,” she added.

Pernold raised an eyebrow and looked down at the halfling. “Kind of a downgrade from Vorjhon, isn’t he?”

“That’s what we’re here to find out,” Drusilla said coldly.

Pernold shrugged and entered their names as Drusilla paid him the 30 gold entry fee. They waited to see who their first opponents would be.


The Brunch Club watched from a rickety set of wooden bleachers as the first contestants entered the sand pit. The first was a large man, who looked even larger in his head-to-toe plate armor. He wielded his wooden two-handed great sword with ease. Even though the sword was made of wood, his opponent, a younger man in his twenties, looked afraid of getting hit by it.

The armored man seemed to be a crowd favorite judging by the volume of the cheers when he swung his sword into the stomach of the younger man, lifting him off the ground.

The uniformed soldiers who were dispersed through the crowd also cheered. The Brunch Club guessed correctly that the armored behemoth was also a Selsun.

The young man had caught his breath and circled the Selsun. He looked for an opening in the armor, but found none. The larger fighter swung his sword again, catching his opponent under the arm. The crowd paused their cheering for a brief second as they heard the sickening crack of several ribs. The crowd erupted in cheers as the young fighter fell to his knees and raised his hands in submission.

The selsun pumped his fist in the air in triumph and pointed at some of his soldier friends in the crowd. He offered his hand to his opponent and helped him to his feet.

Diesa was up next. She faced off against another, large, well-armored opponent. This adversary was not as large or heavily armored as the victorious selsun, though he did have a shield. Diesa had trouble landing effective blows with her wooden hand axes.

She was able to dodge many of the swings he took with his wooden sabre, but the ones that did hit her were leaving her bruised and in pain.

Up until now, every time she fought she could use her companions as a distraction, or sneak attack from the shadows. Having to fight an opponent one-on-one in an open arena did not play to her strengths and she felt frustrated. She could hear The Brunch Club cheer her on. Jory cheered the loudest. She refused to give up, but swinging her axes repeatedly against the armor and shield without doing any damage was tiring her out. Her opponent was finding it easier to hit her as she grew exhausted. Eventually, her body ached, and her lungs burned to the point where she simply couldn’t stand any more. She reluctantly yielded.

Her opponent gave her a respectful nod before acknowledging the applause of the crowd.

Diessa got up and brushed herself off. She walked back to her friends, her head hanging with shame. Her friends greeted her warmly and told her she’d do better next time and she had nothing to be ashamed of.

She really didn’t have anything to be ashamed of. Not only was this Bethany’s first time playing a rogue, but her first time playing Dungeons and Dragons. So she didn’t have experience in one-on-one combat and fighting creatively.

Elora was invited into the pit next. She stood waiting for her opponent, who was taking his time getting there. She inspected the arrows she selected and knocked one onto her bow string. These arrows had their sharp tips removed and their ends dipped in tar and cooled over and over again. This created large, mostly non-lethal bulbs.

Elora looked up when she heard the squeals of teenage girls, and excited applause as a young, handsome, physically fit male walked into the pit. He smiled a wide, toothy grin and winked at the group of young ladies who cheered for him. He wore leather sandals with wide straps, a fur loincloth held up by a thick leather belt around his waist, and nothing else. He held a shield in one hand and a wooden broadsword in the other. He flexed his muscles to the delight of his adoring fans then turned to Elora.

He winked at her. “Hey there. What’s a pretty little thing like you doing in a pit like this?”

Elora rolled her eyes.

Pernold gave the signal to start the fight.

“Don’t worry, honey. I’ll go easy on you,” the cocky young man said. He turned slightly to wink at his fans once more. That’s when Elora hit him with an arrow right below the sternum. It knocked the wind out of him and caused him to bend over. Elora fired another arrow. This one hit him square on the top of the collar bone where there was no fat or muscle to absorb the blow.

He screamed in pain. The boyish, smarmy grin was replaced by an angry snarl as he charged at Elora. She side-stepped his clumsy charge and put a few paces between them before shooting an arrow into the small of his back.

He screamed again and dropped to his knees. When he looked up, Elora was six feet away from him with her bow draw and the arrow aimed at his forehead.

“You should worry, honey. I won’t go easy on you,” Elora said softly.

He held up both hands in submission. The crowd rose to their feet cheering, except for a small group of sullen looking young ladies who pushed in front of each other, each hoping to be the first to help heal the young man’s wounded pride.

Jory stood up when his name was called.

“Didn’t you pick any weapons?” Salys asked.

“I’ve never used weapons before,” Jory said. He shrugged and entered the pit.

His opponent was an older man. He was once a soldier in his prime and wanted to see if he still had his fighting form. He wielded a shortsword in each hand.

They circled each other. Jory took a swig of mead from his bota bag then assumed a defensive stance as the man lunged at him. Jory evaded both attacks and punched the man squarely in the testicles.

“Sorry. That’s as high as I can reach,” Jory apologized to the man who was doubled over in pain.

The man straightened up and made another attempt to hit Jory, but once again failed to connect with the elusive halfling.

Jory reached as high as he could and punched the man in the stomach. He flipped his leg up to try to kick him in the chest and push him back, but accidentally hit the man’s head as he was bending forward from the stomach punch.

Jory apologized again and stepped back as the man stood there, stunned.

“What are you waiting for, Jory?” he heard Diesa shout from the crowd.

“Finish him off,” Elora shouted.

Jory reluctantly punched the man in the stomach two more times and when he still didn’t submit, he punched him a final time between the legs. The man fell to his knees and yielded.

At the end of the first round, they were allowed a half hour to rest. There were some healers available for those who needed it.

“I thought divine magic was illegal in Elnor?” Drusilla asked Pernold as they watched a mage heal a nasty looking broken arm.

“Only unregulated divine magic,” Pernold answered, then went on to explain that some people were allowed to learn some healing spells and given license to use them in service to the citizens of Elnor.

The second round began with the armored selsun easily beating another smaller, outmatched opponent.

Jory’s name was called next. A sinking feeling came over him when he heard Elora’s name called right after.

They stood facing each other in the ring. “You better not try any of those nut shots on me,” Elora warned him.

“It wasn’t my plan,” Jory confessed.

“What is your plan?” Elora asked as she fired an arrow at him.

The crowd gasped as Jory grabbed the arrow before it hit him.

“Not to get hit,” he answered. He threw the arrow as though it were a javelin back at Elora, but it sailed past her shoulder.

She fired again and Jory pushed the arrow to the side, deflecting it away from him.

Jory charged quickly at her and punched her twice below the sternum hoping to knock the wind out of her, but she was able to shrug off the blows. He quickly ran back to his original spot. He did not have time to get in a defensive stance and Elora’s arrow caught him in the stomach. He tried not to bend over, but did slightly. That’s when a second arrow hit him on the crown of his head. He was unconscious before he hit the ground.

“Shit. Sorry little guy,” Elora said quietly to herself.

Jory sat on one side of the Brunch Club while Elora sat on the other. A healer had revived him, but his head was still sore and he had a nasty bump. They waited for the next round to begin.

The opponents were announced for the first bout of the semi final round. The Selsun’s name was called first. Elora’s was called next.

For the first time in his fights, the selsun did not charge right away. He kept his distance, waiting for Elora to take the first shot.

“I like how you handled lover boy in the first round,” he told her. “But I don’t plan on taking it easy on you.”

“Same,” said Elora, as she shot her first arrow. It bounced harmlessly off the plate armor, leaving behind no more damage than a black scuff mark.

She quickly drew and shot another arrow aiming for underneath the arm where plate mail usually had some weakness. But not this platemail.

Confident in his armor, the selsun took a few paces toward Elora. She decided on a new tactic and fired an arrow right for his forehead.

The impact of the arrow snapped his head back, and the ringing in his ears made him halt his advance and pause for a moment.

Elora fired three more arrows hitting the exact same spot. The selsun took a step back and shook his head slightly. A clear dent was now visible in the helmet. The crowd grew silent. Whispers rippled through the spectators. This was the first time during the tournament that anyone thought the selsun might not be invincible.

Elora drew her bow back again, but the selsun raised his greatsword horizontally across his head just high enough so he could still peek under the wide blade.

With the only weak spot she could think of protected, Elroa shot for the neck, but her arrow glanced off there as well. She cursed as he crouched forward and charged.

He was faster than he looked and she could not evade the giant sword when he swung it into her side. Her oblique muscles spasmed at the impact and she felt like she might vomit. She kept her footing and backed away. She fired another arrow but it missed completely. When she reached for another arrow, she realized with horror she was out. She saw an arrow just past the selsun lying on the ground. She lunged for it but stumbled. He stomped on her hand with one of his large boots. She gritted her teeth and rolled out of the way. She clutched her hand and flexed it. Nothing seemed broken, but it hurt and she knew she wouldn’t be able get a good grip on her bow string.

She had placed a wooden shortsword in her belt as an emergency. She now held it with two hands as she tried to parry another swing, but it was a useless defense against the momentum of the giant greatsword. It knocked the short sword out of her hands and caught her in the chest. She staggered back a few feet. She stopped right next to one of her arrows.

His swing’s momentum had turned the selsun around. For a brief moment Elora had a clear shot at the back of his head. She picked up the arrow, fired it, and hoped it would have the same effect as her earlier head shots. The back of the helmet was more rounded than the front and the arrow glanced off harmlessly.

Her wooden shortsword lay broken in the dirt. She was out of arrows. She wasn’t about to parry the great sword with her favorite longbow, so she placed it on the ground. Elora raised her hands to yield, and bowed respectfully at her opponent.

The selsun nodded at her. From under his helmet he said, “Well fought, ranger. That might have gone different if you had real arrows.”

Elora walked out of the pit to applause deserving a worthy opponent.

She got her wounds tended to by the healers and rejoined her friends in the bleachers to watch the rest of the tournament.

The armored fighter with the shield who defeated Diesa squared off against the selsun for the championship. The selsun won easily.

They were leaving the bleachers tired, hungry, and a little depressed about throwing away thirty gold with nothing to show for it, when Captain Pernold called out to them.

“Elora! You forgot your prize!”

When he caught up, he informed them Elora had come in third, and won one hundred gold.

Their moods improved as they took the money, thanked him, and continued on to the nearest tavern.


The inside of the tavern was a large single room with several benches and tables. It was crowded so they took the only open table by the door. At the far end of the tavern were two sets of stairs that started at the walls and met in the middle. The kitchen must have been up there because the tavern’s wait staff were constantly running up empty handed and bringing back food and drinks.

“This is the dumbest tavern I’ve ever seen,” commented Drusilla.

They all looked at her. It wasn’t like their cleric to be so mean. Sure, she teased Vorjhon all the time, but it was playful and they had the camaraderie of being divine servants. The hazing she had put Jory through felt cruel, and criticizing the tavern’s layout just didn’t make sense.

“I mean, seriously,” she continued, tossing back her glass of wine. “Who designed this place?”

A tap on her shoulder interrupted her. A large, hairy man in sailor’s garb looked down.

“You know, ma’am, a carpenter worked really hard on this place, and it puts food on the table of its owner and his family. It’s not nice to make fun of people trying to earn an honest living,” the man said. He didn’t mention the dungeon master had like, two minutes to draw out the tavern because that night’s game was running late from his players’ lack of focus.

Drusila looked at the man, taking in his rough looking appearance. “What would you know about making an honest living?” she asked in a haughty tone.

The man pulled out a short sword. “Not much,” he said. “Now give us the halfling.”

Drusilla noticed the five similarly dressed, and similarly unpleasant looking men standing with him. “How much do you want for him?” she asked.

Before he could answer, Diesa smashed a bottle on the edge of the table. “Now this is my kind of fight,” she snarled, and lunged for the closest pirate.

The Brunch Club stood in unison and drew their weapons. They rushed at the pirates who rushed at them. Amidst the chaos of clanging swords and flying fists, Jory felt himself lifted up by the shirt collar and flung over the shoulder of one of the pirates, who ran quickly out the door with him. Jory struggled to break free. He watched the tavern recede in the distance as the pirate ran quickly. Jory began to panic. In a few moments he’d be out of sight of the tavern and The Brunch Club wouldn’t be able to find him. Sadness overcame him when he realized he didn’t even know if they would bother looking. Suddenly, his captor stopped, fell face-forward, and Jory rolled out of his grasp. He thought the pirate had tripped, but when he looked up he saw Salys standing outside the tavern door. Hands were raised, ready to fire another round of magic missiles if needed. He looked down at the unconscious, possibly dead pirate. The magic missiles would not be needed.

Jory thanked Salys when he ran back to her.

“Don’t mention it,” she smiled.

The rest of their party joined them outside. Their clothing was ripped and their hair was a mess. They looked like they’d been in a tough fight. Diesa was smiling.

“We should probably go,” Elora said, glancing back at the door.

They took a sharp corner down a side street and walked quickly away from the tavern.

“They saw us with Jory, they might be able to find us. We shouldn’t go back to the Rampart Wizard,” Elora advised.

“They might not think to look for us in a fancier inn,” Diesa said.

“I know a place in the Quartz District. It’s fancy, but also out of the way.” Jory told them. “It’s called the Victorian Inn.”

“Looks like you’re with us now,” Salys said to Jory.

“For the night anyway,” muttered Drusilla.

Jory frowned.

“Don’t worry about Dru, she’s not mean all the time,” Salys assured him.

“We should get Jory a disguise,” said Diesa.

“Let’s dress him up like a little girl. He’d look cute in a dress and curls,” said Drusilla.

“I lied. She’s actually mean most of the time.” Salys shrugged.

Jory sighed and led them to the Victorian.

Our tale will continue in Episode 33

Episode 32 was written by Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Tales of The Brunch Club 031 “Panic Cakes”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 31 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your story teller, but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this story 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…

In episode 30, The Brunch Club continued their mission for Solania beneath the ruins of the Temple of the Raven Queen. They killed some more undead and encountered an undead beholder. The Beholder disintegrated Salys into a pile of ash before being slain by multiple attacks. Vorjhon prayed to the dragon god, Bahamut, and offered to exchange his life for Salys’s. Bahamut agreed and the brunch club watched as the ash reformed into their sorceress gnome and Vorjhon disappeared scale by scale.

And now…

Episode 31, “Panic Cakes”

The surviving members of the Brunch Club sat silently in the eerily quiet room. Salys sat hugging her knees, pressing them against her chest. Everything she owned had been disintegrated by the beholder’s blast so she wore only Elora’s cloak and a pair of silver, dragon scaled boots. They had appeared on her feet when she was resurrected.

“What happened?” Salys asked after a few minutes.

They told her how she had been disintegrated by the Beholder and how after Vorjhon’s prayers, he disappeared and she came back to life. They also told her about hearing the paladin’s prayer speaking on the wind, in which he promised to protect them, or sacrifice his life if one of them should fall.

Salys rested her head between her knees and trembled slightly. “Vorjhon, you’re such an asshole,” she whispered as she raised her tear-stained face.

Drusilla stood up and walked to the door. She looked down the corridor and listened. She heard no sounds except for the torches burning on the walls. She reached out with her divine sense and tried to locate any undead creatures near them. She felt nothing.

“I think we killed the source of the undead,” Drusilla said, glancing at the lifeless corpse of the beholder.

Diessa began going through the undead corpses’ rotted clothing.

“Do you really think this is the time and place to be looking for gold?” Drusilla asked the rogue.

Diesa shrugged. “It’s always a good time and place to look for gold,” she said in a factual tone. “Besides, in case you hadn’t noticed, the bag of colding and everything in it disappeared with Vorjhon.”

“I wonder if that’s why he made us split the gold instead of having him carry it all,” Elora observed.

Drusilla sat with Salys while Diesa and Elora searched the room. They found nothing on the bodies or in the coffins but when they rolled the dead beholder to the side, they uncovered a leather bag in the corner. The bag contained a fair amount of gold pieces, old but fine jewelry, and a large gemstone.

“Well, at least this makes up for some of what Vorjhon took with him.” Elora said. Diesa scowled.

“Are you ready?” Drusilla asked Salys.

Salys nodded. As they exited the room, she glanced back at the last place she saw Vorjhon. She couldn’t shake the feeling they were leaving their friend behind.

They walked quietly, and cautiously back through the tombs, but they encountered no more undead. They took a break when they reached the room where the pair of enchanted suits of armor guarded one door.

“Should we try and see if there’s anything valuable in there?” asked Diesa.

“We’re a man down and I don’t think Salys is ready for a fight,” Elora answered.

“I got nothin’,” Salys admitted.

They continued through the long hallways and stairs until they reached the bulkhead doors. The enchanted runes that covered the inside of the doors when they first entered were now gone. Elora pushed up against them, expecting resistance from the beam they knew locked the doors from the outside. They opened easily, exposing the party to the chill of the pre-dawn air.

“Do you need my cloak?” Drusilla asked Salys as they walked down the deserted street.

“Thanks, but I’m actually pretty warm,” Salys answered. She took Elora’s cloak off and handed it to the cleric.

“What are you doing?” Drusilla asked her.

“I’m testing a theory,” Salys said. She walked a few steps ahead and held her arms out from her sides and took a deep breath. “Nope, still not cold!” she said with a smile. “I think Vorjhon’s boots are cold resistant. You can take your cloak back now, Elora.”

“Um, why don’t you hold onto it for a little longer, naked girl,” Elora laughed.

Modestly draped once again, Salys, Diesa, Drusila and Elora reached the Rampant Wizard Inn. Sadness came over them again when they realized they no longer needed a third room for Vorjhon.

When they got ready for bed, Salys tried taking the silver boots off, but no matter how she tugged, they just wouldn’t come off. She sighed and stared up at the ceilings, resigning herself to being stuck with the boots her friend left her with.


They slept into the early afternoon. Salys was still exhausted. Every joint and muscle in her body ached. They went to the closest tavern from the inn so Salys wouldn’t have to walk too far. It was a small establishment in an alley around the corner called The Shivering Nip. They sat in silence as they brooded and waited for their food.

Eating at taverns from Boughmoor to Elnor had made The Brunch Club something akin to epicureans when it came to tavern fare. Though not terribly picky or pompous about food, they had become appreciative of a well crafted meal, especially if that meal was brunch. Thus far, their favorite meals were at the Red Fin Fishery in Wheaton.

So it caught them by surprise, even in their state of mourning, that the meal brought to them by the young halfling in this tiny, alleyway tavern, was the best meal they had eaten in their travels thus far.

Within a half hour of the food’s arrival, they felt their spirits had been lifted, and Salys felt as though her constitution had improved slightly.

“We should toast Vorjhon,” Drusilla suggested, feeling somewhat less melancholy after the delicious meal.

They all heartily agreed and called out for a suitable beverage.

The halfling returned and began pouring some mead in each of their glasses.

As he filled the rest of their glasses, Diesa took a sip of hers.

“My gods, this is fucking good!” she exclaimed.

“Thank you, I make it myself,” the halfling said before he walked back into the kitchen.

“Diesa, you’re not supposed to drink before we toast,” Drusilla chided.

Diesa shrugged and took another sip. “I’ll drink then too,” she assured her.

They raised their glasses, but no one said anything. They looked awkwardly around the table, not knowing what to say.

After a moment, Drusila said, “I am over three hundred and fifty years old. In that time I have never known a more self-righteous pain in the ass than Vorjhon. But he was devoted to protecting us.” To her surprise, Drusilla felt tears well up in her eyes and she choked up for a brief moment. She recovered her composure quickly and continued. “I will miss that big shiny bastard.” She lifted her glass higher. “To Vorjhon, Bahamut’s greatest champion!” she exclaimed.

“To Vorjhon!” they shouted in unison, and downed their glasses. Diesa topped off her glass and they passed the bottle of delicious mead around the table until it was empty.

With their spirits drunk, and their spirits lifted, they finished brunch laughing and grateful for the fact that Salys was still with them and Vorjhon’s death had not been in vain.


They were mere yards from The Shivering Nip when they heard a familiar voice call out to them. “Excuse me! Wait! Excuse me!” the voice shouted.

They turned to see the halfling waiter running after them. He had medium length, Sandy hair, tan skin, and hazel eyes. He wore a green vest over a loose fitting shirt. Instead of shoes, he wore cloth wraps around his feet and ankles. He was still wearing his apron.

“Excuse me,” he said again. “You’re The Brunch Club, aren’t you?” he asked.

“We are,” Salys said, smiling at him.

“Hi, I’m Jory, Jory Quinshire,” he said nervously. He looked as though he suddenly noticed something. “Where’s the big silver one?” he asked.

“Not a good time to ask that,” Diesa said, coldly.

“Darn, I heard he was the nice one,” Jory said quietly to himself.

“What do you want?” Elora asked.

“Um, your protection,” the halfling answered.

“From whom?” Drusilla asked.

Jory looked around nervously. “It’s kind of a long story. If you follow me to my place, I can tell you. It’s not far.”

The Brunch Club looked at each other, wondering if they should trust this small stranger.

“I’ve got more mead,” Jory chimed in brightly.

“Let’s go!” Diesa replied.


They arrived at a row of small buildings in the Slate District. Jory led them to the smallest house, more of a shack, and unlocked the door. As he invited them in, he apologized for the lack of furniture. He stood some unsplit logs up on their ends to serve as makeshift stools for his guests.

The small house had only one room. There was no bed, or furniture of any kind except for a freestanding cupboard, one small chair, a small, beat up range, and a crate fashioned into a small table. A halfling sized bedroll leaned against the corner.

Jory retrieved five mismatched tankards from the cupboard and poured them all some mead.

“So who do you need protecting from?” Drusilla asked the halfling as she sipped the mead.

“Pirates,” Jory answered, and proceeded to tell them his story.

Up until a few months ago he lived in the Quartz District on the estate of the wealthy Dwarven merchant, Berrack Goldhammer. Jory’s parents ran Master Goldhammer’s domestic affairs and Jory worked there as well. One night, while drinking at a tavern in the Slate District, he befriended two sailors who bought him many drinks. The next thing he remembered was waking up on board a Drazeanean frigate miles off shore. He realized the two sailors were part of a press gang.

He was put to work in the galley to assist the ship’s cook, Coyra Elkean. Coyra was short for a half elf and had a slight build and fair skin. She looked frail and delicate compared to the burly, mostly human crew of the Roderick, but they treated her with fondness and respect. Coyra was an excellent cook, and an even better brewer of mead, which were two of the reasons the crew liked her.

Despite being well fed and happily drunk on mead, the crew was a rough one. One of their favorite past times was to make the least senior members of the crew fight each other and bet on the outcome.

Coyra prepared Jory by teaching him how to fight larger, stronger opponents by evading blows and using their own size, and momentum against them. Sharing his love of alcohol, she also introduced him to the teachings of the ancient philosopher / warrior Chencka Jia. – Now listener I want to butt in here and foreshadow something I think was really clever. The name Chencka Jia was thought up by Dominic White, for Jory’s Back story, and I still applaud his wit in thinking it up. The name is a scrambled reference to someone in the real world, but not even the other players figured it out for months. Now back to the story – Jia believed that by mixing moderate drinking with meditation, one could embrace the chaotic nature of the world and flow with its unpredictability instead of resisting it. He believed this also made one into a better fighter by keeping their opponents off guard, and taking advantage of the chaos of battle. This was something Coyra had taken to heart and further developed herself, before passing the knowledge on to Jory.

Her training worked well and kept him from getting beaten too badly at first. Eventually Jory developed into an elusive, entertaining fighter who became a crew favorite. He and Coyra also managed to win a lot of their shipmates’ gold by betting on him.

Eventually Jory became accepted as a member of the crew. Captain Santiago even let him send a letter home to his parents letting them know that he was safe. Despite missing home, he enjoyed cooking, brewing, and meditating with Coyra, and considered himself happy.

However, this happiness soon turned to terror, and heartbreak. Captain Santiago received orders that a merchant ship carrying documents which allegedly proved the existence of the legendary Lost Dwarven Treasure of Bohnlodir was sailing in nearby waters. These documents included a coded map with the treasure’s location. The captain’s orders were to find this vessel and convince them to come to Drazean where the Navy would assist them in finding and extracting the legendary enormous treasure, in exchange for an extravagant finding fee.

Captain Santiago wanted the treasure for himself and began a murderous campaign of terror looking for this ship. They ransacked many merchant ships and tortured the crews trying to find the Bhonlodir Documents. If they didn’t find them they burned and sank the ships so word of what they were looking for would not get out. A few crew members of the Roderick voiced objection to this plan, but they were threatened by the rest of the crew, who were infected by the same greed that gripped Captain Santiago.

Eventually they came across a smaller, but heavily armed ship that would not yield to their demands to be boarded. A surprise, close range broadside crippled the larger Roderick, but the experienced crew was able to board the smaller ship and overwhelm the crew. On this ship, they finally found the Bonlodhir Treasure Map. Santiago forced the survivors, along with his own crew’s dissenters, on to the sinking, burning wreckage of the larger ship Roderick, including Coyra. Jory begged Santiago to let him go with her, but he refused. The ship still needed a cook, and his silly fighting amused the crew, he told him. He watched with grief as Coyra and the burning Roderick disappeared over the horizon as they sailed away.

The pirates renamed their new vessel The Rod’s Revenge. They stayed at sea as long as they could. They avoided known shipping routes in hopes of remaining undetected while they tried to decipher the map. Occasionally they would slip into uninhabited lagoons where they would go ashore and find what they could to replenish the ship’s supplies.

Jory was miserable, and scared. The crew mistrusted him now based on his loyalty to Coyra. He survived by cooking the best meals he could, brewing new and delicious craft meads, and being even more theatrical with his pit fighting. When he wasn’t cooking, brewing, or fighting he spent all his time hiding from the crew, meditating on the teachings of Chencka Jia, and planning his escape.

After months of frustration at not being able to decipher the map, Santiago decided they needed to find a scholar to help, willingly or not. So they anchored in a well-hidden cove a few miles from Elnor, This was when Jory decided to make his escape.

That night, when everyone was asleep, Jory stole some supplies and a bag of coins from the ship’s stores, and snuck into the Captain’s quarters. He stole the map and documents from the desk and slipped over the side of the boat.

He went to the Goldhammer estate hoping to be reunited with his parents. When he got there the estate gates were locked. A couple of unfamiliar guards said Master Goldhammer had just left for a months-long tour of his various warehouse ports and took his entire staff with him. The guards had never heard of Jory, and he had no way of proving who he was. The gates seemed permanently shut for him.

Jory used some of the gold he stole to rent his little house and got a job as a cook at The Shivering Nip.

After Jory finished telling them his story, the small table crate was stacked high with pancakes he had been cooking the whole time.

“Um, you know we just ate, right? You were there,” Salys said, pointing at the flap jacks.

“Oh, yeah,” Jory said, looking embarrassed. “When I get panicked, I like to cook.”

“That’s quite a story,” said Drusila.

“How much can you pay us for our protection?” Diesa asked.

Jory looked even more embarrassed. “Um, I don’t have much money left. But I can cook for you! And you can have this.” He handed the rogue a thick scroll of multiple rolled up papers.

Diesa unrolled it. The top sheet was indeed a coded map to the Lost Treasure of Bohnlodir. She handed it to Salys who inspected it with interest

“Can you give us a minute?” Drusilla asked Jory.

Jory nodded and went to the opposite side of the small house where he was still comically close to the huddled group, and started cleaning up the mess he made cooking.

“What do you think?” Drusilla asked quietly.

“I don’t know, we’re not as powerful without Vorjhon, and taking on a tiny drunk seems like it might hurt us even more,” Elora said.

“He said he can fight, maybe he can hold his own?” said Salys, looking up from the map.

Diesa walked up to Jory and placed her cup on the crate next to him. “Can I get some more mead?” she asked.

Jory nodded. When he picked up the bottle and started pouring, Diesa lunged, and attempted to grapple him. Without interrupting his pour, he side-stepped away from her and grabbed a nearby frying pan with his free hand. He whacked Diesa in the face. She swung at him but he leaned backwards and kicked her stomach as her fist sailed over him. She bent over as the wind was knocked out of her. When she straightened up, Jory was holding the frying pan in front of her like a tray. In the center of the pan was a perfectly poured glass of mead.

Diesa huffed, swiped the glass off the pan, downed it in one gulp, and walked out of the house.

“We’ll talk about it tonight.” Drusilla said to Jory. “We’ll meet you at The Shivering Nip tomorrow with our answer.”

Salys handed Jory the map. “See you tomorrow, shorty,” she said, proudly standing stiff backed, a few inches taller than Jory.

Our tale will continue in Episode 32

Episode 31 was written by Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Additional role playing contributions to the story by:

Ambiance and effects used with permission by Michael Ghelfi.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please help us out by sharing it with your friends. We’d appreciate it.

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram and facebook at RescuedbyDragons ,on Twitter @rescuedragons, and on YouTube under Rescued By Dragons.

Thank you for listening, and please join me next week to see what my players’ choices, and the roll of the dice, have in store.

Tales of The Brunch Club Recap 01-30

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Welcome to the Rescued By Dragons Podcast: Tales of the Brunch Club, a weekly fantasy tale inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game.

We’re taking a break in the story to bring you a recap of episodes 1 through 30, to catch everyone up on what’s happened to our friends so far.

Warning, there will be spoilers.

In the beginning, the gnome sorceress, Salys met the elf ranger, Elora on the road to Sturgeon where they met the lunar-elf cleric, Drusilla. The three of them met the dragonborn paladin, Vorjhon, fighting bandits and a crocodile on the way to Wyhill. They learned that all four of them were headed to the Crystal Spire Library in Elnor and decided to travel together.

Vorjhon introduced them to his friend, farmer Jamieson, who needed help with a bunch of goblins harassing his farm.

In Wyhill they got a job tracking down a potion smuggling ring, which they found and traced back to Sturgeon. They got attacked by the smugglers and got thrown in Jail, but were bailed out by Captain Grath, who Elora eventually hooked up with when she was full health.

The Brunch Club decided to cut through the Blue Lich Bog, fondly known as The Bitch Bog by the locals, to cut time off their trip to Elnor. During their travels they were taunted by a black dragon and battled many creatures, including a bullywug, who Drusilla killed with a ladle, and a basilisk who turned Vorjhon to stone. Fortunately Salys’s wild magic surge revived Vorjhon and they made it through the bog to Boughmoor.

In Boughmoor they met Ulrich the druid. They accidentally released a Nightmare and failed to save a little girl from being transformed into a bog hag. They paired up with adventurer brothers, Chad and Thad to kill a Barghest that was terrorizing Baughmoor from the northwest forest.

On their way to Wheaton they saved a merchant named Bronald and his Kenku companion from a hill giant. Bronald told them to check out a magical supply shop in Wheaton called the Sun Spot. The Brunch Club arrived in Wheaton and went to the Sun Spot where they met its owner, the wizard Saberhagen, who was also a cat.

Saberhagen offered to be their patron in exchange for collecting rare items for him and spreading word of his shop around the land. They killed harpies and a banshee that had been haunting a lighthouse in Wheaton’s harbor for years and were given the lighthouse as a gift from the mayor.

Vorjhon bought a scroll of find familiar for Salys, who conjured a white pygmy owl named Pip, who was rather rude.

An army of gnolls stormed through Wheaton’s gates and set buildings on fire. The Brunch Club and Saberhagen fought them off. Using the Speak with Dead spell, Drusilla questioned a dead gnoll and discovered they were sent to the town by a druid named Rajat who was gathering an army of gnolls in the forest to the north.

On the way to Elnor they explored a cave on the coast. Vorjhon tripped and slid into a cavern where cultists were performing a ritual to summon a Kraken. They killed the cultists and continued to Elnor.

On their way to Elnor they met a dwarven rogue named Diesa who offered to share a treasure with them if they helped her read a confusing map. They followed the map to an abandoned mine where they found an empty treasure chest with a note from “The Dark Serpent” who beat them to the treasure.

They were attacked by three large winter wolves, which they killed and skinned to have their pelts made into cold resistant cloaks. When they reached Elnor they accepted a bounty from the Selsuns to kill a pair of hill giants northwest of the city and bring back their heads. They set a trap for a giant, but it attracted a chimera and other beasts instead. They killed the beasts and ambushed the giants. One of the giant’s heads was destroyed so they cut off the penises as proof they killed them.

Back in Elnor they got invited to a gala by Lady Tiroll. At the Gala they met a wizard named Ahura Mazda and his tiny pig familiar, Zoroastor. Ahura accused Tiroll of being an assassin named Varjo and they did battle. Vorjhon tried to get them to stop, but got the Brunch Club embroiled in the fight. Mazda killed Tiroll, then reanimatied her corpse and disappeared with her through a portal. Solania and Ilian of the Elnor’s Council of Five appeared at the Gala and questioned all the guests about what happened.

The Brunch Club explored the house, were attacked by a mimic and found papers that confirmed Tiroll was indeed the assassin, Varjo.

In exchange for access to the Crystal Spire Library, Solania gave them the task of killing the undead that had been spawning in the crypts beneath the ruins of the Temple of the Raven Queen.

In the crypts they fought their way to the final room where they encountered an undead beholder. The beholder disintegrated Salys before being killed by the rest of the group. Vorjhon prayed to the Dragon God, Bahamut to exchange his life for hers. His wish was granted and Salys was resurrected as Vorjhon disappeared.

Our story will resume next week in episode 31.

You can listen to this podcast at RescuedByDragons.com, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Tales of the Brunch Club is based upon a homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign and written by Anna Flemke, Bethany Powers, Brian Messmer, Dominic White, JP Black, and Liz Raychard.

You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons, or on twitter at @rescuedragons.

Thank you for listening.

Tales of The Brunch Club 030 “Silver Boots”

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Welcome to Episode 30 of the Rescued by Dragons podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club: A fantasy fiction podcast inspired by a weekly, home brew, Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

My name is Brian Messmer and I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, ale in hand, gathered around a table with other listeners, waiting to hear the next chapter in the tales of… The Brunch Club.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 29, The Brunch Club met Solania’s contact in the ruins of Elnor’s old Temple District. She told them undead had been rising from the crypts beneath the old Temple of the Raven Queen. Their mission was to search the crypts, kill any undead they encountered, and destroy whatever was raising them. The group walked down five flights of stairs before encountering the first group of undead, which they dispatched by luring them out and picking them off as they entered the hallway. They used that strategy on two more groups of undead. After killing the third group of undead in a larger hallway, they moved forward to the next chamber.

And now…

Episode 30, “Silver Boots”

The Brunch Club stepped carefully around the oily puddle and loose ball bearings in the middle of the hallway. They stepped over the undead corpses and into the next chamber. This room was larger than the others. A large plinth sat in the middle of it. They could not tell if it was an altar or a platform intended for a sarcophagus. There was a door directly opposite the way they entered, which led to another hallway. The door on the wall to their left led into another room. The door on their right was flanked by two large suits of armor. In front of the suits of armor lay the motionless bodies of several undead corpses. Most of the bodies were missing their limbs. Some were missing their heads. A few were cut in half. Dried blood and gore covered the two-handed broadswords the suits of armor held in front of them.

Diesa stepped over one of the bodies and slowly approached the doorway. A warm, ethereal glow filled the suits of armor and beams of light streamed from the helmets’ eye holes and gaps in the armors’ joints. They raised their swords upwards and shifted their legs into fighting stances.

Diesa held her hands out in front of her and backed away quickly. “Okay, okay, I’m leaving. Nothing to see here. We’re cool.” she said.

With her dwarven eyes accustomed to the dim lighting of underground, Diesa was able to make out a rough idea of what the satues were guarding. There seemed to be an ornate sarcophagus against the back wall of the smaller room, set maybe 10 feet back from the guarded entrance. It had carved stonework and what looked to be ancient runes that she couldn’t read. She relayed the info to the rest of the group who were hanging back in the hallway. The rest of them took another look at the menacing broadswords of eery, lifeless suits of armor and decided they should tackle that later. Perhaps they could deal with that after the accomplish their original mission.

“Maybe we should check the other room,” said Elora.

They kept their eyes on the suits of armor as they moved away from them and toward the door on the opposite wall. The sentinels lowered their swords and stood back up at attention as the light faded to darkness inside them.

“Perhaps we should send Pip in first?” Vojhon suggested.

“What the fuck? You’re supposed to be the big brave Paladin, but nooo, ‘let’s send Pip in.’ You fucking coward.” Pip said, bristling at the idea, though only Salys could understand him. She commanded her familiar to carefully inspect the dark room ahead. He flew to the ground and landed next to the doorway. He crouched down as low as his pygmy owl legs would let him, and cautiously peered around the corner into the darkness. He hopped forward once then squinted to try and see further into the room. He sighed heavily then hopped a few more times through the doorway until he disappeared. Thirty seconds later he flew out of the room and landed on his master’s shoulder, beak chattering in her ear, telling her what he saw.

“He says the room’s empty and looks like it’s been caved in. It’s mostly broken rocks and dirt,” Salys told them all, relaying Pip’s report.

“Only one door left,” said Drusilla.

They turned toward the remaining, unexamined doorway, just in time to see two spirits enter the room. Diesa and Vorjhon quickly swung at them. The magical nature of Eclipse, and the holy oil coating Diesa’s axe did severe damage to the ethereal forms. Elora’s phoenix arrow, and Drusilla’s sacred flame finished them off.

“Let’s keep going and get this over with. I’m getting tired of this place,” said Elora with annoyance in her voice.

With Drusilla’s dancing lights guiding the way, they walked slowly through the door into a small hallway which brought them to another room. This room was small. It was more of a landing in front of a staircase that went upwards.
When they reached the top it opened up into another long hallway. At the very end of the hallway, they saw a lone skeleton. It paced back and forth past an open archway as if it was guarding something. It was illuminated by light coming from the other side of the archway so Drusilla quickly doused her dancing lights.

“It hasn’t seen us yet,” Drusilla whispered to the others.

“Can you take it out before it alerts whatever’s in that room?” Vorjhon asked.

“If Diesa, Salys and I hit it at once, we probably could,” said Elora.

“Worth a shot,” Diesa said, taking her shortbow off her back.

The rogue, sorceress, and ranger took aim. The ranger quietly counted down.

“Three. Two. One,” she said, and released her arrow. Diesa released hers and three green magic missiles shot from Salys’s hands.

The phoenix arrow appeared back in Elora’s quiver, but as she reached for it, she saw it wouldn’t be needed. The skeleton was lying in a motionless heap on the ground on their side of the door. They held their breath for a few moments as the sound of now lifeless bones clattering against old stone echoed off the walls. Nothing came out to check on the skeleton.

“Well done my friends” whispered Vorjhon.

They proceeded quietly down the hallway and carefully peeked into the room. There were torches along the walls and closed coffins lying on the floor. On either end of the room were raised platforms that looked like stages. On one platform was an altar. Next to it stood a skeleton that looked like it once belonged to a very large warrior. It wore bronze armor and held a great sword over its shoulder.

Salys gave a quiet gasp when she saw what was on the other platform. There was another altar with a motionless corpse on top of it. Hovering above the corpse was a creature with a round body, large mouth, and a number of eye stalks sticking out from all angles around its body.

“A beholder,” whispered Salys.

“Is it the one you met?” asked Vorjhon.
“No, it’s smaller, and it looks gray and… weird,” Salys answered.

“It looks undead,” Drusilla observed.

“So what’s the plan?” hissed Diesa.

“How about Diesa and I distract the beholder while you three take out the skeleton?” Vorjhon suggested.

The rest of them reluctantly agreed. It wasn’t a great plan, but no one could come up with a better one. They readied their weapons. Vorjhon said a quick prayer causing Eclipse to glow with divine energy and they sprung into the room.

Elora sunk two quick shots into the armored skeleton. The skeleton turned toward them. He raised his hands, but not at them. He opened his palms toward the center of the room. The lids of three of the coffins slid off and undead warriors rose from them. Before it could raise more undead warriors, Drusilla struck it with a sacred flame and Salys finished it off with a barrage of magic missiles.

Across the room, Diesa took a shot at the beholder with her short bow as Vorjhon charged it. A ray of energy shot at Vorjhon and hit him in the chest, mid run. His front foot planted back on the ground and his weapon arm was raised but he did not move. He was frozen in place.

“Noooo!” Salys yelled, and ran towards Vorjhon. Her hands glowed and green lightning shot from them into the beholder. It floated backwards momentarily before turning one of its eye stalks on her. She felt an overwhelming, stomach churning sensation of fear well up within her. She could feel her heart beat faster within her chest and she was breathing heavily. Memories of her last encounter with a beholder flooded her mind. She screwed her eyes shut trying to force the images from her mind. She concentrated on controlling her breathing and regained control of her emotions as she pushed aside the effects of the beholder’s fear spell. She pushed her jaw out in defiance as she stared back up at the rotting beholder’s pale center eye and slack jaw lined with teeth.

Elora shot two arrows, hitting the beholder. She ran to the opposite platform and ducked behind the altar to get out of the way of the eyestalk beams.

Drusilla saw the undead soldiers ready to flank Salys on either side. She whispered a prayer to the Raven Queen which she hoped would cause the undead to flee. It worked. The undead turned from her and lumbered as quickly as they could toward the beholder. To her surprise, and relief, the beholder also looked afraid. It backed into the corner as far from the cleric as possible. This confirmed the cleric’s suspicion that the beholder was, in fact, undead.

Vorjhon’s torso lurched forward as the paralyzing spell was broken.

Salys, still raging, raised her hands at the retreating beholder.

“No Salys!” Drusilla shouted. “You’ll break my spell if you hit it!” she warned her, but it was too late.

Salys unloaded a volley of five magic missiles into the beholder. It slammed against the corner with each blow, but did not fall. It turned an eyestalk towards the gnome and a sickly yellow light shot from it. Vorjhon reached out to block the ray with his shield but he was too far away. The beam engulfed Salys and she disappeared. When the beam faded, all that was left of the sorceress was a pile of dust on the floor. Drusilla and Elora screamed as they saw the gnome perish. Diesa scowl deepened and she tightened her grip on her weapon.

Vorjhon said nothing. He looked at the beholder and charged. He swung at the creature twice, hitting it and unleashing divine, smiting energy into it with both blows.

The beholder still clung to it’s undeath, hovering shakily just above the stone floor.

Drusilla conjured a cloud of spiritual guardians. The spectral ravens swirled around her. She drew her sword and shield then charged the beholder as well. She stabbed at it as her raven guardians ripped chunks from it with their beaks and claws.

Still the creature lived

Diesa charged and swung her axe. The last vestiges of the holy oil dissipated as they sliced four of the eyestalks clean off the body.

Still, it lived

Elora stood up from behind the altar on the opposite side of the room. She fired two quick shots into the central mass of the body.

The beholder dropped to the platform. The eyestalks draped down over its body, hanging limp and motionless.

They moved quickly toward the three undead warriors still cowering in the corner with fear and quickly dispatched them.

Without pausing to catch their breath, Vorjhon and Drusilla ran back to Salys’s ashes. They fell to their knees, still breathing heavily from the battle. The cleric and paladin concentrated on reaching out to their gods, visualizing the Raven Queen and Bahamut, praying desperately for one of them to spare their friend’s life.

Diesa glanced Elora. They stood and watched for a few moments, then awkwardly got down on their knees, and hung their heads in respectful silence, not knowing what they should do next.

Drusilla felt a weird sensation come over her. She felt dizzy, like she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. She started to fall forward into unconsciousness then she felt herself pulled to her feet. When she opened her eyes, she was surrounded by darkness. She could hear a soft rhythmic sound all around her. She instinctively knew it was the sound of air being moved by gigantic wings.

“Your love for your friend is moving, my cleric,” said a voice whose pitch rose and fell with the rhythmic beat of the unseen wings. “As one of my champions you should understand the importance of the balance between life and death.”

“I understand, but I had to try. Forgive me for my selfishness, my Queen,” Drusilla replied, speaking into the darkness.

“If I could help you, I would, my champion. But the balance must be maintained,” said the Raven Queen. “Passing on is not something to fear, though there will be great pain and grief for those left behind.” Silence hung in the air, broken only by the beating of giant wings in the darkness.

“But.. but I just wish I could have saved her. I know it’s selfish to want her back but I… I just wasn’t ready for her to go.” Drusilla’s voice was quietly shook with emotion.

“I know my child, I know.” The Raven Queen’s voice was soothing, almost like a mother speaking to her distraught child. “But know this that your friend is safe now. Safe from a fate like the foes you face have suffered. And in time you, too, will come under the shelter of my wing and be reunited. Now go. Your other friends still need you. Salys will be with me, waiting for you to join us. But make her proud of how you use the time you yet still have, my little Raven.”

Drusilla felt the dizzy, oxygen-deprived feeling come over her once again. When she opened her eyes, she was back in the tomb, kneeling before the remains of Salys. She looked over to see Vorjhon still praying. He sounded like he was repeating something under his breath. She leaned towards him. She could barely make out the words, but it sounded to her like he was saying, “My prayer. My prayer. My prayer,” over and over again.

The dragonborn had cleared everything from his mind except thoughts of Bahamut. He focused only on the dragon god he had looked to for inspiration these last few weeks. He was so focussed on one, the dragon born let out a startled gasp when he suddenly felt his mind being split in two.

It didn’t hurt, but it was disorienting at first. He became aware of being in two different places and having two different conversations at the same time. Even though he knew he was in two different places, both halves were still perfectly separate. One half was in a silver void. He was neither floating nor standing. He simply existed. A small silver flame floated in front of him and flickered as it spoke.

“Did you learn nothing from your time in my service?,” the flame admonished him. “You know life is chaotic, creatures die at random all the time,” the flame continued. “That is the uncaring nature of the universe.”

“I did learn. That is why I prayed. I wanted to help protect my friends from the uncaring hand of fate,” Vorjhon replied.

“Maybe you did learn something, but it was the wrong message. Your friend’s life force is part of the energy of the universe now. It is not the Silver Flame’s place or desire to change that. The good are slain by eveil, and evil slain by good, but this petty squabling is not something my followers should busy themselves with. Many small lives are lost in the name of good, but all are redeemed when good vanquishes the largest fonts of evil. You were never good at seeing the big picture.” the flame said, “it’s within my power to bring her back, but you were never a faithful follower, always questioning and second guessing. For that, for your waivering faith to me, I will leave you to seek the means to bring your friend back elsewhere.” The flame flared brighter as it spoke the last spiteful words, and then flickered out.

During Vorjhon’s conversation with the Silver Flame, he also found himself standing on a vast plane of white sand. It shimmered. A soft, almost musical breeze hung in the air all around him.

“Hello my tiny Silver Scale,” said a deep, but soothing voice behind him.

He turned to see an enormous silver dragon. True to his description, every scale of his armored hide was the same size as Vorjhon.

“Bahamut!” the dragonborn gasped, and fell to one knee in supplication.

“You may rise, my paladin,” Bahamut said.

Vorjhon stood but had to strain his neck to stare up at the head of the giant dragon god that loomed above him.

“I know why you’re here,” Bahamut continued. “Are you sure you wish to go through with it?”

“If you will permit it, yes,” said Vorjhon.

“The other one won’t like it,” mused the giant dragon, clicking its tongue.

Vorjhon knew he was referring to the Silver Flame.

“Will it get you in some kind of trouble?” Vorjhon asked. He felt silly asking a giant immortal dragon if something would get it in trouble, but he did not want to be the cause of any strife between gods.

Bahamut chuckled. “Isn’t that just like you, my silver scale. Always putting others before yourself.”

Vorjhon said nothing.

“What are you feeling?” Bahamut asked.

“I’m scared,” Vorjhon said honestly, admitting it more to himself than to the dragon.

“You should be,” the dragon god replied, seriously. But his tone softened as he added, “But there is no need to be frightened. I will find a place for you by my side.” Bahamut took a deep breath and softly said, “Your prayer has been answered, my paladin.”

As the sentence ended, Vorjhon became aware of his other conversation just in time to see the Silver Flame flicker out.


Diesa, Drusilla and Elora stared at Vorjhon. He had stopped praying for a few moments. He sat eerily still, like he had been hit by another paralyzing spell. He startled them all when he sat quickly upright. He looked confused for a moment, then he smiled at them.

“It’s going to be all right,” he said.

His body began to shimmer. His scales slowly drifted away from his face. His armor, shield, clothing, Eclipse, and even the bag of colding, transformed into silver scales that floated into the air. They rose up, hovered in a sparkling cloud above them, then shot down into the pile of dust that had once been their friend

The ash and scales mixed together and swirled above the floor in an oval. It rotated faster and faster until it imploded upon itself and coalesced into the form of a gnome. Salys lay in front of them. She was barely breathing and she was naked except for a pair of silver scaled boots on her feet.

Drusilla quickly cast a healing spell on her as Elora draped her winter wolf cloak over her shoulders. They looked around the room but could see no sign of Vorjhon, not even Eclipse.

They were startled by a soft voice suddenly wafting through the air around them.

The voice said, “Dear Bahamut, I vow to protect my companions from harm so they can do work that will please you. I humbly beg that you will give me the strength to uphold this oath. If I should fail and my companions fall, I beg you to take my life in exchange for theirs. I am your humble servant.”

It was Vorjhon’s voice, but it sounded impossibly far away. Though none of them had ever heard him say it out loud, they all knew it was the prayer he said every night before bed. They all knew they had just heard it for the last time.

Our tale will continue in Episode 31

Episode 30 was written by Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Tales of The Brunch Club 029 “Corridors of Death”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 29 of the Rescued by Dragons podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club: A fantasy fiction podcast inspired by a weekly, home brew, Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

My name is Brian Messmer and I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, ale in hand, gathered around a table with other listeners, waiting to hear the next chapter in the tales of… The Brunch Club.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 28, The Brunch Club gave Solania papers that proved Lady Tiroll was the assassin Varjho, just as Ahura Mazda claimed. She told them she had a job for them that would help them gain favor with the Council of Five, but would reveal the job the next day. Finally able to leave Lady Tirol’s villa, they found their coachman passed out drunk in the carriage. Salys eagerly volunteered to drive, but lost control of the horses and damaged some property on the way back to the Inn. They were fined heavily for the damage, but avoided a night in jail. Solania visited Vorjhon in the bathroom revealing it was her that sent him the secret note. She told him that they should meet her representative at the ruins of the Temple of the Raven Queen in Elnor at midnight, and that they would be granted a special license to use divine magic during their errand. The group visited Captain Grath who decided to take the afternoon off and spend it with Elora while the rest of the party went back to the Inn to rest before the night ahead.

And now…

Episode 29, “Corridors of Death”

Vorjhon slept for a while. He woke up early in the evening when he heard footsteps walking past his room and a door open down the hall. He assumed it was Elora returning from her afternoon in the Port District. He was happy for her that she was able to spend some time with Captain Grath. In their line of work, one should take advantage of happy moments whenever they can.

A clock tower in the distance told him there was still a few hours before they needed to leave for the Temple of the Raven Queen. He laid his armor and shield neatly on the floor. He sat quietly on his bed and began methodically inspecting each joint and seam of his armor, repairing it where he could, then polishing it to gleaming perfection. He did the same with his shield, popping out the more flexible dents and reinforcing the straps where they frayed. The last item that needed his attention was Eclipse. The two-headed flail had no visible damage. Not even a knick or a scratch, which he found remarkable. “I must be on the right path to have Bahamut bless me with such a weapon,” the paladin thought to himself. He painstakingly cleaned dried blood from the crevasses of the etched sun and moon orbs that topped the mace. Eclipse shone brightly after it too was lovingly polished. The paladin began putting on his armor when the eleven chimes of the clock tower told him it was time to get ready.

“Vorjhon, are you ready yet?” Drusilla said in a typically annoyed tone as she banged on his door. She opened it to find the dragonborn on one knee, head down, moving his mouth as if he was speaking, but no sounds came out.

“Oh, sorry,” Drusilla said when she realized he was praying again, as was his ritual every evening.

“Not to worry,” Vorjhon said standing up and smiling at her. “I was just finishing. Are the other’s ready? He asked.

“Yes, they’re waiting for us.” the cleric said. When she turned around to walk out the door, Vorjhon noticed the long cloak of pristine white fur that hung from her shoulders down to the backs of her knees.

“Are you wearing the winter wolf cloak?” Vorjhon asked, appreciatively. “It is beautiful!”

“Yes. Elora picked them up on her way back from Grath’s,” she told him. “I’m still waiting for the right pair of boots to go with them, though.” A playful smile flitted across her features as she teased the paladin. Vorjhon couldn’t help but grin at the old joke as they joined the others.


The Brunch Club found themselves walking briskly and running late. They thought they had given themselves plenty of time to meet Solania’s representative at the ruined Temple of the Raven Queen, but were told that no carriage service wanted to pick them up.

“Nice going Salys,” Diesa grumbled as they walked quickly through the streets of Elnor.

Even though it was winter, they were already sweating under the thick fur of their new cloaks.

“Hey, I didn’t hear any of you guys offer to drive,” Salys said. “And it was going really well until it suddenly wasn’t.”

Even though they were in a hurry, they couldn’t keep themselves from slowing down when they approached the remains of the old Temple District. The finely hewn stone and well crafted facades of the mage-controlled portion of the city gave way to piles of rubble and crumbling shells of once-great cathedrals. Broken steeples, that at one time stood high in the air, now lay crumbling on piles of their own shattered stone. Not even the dead were spared the indignity of neglect. The graveyards were full of broken markers and buried under the collapsed walls of the churches that once stood by their sides.

They were relieved to see a lone figure seated on a large granite block just before Elnor’s clocks struck midnight. When they got close, they could see a raven carved in bas-relief in the figure’s seat. It was upside down, as if it had fallen out of the sky.

“Are you waiting for us?” Drusilla asked.

The woman said nothing and looked at each of them. She was dressed in a black cloak with the hood pulled up. She pulled the hood down to reveal her face. She had chestnut hair, matching eyes, and the facial features of a half elf. “Come, the sooner you get started, the better.” She immediately turned towards the crumbling temple behind her.

She led them past some piles of rubble to a set of wooden doors set into the ground. A heavy timber beam lay across it. The beam was nested in ‘L’ shaped brackets keeping the door from opening from the inside. Vorjhon took a step forward to remove the beam. Before he could touch it, the half elf waved her hand. The beam moved on its own. It rose up just enough to glide out of the brackets and onto the ground without making a noise.

The representative waved her hand again and the doors opened quietly. They could see the doors were solid oak and very thick. The underside of the door was covered in carved runic symbols. The open doors revealed a staircase which led down to a large antechamber. Old carvings were crumbling along the columns, they looked do be flocks of birds flying towards the sky, but many of them had cracked, faded, or fallen.

“Follow me,” the half-elf said.

When they gathered in the room, she told them their mission.

“A few weeks ago an undead corpse was found wandering in the Granite District. It was quickly dealt with and traced back to here. A few more appeared, then more and more. We sealed them in but The Council wants to know what’s causing it. Your job is to search the tombs and find out what’s raising them, destroy it if you can, and kill as many undead along the way as possible.”

“Solania said Drusilla and I would be allowed to use our divine magic, is that true?” Vorjhon asked.

The representative nodded and handed him and Drusilla each a small rolled parchment. “Keep these on you while you are in Elnor. They grant you permission to use your holy powers while on Council business,” she told them. She then quietly added “May the gods be with you,” as she turned from them and ascended the stairs.

They watched the doors close above them and heard the heavy timber settle into place.

“Um, how do we get out?” Elora wondered as they stood in the darkness.


Three floating orbs conjured by Drusilla guided them down a long flight of stairs that was interrupted by a landing every ten feet or so. The landings led to no rooms or hallways, just more stairs downward. The fifth landing finally ended in a twenty foot hallway which had an open doorway into a room at the end.

Vorjhon whispered for them to stop when they had all reached the bottom of the stairs. He concentrated on his surroundings and opened his mind. His heightened awareness of the fiendish and undead forces told him what lay in the room ahead.

“Seven undead, two ghouls,” he whispered.

“Don’t let the ghouls claw or bite you,” Drusilla warned.

“We should lure them out,” said Elora, removing her phoenix arrow from her quiver.

“Wait,” Vorjhon said, then turned to Diessa. “Hold out your axe please,” he told her.

Diesa held her battle axe in front of Vorjhon. He removed a small glass vial wrapped up in a rag. He emptied the vial, pouring a clear, viscous liquid on both sides of each blade. He rubbed the oil in with the rag.

“Holy oil. It hurts undead,” he explained.

Drusilla sent one of her dancing lights through the door, bobbed it up and down, and slowly drew it back to her.

“It’s like fishing for corpses,” said Salys.

“Kill the Ghouls first if you can,” said Vorjhon.

“How will we know which one’s a ghoul and not just a zombie?” Diesa asked gruffly.

Just then a rotting humanoid stumbled out of the chamber, into the hall. It swatted at the orb of light with long claws, like a corpse’s overgrown fingernails. A tongue with chunks of it missing lolled from its slack jaw, unnaturally long and swaying with its movements. The ghoul paused and turned its attention to the group as it’s stench wafted around it.

“Oh I see.” Diesa said, gripping her battleaxe tighter and willing the stench out of her nostrils. The whole party could already feel their stomachs churning.

“Ignis,” Elora said, commanding the tip of her arrow to burst into flame. The arrow sailed down the hallway and set the ghoul’s tattered clothing on fire on its way through the creature’s cold dead heart.

Salys finished it off with three magic missiles to the chest.

“Conserve your magic missiles, Salys. We don’t know how many of these we’ll have to face tonight, or what kind of creature is creating them,” Vorjhon suggested.

“Yeah, yeah dragonbreath. Don’t worry about me,” Salys laughed as she set another undead aflame with a fire bolt.

Drusilla called forth a sacred flame to engulf another undead that shambled through the doorway. As more creatures entered the hallway, they were met with fire and arrows. When the second ghoul fell, Vorjhon approached the doorway. He stayed along the hallway wall, giving plenty of room for arrows to zip by. He engaged the last of the undead, crushing its rotting skull easily under the weight of Eclipse.

Elora retrieved a couple of her arrows and Diesa began inspecting the pockets of the mouldering, tattered clothing.

“What are you doing?” Drusilla asked, with disgust in her voice.

“Looking for loot, duh, what else would I be doing?” Diesa said as she moved from corpse to corpse.

“What kind of loot do you expect to find on corpses from a tomb?” asked Vorjhon.

“I mean, it’s not like they’re going to be using their loot in a tomb either.” Salys chimed in, But Diesa found no loot.

Vorjhon led the way into the next room, it was empty. It appeared to be a repository of cremated ashes as urns set in recesses lined the walls. On the opposite wall was the only other door. It led into another hallway which again, seemed to open up into a room twenty feet away.

Vorjhon reached out with his divine sense once again. “Seven more undead, and another ghoul,” he told them.

“See if you can lure them out,” Salys said.

Vorjhon walked halfway down the hall and stopped. He said a prayer, and as he raised Eclipse, it glowed brightly and filled the hall with bright divine light. The light drew two of the undead into the hallway. Vorjhon struck the first down with Eclipse. Elora and Drusilla killed the second with a couple phoenix arrow shots and sacred flame.

Four more undead and the ghoul entered the hallway.

“Step aside, Vorjhon!” Salys shouted as she extended her hands.

Vorjhon backed up against the wall as a bolt of lightning crackled past him. It struck the ghoul and passed through him to the next four undead. The undead dropped to the ground. Their smoking corpses sparked with residual electricity. The ghoul moved toward Vorjhon, but was struck down from behind by Diesa’s battle axe. It collapsed into a pile of motionless decaying flesh.

“Ohh! This holy oil works nice!” Diesa enthused as she turned to face another undead emerging from the doorway.

The remaining undead were cut down quickly. Diesa once again searched their pockets in vain and The Brunch Club moved forward into the next room.

The next hallway ended in another long staircase downwards. They descended the steps which turned into another long hallway that snaked around a corner about sixty feet away. Salys summoned Pip and asked him to scout around the corner.

The surly owl begrudgingly obeyed and flew down the hall.

When he returned he told them the hallway around the corner was wider and also about sixty feet long. It ended at a wall with a small doorway in the center that led into a large room.

The room contained more undead corpses, animated skeletons, and some angry looking spirits.

“Does he know how many?” Vorjhon asked after Salys relayed Pip’s information.

“The room was full of zombies and ghosts. I wasn’t sticking around to do a head count, you shiny asshole,” answered Pip, though only Salys could hear him.

“He said he didn’t want to risk it,”

Drusilla kept two of her dancing lights behind them using only one to guide them down the hallway so the light would be less noticeable around the corner.

When they reached the end of the hall they decided to creep forward in the blackness, leading Vorjhon along with them as he was the only member of the group without dark vision.

When they got within thirty feet of the door they stopped to make a plan. “I can set a trap in front of the door,” Diesa offered.

“There’s enough room on either side of the door for Vorjhon and I to ambush whoever comes out,” Drusilla said.

“You guys are fucking loud, let me set the trap first,” said Diesa as she moved quietly down the hallway.

The party members with dark vision could see only her silhouette as she crouched down, removed some items from her bag, and prepared her trap.

“Ready,” Diesa said when she returned to the group. “Don’t fuck it up,” she added to Vorjhon and Drusilla as they began moving into position as quietly as their armor would allow.

Fortunately these undead were not the most observant creatures, and the paladin and cleric were able to take their positions on either side of the doorway.

“We need to draw them out,” Elora said.

Salys took a torch from her pack and lit it. “Wow, it’s so dark and lonely down here,” she exclaimed loudly. “It’s really scary for a little gnome like me, all alone, helpless, tasty.”

Two of the undead corpses shuffled out of the doorway. A skeleton followed, quickly catching up to them. They passed through the door never noticing Vojhon and Drusilla on either side of it.

When they reached the site of Diesa’s trap, the first two undead stepped on the ball bearings spread out along the floor and fell into seating positions. The skeleton tried to go around but he slipped on the oil the rogue had also poured on the floor.

“Now!” shouted Diesa.

Elora ignited her phoenix arrow and shot it into the oil-soaked floor.. The floor burst into flames and quickly engulfed the three undead creatures. They wailed as they desperately tried to stand and run, but could not stop themselves from repeatedly falling down into the ball bearings and burning oil.

Diessa's Plan Fantasy art

Vorjhon said a prayer and Eclipse glowed with divine light. Drusilla said a prayer of her own. A spectral raven appeared at her side.

As soon as another skeleton stepped through the door, the cleric’s raven attacked it. Vorjhon whispered a quick prayer and hit the undead fiend from the other side. The decaying ribs cracked under the paladin’s blow, and the explosive energy of his divine smite felled the skeleton on impact. The next zombie to come through the door tripped and fell over the scattered bones, making it an easy target for Drusilla and Vorjhon.

The growing pile of bodies made it difficult for the uncoordinated undead to get into the hallway quickly. This made it easy for the party to pick them off one by one.

The battle seemed to be drawing to a close when three ghostly figures streamed through the door. They floated quickly around the pile of corpses and bones. Diesa shot one with her shortbow, but the arrow appeared to slip through it without doing noticeable damage.

“You need to use magic against them!” Vorjhon shouted down the hallway to his companions. One of the spirits heard the shout and turned to attack him. Fortunately Eclipse was a magical weapon and the damage it inflicted caused the ghost to scream in agony.

Diesa slung her bow over her shoulder and withdrew her axe. She charged the second ghostly form and swung at it. The spectral skin hissed from the holy oil on her blade as she cut into it.

Elora ignited her phoenix arrow and let it fly at the other specter that was charging them. The phoenix arrow once again sailed through it, but the magical flame left a scorched hole all the way through the ghostly body. Drusilla’s sacred flame finished it off.

Vorjhon cut down his spectre with a second blow from Eclipse, while Salys used a barrage of magic missiles to finish off the one Diesa had wounded.

“Did you really need to waste a powerful spell on the last ghost?” Vorjhon said to the sorceress, passively aggressively reminding her they should conserve their spell energy.

“Nope! I did not.” said Salys. “But it felt great!”

Diesa retrieved her arrows and inspected the moldy clothing for valuables. Once again there was nothing.

“Does anyone need to rest?” Drusilla asked.

“Diesa’s holy oil lasts only an hour. We should press on,” said Vorjhon.

The rest of the party agreed and they stepped forward into what they hoped was an empty room.

Our tale will continue next week in Episode 30

Episode 29 was written by Dominic White and myself, Brian Messmer. The story is based upon my own homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Tales of The Brunch Club 028 “Meetings in Bathrooms”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 28 of the Rescued by Dragons podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club: A fantasy fiction podcast inspired by a weekly, home brew, Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

My name is Bethany Powers and I play Diesa in the Dungeon & Dragons campaign this story is based on.

I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, ale in hand, gathered around a table with other listeners, waiting to hear the next chapter in the tales of… The Brunch Club.

But first, a quick recap…

In the previous episode, The Brunch Club tried to prevent a fight between Lady Tiroll and Ahura Mazda. After Ahura Mazda killed Lady Tiroll, her corpse rose and obediently followed him through a portal as he made his escape from the mansion.

Solania and Ilian of the Council of Five, along with three Instructors, appeared in the ballroom and questioned the guests. After they were questioned, The Brunch Club explored the mansion and found evidence that proved Ahura Mazda’s accusations about Lady Tiroll were correct. On their way to give their findings to Solania they stopped to inspect a treasure box chained to the floor in one of the rooms. When Diessa got close enough to check it for traps, an arm instantly grew from one side of the chest and swung at her face.

And now…

Episode 28, “Meetings in Bathrooms”

Diessa jumped back as the fist swung past her. The keg-sized chest rose up off of the floor as two squat, sturdy legs extended from underneath it. A second arm grew out of the opposite side from the first one.

The gap between the lid and the box undulated up and down. The edges of the gap grew lips, and a grotesque tongue slipped between them , swishing back and forth. The mouth opened and exposed long, sharp teeth. Angry, hungry eyes appeared near the top of the lid.

Diessa scrambled backwards as the devilish treasure chest rushed at her. When it got near her it lunged, but its leap was halted in midair by the chain. It crashed to the floor with a surprised yelp, but got right back up. It snarled and swiped at Diesa, straining against its chain.

“What in the nine Hells was that?” exclaimed Diesa as she backed out of the room, catching her breath.

“I have no idea,” said Elora.

“Should we kill it?” asked Drusilla.

“Nah,” said Salys. “Let the Instructors deal with it.”

Mimic illustration

They were relieved to find the more friendly Solania alone in the ballroom. She invited them into a side room where they could talk in private. Vorjhon handed her the sheaf of papers Diesa found in Lady Tiroll’s desk.

“These appear to be proof that Lady Tiroll was the assassin, Varjo,” the paladin told her.

“They’re in code, I can translate if you want.” Diesa offered.

Solania leafed through the papers and glanced at a few of them. “Thank you,” she told Diesa. “That won’t be necessary.”

“So it looks like Ahura Mazda was right about her,” said Salys.

Solania nodded. “It appears so. Still, it doesn’t excuse him for killing her. He will have to be found and dealt with.” she said seriously.

“That’s too bad,” sighed Salys. “He was going to help me control my magic.”

“I’ve been thinking about how you got your powers,” said Solania. “Beholders do not have the ability to grant magic. They are cunning and evil creatures though. Most likely it sensed magic within you, then manipulated you into sacrificing your father.”

“Why would it do that?” Vorjhon asked. “What would it have to gain?”

Solania sighed. “I don’t know, I haven’t figured that part out yet,” she admitted. “However, I may have a task for you, and should you complete it, I can arrange access to the library for you.” she told them with optimism in her voice. “That may help you find some answers.

“What’s the job?” asked Elora.

“I can’t tell you here. I’ll contact you tomorrow,” said Solania.

She stood up, bid them good night and told them they were free to leave.


The Brunch Club found their coachman asleep in the back of their carriage. He clutched an empty bottle of whiskey high on his chest.

“Looks like I have to drive!” said Salys, climbing excitedly onto the driver’s bench. The rest of them climbed into the carriage and held on to the hand rails tightly.

Salys was able to gingerly coax the two horses down the small street leading up to Lady Tiroll’s Villa. When she got to the main road she urged them to move a little faster. She whipped the reins up and down, speeding the horses from a trot to a canter, then a full gallop.

The carriage tilted from side to side as they sped down the uneven cobblestone streets. When Salys took a corner as fast as the horses would allow, all four wheels of the carriage lifted off the ground. Its momentum slammed it into the corner of a building, knocking chunks of the quartz facade from it. The carriage landed back on the road but went airborne again around the next corner. This time it destroyed a section of ornamental fencing and took a chunk out of an old chesnut tree.

The road straightened allowing Salys to gain control of the carriage. She slowed down when she saw a group of town guards ahead of her. A guard on horseback galloped past them and stopped when he reached the guards.

The mounted guard commanded them to halt.

An older guard approached them and asked Salys to climb down and the passengers to exit the carriage.

“You were driving fast and reckless,” the guard told Salys.

“Sorry, our coachman got drunk while we were at a party, so I had to drive. The horses got away from me,” the gnome said apologetically as possible.

The experienced guard looked inside the carriage at the sleeping coachman. “I’m still going to have to fine you for the damage,” he said.

“How much?” Salys asked.

“Two-hundred and fifty gold,” the guard said.

“What? That’s robbery!” said an annoyed Diesa.

The guard looked at her. “That’s just the fine. There’s also another one hundred and fifty gold for the damage you did.”

“How do we know you’re not just going to keep it?” Diesa said, disrespectfully.

The older guard approached and looked down at her. “Listen here, dwarf. I don’t know what filthy cave you’re from, but this is a civilized city, and actions have consequences. You can pay the four hundred gold now, or spend the night in jail and pay it anyway.

Vorjhon stepped between Diesa and the older guard. He handed him the gold and apologized on behalf of the group.

The mounted guard followed them back to the Rampant Wizard Inn to make sure Salys kept the horses at a reasonable speed. They paid to stable the horses, rented the coachman a room for the night and put him to bed with a note and some more gold to cover the damages to the carriage.


When The Brunch Club went to check on the coachman in the morning, he and his carriage were gone. Without knowing where or when Solania was going to contact them, they decided to sell Lady Tiroll’s necklace, then get brunch.

They brought the necklace to the ‘I Don’t Karat All’ jewel smithery run by Tuft and his grandmother, Nedna.

Tuft’s eyes lit up happily when Salys walked through the door. His excitement softened a bit when he saw the rest of The Brunch Club follow her inside.

“Hi Salys,” Tuft greeted her. He waved at her friends politely acknowledging their presence as well.

“Hey Tuft,” Salys said. She leaned close to him and they chatted quietly for a moment. Then she handed him Lady Tiroll’s necklace. “We’d like to sell this, how much can you give us?”

Tuft took the necklace. “I think grandma already appraised this at around two thousand gold,” he said.

“How about twenty-one hundred?” Salys said. “Two thousand for the necklace, and an extra hundred for the cool story that goes with it?”

Tuft could not resist Salys’s smile, and it was a good story, so he agreed to the price.


After selling the necklace, the group went to the Elfsong Tavern for brunch. It was crowded, which made them hesitant to talk about the previous night, or what the job Solania had for them might be. Having no other plans though, they took their time and enjoyed a leisurely mid-morning meal. Near the end of the meal, Vorjhon excused himself and went to avail himself of the water closet.

While he washed his hands in a small cistern, a portal appeared next to him. Solania stepped into the bathroom.

“I’m glad you didn’t show up a minute ago,” Vojhon said.

“Likewise,” Solania said, with a light laugh. “I assume you got my note?” she then asked him.

“Note?” Vorjhon said, cautiously.

“The Gods watch over us all. We must bring them back,” Solania recited. It was the message written on the note the bartender at the party secretively handed him.

“So that was from you,” said Vorjhon. “Interesting sentiment coming from a member of the Council.”

“Do you disagree?” she asked.

“Of course not,” the paladin said. “I am only curious why a wizard would want divine magic back in her city.”

“Right now there is no balance of power in Elnor. Some members of the council feel they can do what they want with impunity. Absolute power in government makes me uneasy,” explained Solania. “Powerful clerics and paladins could help keep the council in check.”

“How can we help you bring the Gods back to Elnor?” Vorjhon asked.

“That will come later. For now, the council has another job for The Brunch Club. Go to the ruins of the Temple of the Raven Queen at midnight tonight. My representative will meet you there. Do not worry about any limitations. Your group will be granted a special license to cast divine magic while on Council business. ” Solania finished her instructions and cast a new portal next to her.

“Before I go,” she said before entering the portal, “We looked into the cultists you told Captain Unterpant about. We believe they were trying to summon a Kraken.”

“I believe we killed them before they could summon it,” Vorjhon told her. “But there could be more of them in the caves.”

“We’ll be looking into that as well.” Solania assured him. “Don’t forget, Temple of the Raven Queen at midnight tonight. Don’t be late,” she warned him as she stepped into the portal. It disappeared behind her.


When Vorjhon got back to the table he noticed the rest of the group was getting ready to leave.

“We’re going to go see what Captain Grath is up to while we wait for Solania to contact us,” said Elora, failing to hide her eagerness at seeing the handsome and muscular ship captain once again.

Vorjhon waited until they were out of the tavern and on a less crowded side street before he told them Solania had visited him in the bathroom.

“I didn’t think Solania was that kind of girl,” Salys joked.

Vorjhon pretended not to hear Salys and told them about his and Solania’s conversation.

When he was finished, Elora said, “Grath should know someone’s trying to summon a Kraken. It could put him in danger.”

“We get it, Elora!” Diesa teased. “You want to see some girth, I mean Grath.”


They flagged down a hansom cab and took it to the elevators that went down to the Port District. Elora quickly spotted Grath’s ship. They requested permission to come aboard, which was granted. Elora led them to Grath’s cabin. The door was open, and he welcomed them in when he saw them approaching.

They told him about the cultists’ attempt to summon a Kraken off the coast of Elnor. He nodded gravely and thanked them for the warning.

Vorjhon reminded them of their midnight appointment. He suggested if they got back to the Inn soon, they’d have time to rest up before they faced whatever Solania had in store for them.

“I only need four hours of sleep, so I think I’ll hang out here for a while,” Elora told them.

Grath smiled and said, “I think I’ll take the afternoon off.”


On their way to the elevators, The Brunch Club, minus their ranger, passed by a potions shop on the boardwalk. Drusilla stopped them.

“We need to get more potions,” said Drusilla. “Since Vorjhon decided to give all of ours to,” she lowered her voice and imitated the dragonborn’s accent, “ ‘ his very good friend.’ ”

Vorjhon said nothing and kept his eyes focused on the ground in front of him.

They spent the money from Lady Tiroll’s necklace on health potions then headed back to the Rampart Wizard Inn to rest up before a potentially long and dangerous night.

Our tale will continue next week in Episode 29

Episode 28 was written by Dominic White and based upon a homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign created by Brian Messmer.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Bonus Episode 027-A “The Diary of Ahura Mazda”

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Transcript

Welcome to a Rescued by Dragons Tale, an extra bit of story giving a deeper look at the world of Twel and the stories that surround the brunch club. This specific Dragon’s Tale is related to episodes 26 and 27 of the Tales of the Brunch club. If you haven’t yet, it’s highly recommended you listen to those first. You can find them on Rescuedbydragons.com or wherever you normally listen to your podcasts. But for now, enjoy the Tale of Ahura Mazda.

The Journal of Ahura Mazda

The following are entries found in the Journal of Ahura Mazda, dean of the School of Conjuration in the Wizards College of Elnor, discovered by the Council of 5 During their investigation of the Murder of Lady Tiroll.

First entry:

Edwin is dead. I could barely believe it when the news reached me this morning. Just yesterday we had spent hours delving into discussion of the Lan’allara elves. Some sort of magical experiment gone awry. As the dean of the college next slated for leadership, Kormir, acting as interim President, made the announcement with few details. There will be a service soon. I should prepare.

Second Entry:

Edwin’s death was several days ago now. The service was muted, Edwin’s body wasn’t posed for viewing due to… the state of it. Apparently Kormir made all the arrangements. A little unusual, since Edwin had never been particularly close to the man. Maybe Kormir is hoping to build up goodwill. The man’s always been an ambitious climber. No doubt he has aspirations of joining the Five one day. Personally I’ve always found him a bit of an imbecile, better at shoving his nose up someone else’s ass than casting a spell.

It bothers me that no details have been released. A magical experiment gone wrong? What could Edwin have possibly been working on that was so dangerous? Edwin and I have openly shared much of our work with each other for review and insight. Collaborated for many years since he cultivated me from the poor student he first found all those years ago. Perhaps I shall ask Kormir directly. Though would that be unseemly? Perhaps I can just ask for Edwin’s personal research notes.

Third Entry:

Kormir is no longer just dean of the college of illusion, but has officially been named President of the university. He didn’t even have the decency to keep a somber ceremony. I myself received a letter today naming me dean of the college of conjuring. Edwin had been dean of the college of conjuring, and when he had become President I’d acted informally as dean on his behalf. A new title brings me little comfort, and brings no beginnings of closure.

Fourth Entry:

What is that buffoon thinking? Kormir sent me a terse written response after ignoring and avoiding me for the better part of two weeks! “The situation is too dangerous to reveal details” and “the esteemed former President’s notes have been sealed to prevent a similar occurrence”. Ridiculous! I even attempted to enter Edwin’s chambers, but they’ve been posted as “off limits” for the time being.

Fifth Entry:

I broke into Edwin’s chambers tonight. Some puerile incantation had left a flimsy seal on the door. Ridiculously easy to break. Sloppy spellwork.

His chambers were a mess. Why hadn’t anyone cleaned anything up? It looked like some sort of struggle had taken place. I first thought a summoning had perhaps brought some malicious presence, but there was no evidence of that. No evidence of much really. I’m not even sure Edwin cast a spell from the look of the room. I didn’t find anything, but Zoro found a vial beneath the dresser. I’m not sure what it is, but it seems out of place. It’s an unlabeled bottle, but there’s an apothecary’s stamp. I’m unfamiliar, but I’m sure it’s easy to find. Perhaps the vial’s contents can tell me something.

Sixth Entry:

It wasn’t difficult to locate the apothecary, the Hypnotic Halfling in the Granite district. In trying to locate it, I’d heard the shopkeep was a shrewd halfling woman, but was greeted by a nitwit gnome apprentice who seemed to be delving into the wares for his own personal use. It wasn’t until the owner heard my frustrations that she decided to make an appearance from the back. She was less than cooperative until I offered her a bribe. A large glowing diamond I’d conjured unseen behind my back. She revealed to me that the vial had contained something called Midnight poison though she rarely sold it due to the price. Couldn’t get more than that out of her, but researched the poison in the library. Apparently it prevents magic casting, and inhibits movement. It doesn’t kill on its own. I wish I could have stayed to see her face when that “bribe” disappeared an hour later.

I don’t know what to make of this. Could Edwin have been poisoned? But why?

Seventh Entry:

I met with Kormir today. Playing the part of supplicant, I begged Kormir to allow me to review Edwin’s notes. Went on about how I thought Edwin’s personal insights to my own work must be there somewhere. How I was at his mercy if I hoped to remain as dean. Promised that I would exchange my perfect obedience for his help. I was pathetic. I was humiliated. I groveled on my knees before him. But it worked.

At his pleasure, he would allow me to review Edwin’s notes with strict supervision in his office. He’s going to mark pages and sections I cannot see “for my own safety” with the threat that should I attempt to see anything restricted, he would cast an illusion over the pages and see me removed from the university without question.

I’m unsure yet how, but I’ll see those notes in their entirety.

Eighth entry:

I’ve had Zoro take the form of an owl. He hates having wings, and it makes him a little more noticeable as a familiar, but it’s necessary, but in a city full of wizards, I’m hoping nobody took great note. He’s watched the exit of the Hypnotic Halfling from the rooftops for the last two weeks every chance we could manage. Somehow Kormir has made this far easier, as he’s already been “requesting” little favors from me since our meeting. Sending me out on trivial errands into the slate and granite district at least once a day. Typically a terrible inconvenience to my research and my duties as dean, but the hunt for information concerning Edwin has become supreme in my importance.

This afternoon I’d been sent to purchase mushroom powder from a vendor in the slate district. Supposedly Kormir has a friendly relationship with the shopkeep, but I suspect the man allows a discount for other reasons. My return to the university was a little more circuitous, and I spent several hours pursuing shops near the Hypnotic Halfling without any real purpose. But as dusk drew near, the owner exited with a basket under one arm. Discreetly we followed, Zoro overhead and I on foot. She was making her way toward the Slate District in a meandering fashion. As she slipped into a narrow and empty alley, I hid out of sight and changed my appearance into that of a half elf, though nearly a foot shorter and with a little more heft. Making my conjuration college robes look like threadbare finery. I then ran after her. She spun around just in time for me to cast charm person on her, and she quickly smiled at me in friendship.

When questioned she revealed she was on her way to sell several items to clientele that paid handsomely for direct, discrete delivery, including three vials of Midnight poison to a woman whose name she did not know. I asked her to sell the poison first, but she fearfully told me she did not dare appear before the appointed time. Instead I asked her to describe the location and woman. The shopkeep could not describe the woman with any detail, but told me how she would place the vials in an ever changing pile of refuse in the Slate district and payment would show up inside her shop the next day. She had never interacted with this particular customer since the exchange had been agreed upon. The shopkeep informed me she did not ask questions on how payment arrived at her shop, nor how the order for new vials would appear next to her bedside. I told her to give me the vials to deliver on her behalf, promising not to arrive early or late. Unfortunately she was a liability. After promising her that all her other customers told me they had canceled orders for the day, I turned her into a small cloud, dropping my guise. I told her to rise as high up into the air as she could, still charmed by my spell as she was. I think all of Elnor heard her scream a half hour later when I dropped my concentration. Even now I feel sick to my stomach for what I did, but if she hastened Edwin’s death by supplying the poison, she’s equally guilty of his murder.

I left the vials in the refuse pile as indicated after changing my appearance into the Hypnotic Halfling’s apprentice. I was noticeably taller, but stooped a great deal to try to seem shorter. Zoro took a perch nearby while I made an appearance of leaving, hiding what I hope was a prudent distance away. Hours passed, and I once again looked like myself. Crouched low in hiding, my muscles cramped, but still I waited. Nearly four hours after delivering the vials, and well into the night, Zoro spotted a nondescript figure, face concealed, covered nearly head to toe in blue-gray fabric. The figure lithely made for the refuse pile, pulled something from it in one swift motion after a momentary rummaging, then dashed into the distance. Zoro took flight in pursuit, while I tried my best to keep up without giving myself away. But the figure was fast. As I ran I cast forth an arcane eye in the air above me, and bid it pursue the figure from overhead with Zoro’s movement now limited by failings of the flesh. The figure must have heard pursuit, as the path taken was bizarre in the extreme, but still the eye followed noiselessly above. I stayed tucked in a doorway, with Zoro watching over me, focusing my mind upon the eye and its pursuit. At long last the figure arrived in the Crystal district, at a palatial villa. The figure slipped inside, unseen by the guards. The eye hovered above, sweeping its gaze in all directions before vanishing from sight as my spell was forced to end.

Zoro and I hurried to the villa, saving time by cutting out the labyrinthine route of the figure. When we arrived, I bid Zoro away with a wave of my hand, and watched the villa from a safe distance. I recognized this as the Tiroll villa. Edwin had had dealings with Lord Tiroll before. Tiroll had been a student at the university in his youth, but rested largely upon his large inherited fortune, and didn’t much but dabble in spellcraft most of the time. He had died around the same time as Edwin. Some accident on the roads outside Elnor.

Nothing seemed amiss within the estate, and the figure could have been gone by then, but I had to see inside. I cast a spell to make myself invisible, and quietly walked right past the guards. Inside was quiet, being late most servants seemed to be asleep. I moved quickly from room to room, seeing nothing of note on the first or second floors. On the third floor I was startled by the near silent widow Tiroll making her way down the third flight of stairs. She was dressed in the same blue-gray attire as the figure from before, face now uncovered. I swiftly backed to the wall, but elbowed a hideous jade figurine on a pedestal, sending it crashing to the floor where it shattered. Lady Tiroll stopped sharply and stared intently at what had been the figurine. She scanned the hallway with quick darts of her eyes, then withdrew a dagger concealed somewhere on her person and threw it into the wall on the side of the pedestal opposite to me.

I barely had time to register the dagger when she was already bounding to the figurine, screeching for her guards, a dagger now in each hand seeming to materialize from nowhere. I moved as quickly as I dared down the hall, facing her at all times. She continued to scream for the guards as she reached the figurine and began to wildly swipe and stab the air around her. Despite the wildness of her actions, her movements were fluid and practiced attacks. By now I could hear her guards rushing up the first flight of stairs, and with their own noise as cover, I fully ran down the hallway. I turned a corner and continued running, by now servants were rousing as their mistress screamed of an intruder. I kept running until I hit a dead end, then dared to open the door at the end and slip inside.

It was poorly lit, but I’d managed to find my way into what appeared to be the lady’s personal chambers. It was full of finery and decor that spewed excess. I swept my eyes over the room and saw a balcony. I made for the balcony, but hesitated. I reasoned that if I stole something, she might think this simply a burglary, with a thief able to get his hands upon a potion of invisibility. Glancing around, a dull glint caught my eye from across the room. I shoved a handful of jewels into my pocket, the apparent centerpiece on display a gaudy gold necklace with a large ruby set in its center. I made for the balcony and looked below. All around the estate was alive with activity as guards swept the grounds in addition to the interior. There was no way to descend, and even had I been able to, without question the guard would have discovered me. I dashed inside and made for her bed. I tore open the corner of her goose-down mattress, and extracted a single feather. I could hear commotion in the hallway, and dashed back to the balcony. I cast fly upon myself, and as I became visible once more took flight into the air. When I was just out of sight I heard the door to Tiroll’s chamber explode inward, and heard the cries of ‘thief’ as I rose even higher.

I flew a safe distance away, and walked back to the university. I found it difficult to fall asleep when I returned. How was Lady Tiroll tied to Edwin’s death? She certainly seems more than a rich widow.

This morning when I apologized for not bringing Kormir his mushroom powder yesterday, he’d entirely forgotten he had ever sent me.

Ninth entry:

Kormir has allowed me to review Edwin’s notes several times in the last month. He scrutinizes my every movement, eyes boring into me as though he might divine something of my true intent. I scribble arbitrary notes of my own that I copy from Edwin’s. Nothing of any particular importance, just to prevent Kormir’s suspicion. After about fifteen minutes, he declares that he has no more time left for my review, and takes Edwin’s notes, where he stores them in an enchanted safe. He reads my own notes, then dismisses me after I’ve made the appropriate display of subservient gratitude.

I’m ever grateful to Zoro, as this plan was of his own design. It’s practically illegal to write this down (or even think it!) but I must be blessed to have so clever a familiar. This evening after I brought Kormir saffron as a “favor” he allowed me to examine Edwin’s notes yet again. I set Zoro on the floor, as had become our tendency since Zoro hatched this plan, and began to jot down notes I had already written before. Several minutes in, I tipped Edwin’s notebook too far toward me, and the entire thing toppled to the floor.

Kormir sprung up from his chair and began to scream at me. Calling me idiot this, and clumsy that. I made a show of obeisant apology as I bent below the desk. As I straightened myself up and continued my apology to Kormir, I brought forth Edwin’s notebook from below the desk, it suddenly emanated a soft, magical glow. I stopped mid apology and gaped at it, as did Kormir. He snatched it from my hands and as he was about to open its pages the entire thing disappeared. Kormir let out an astonished gurgle, then ordered me to stand up against the wall. I obliged, and he suddenly cast a hold person spell on me. I didn’t resist. He frantically searched below the desk, and then hurried to myself, where he patted me down, and performed an uncomfortable search of my robes. In earnest astonishment at that I asked what he was doing. He was completely flummoxed, but dropped his spell when he was certain the notes were not on my person. He screamed at me to leave and ordered me not to speak a word of this. I made a hasty retreat with what I hoped was a sincere sounding apology. I don’t think he noticed Zoro was no longer with me.

When I returned to my chambers, I summoned Zoro back, notebook gripped firmly in his little mouth. When the notebook had fallen, Zoro had gripped it in his mouth and I dismissed him, notebook and all. I’d conjured forth an exact replica that I dismissed when Kormir went to open it. The glow should have been a give away, but perhaps Kormir will think Edwin had imbibed it with some magic of his own devising, and now it’s vanished. I’m sending the notebook back with Zoro for now. For safekeeping.

Tenth entry:

As expected Kormir had my chamber searched. Twice. In the past week I’ve continued to go about life as usual. Though nobody should be able to scry on someone within the walls of the university, I’ve added protections to my own chambers to keep away prying eyes. And in the dead of night, I have studied Edwin’s notes.

Apparently he was working with Lord Tiroll on making a planar gateway! Not just a single new gateway, but the ability to create new gateways anywhere in the world. I can hardly believe what I’ve read! Kormir must have read through this by now. Fortunately it seems a crucial page or two is missing, as the final details are absent from his notes. It seems Edwin was the real brains behind the idea, and Tiroll helped to provide the expensive materials needed in experimentation. Perhaps Kormir works even now to try and find the missing pieces.

Eleventh entry:

It’s been over a month since the notebook incident with Kormir. He’s finally begun sending me on errands again. I’ve used the opportunities to slip out of the city on occasion, and over time have hidden the jewels I stole in various areas outside the city to be rid of them.

Last night Kormir sent me to a gala in his stead. He’s been spending increased time in research of late. I tried to stay unobtrusive in the back, but it’s impossible to avoid the mindless chatter of the city’s upper crust. Lord Windsor weaseled his way over to me, asking where Kormir was. He started pointing out various people around the room, telling me their most scandalous details. As he whirred on, my eyes came to rest upon the widow Tiroll, dressed rather mutedly, though still dressed in relatively resplendent clothing.

Lord Windsor caught my eye, and commented. He went on about how she deeply loved her late husband’s gold. And while the lady was a beautiful woman, apparently Lord Tiroll often found himself at the Jade Serpent. He was known for refusing to take off jewelry, especially a ring he had some superstitious attachment toward. The very same ring that the lady now wore, he noted, going on to say that anything of value her husband owned was, in her mind, hers alone. He prattled on for a while, then it struck me that she wore her husband’s ring.

I asked Windsor how Lord Tiroll had died. A highway accident of some kind. A robbery gone poorly, which led Windsor to go on about the poor safety on the roads outside the city. He rolled around the subject, but eventually divulged more. That the robbery was all speculation, as while his wagon and entourage appeared to have been attacked, they had never found a single body.

But if no body was ever found, then how did the widow Tiroll come to wear the ring to which Lord Tiroll was apparently so attached?

When I returned from the party, I reviewed Edwin’s notes again. His final entry detailed immediate steps to take in his experimentation, with plans to meet with Lord Tiroll in his chambers that evening. They were set to meet the evening Edwin died.

Twelfth entry:

I entered the Port district tonight. I changed my appearance to a half elf once more, and made discreet inquiries regarding what to do if I needed someone “dealt with”. I had to renew my illusion twice, the final time becoming a frazzled looking version of Kormir on a hunch, but inquiries led me to a tavern called the Sloping Sailor. I was directed to a man in the back. He seemed obliging, and gifted me a knowing wink. He asked who I wanted dead this time. I described myself.

He grew quiet and told me he could set up a contract with the Varjo again. She was the only person he would trust to kill high placed wizards. He went on to say her “midnight magic” would stop any spellcasting in its tracks. I didn’t need to hear any more. Considering the rarity of Midnight poison, and everything I’d seen with lady Tiroll, there could be no other culprit. And Kormir had paid for Edwin’s death. Maybe Kormir just wanted to become President. Maybe he knew of the research. It didn’t matter. And this person was some sort of broker.

I shot upright and pointed my finger at him. I disintegrated him right then and there, then made a hasty retreat from the tavern, dropping my guise as soon as I could secret myself.

It’s clear to me now. Kormir paid for Edwin’s death, and Lord Tiroll was murdered alongside him. Perhaps that was Eloise Tiroll’s intention when she chose when and where to murder Edwin. Maybe it was simply a happy coincidence for her. Kormir arranged to have Edwin’s murder covered up and who knows what he arranged for Lord Tiroll’s corpse. I could go to the Five with this, but the city is corrupt enough neither might ever face justice. No, Kormir is well placed enough at the college he could deny this. And the Five would probably have a hard time believing a rich widow would be a devious assassin.

I’ll bide my time. Strike when the moment is right. I’ll punish Eloise Tiroll for this myself, and if it’s public enough the Five cannot ignore Kormir’s role in all this. They will be forced to investigate the matter themselves. Some public event then. Zoro has pointed out to me a public event could go poorly, that I could be quickly overwhelmed. Best it be one of the ridiculous galas the elite throw since most of them are harmless. But just in case, I should obtain something to aid me if needed. Something powerful. Zoro has suggested I steal from the university’s museum of relics. He suggests the Rod of Rulership.


This has been a Rescued by Dragons Tale, giving you a deeper look into the world of Twel and the stories surrounding The Brunch Club. This Dragon’s Tale was written by Billy Chase and read by Brian Messmer. If you liked it, we’d appreciate it if you shared it with friends. If you want more content from Rescued by Dragons you can find it on our website Rescuedbydragons.com. You can also follow us on Instagram @rescuedbydragons or on twitter @rescuedragons. Thank you for listening and be sure to tune in every weekend to stay up to date on the tales of The Brunch Club.

Tales of The Brunch Club 027 “Ahura Mazda’s Charming Rod”

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Welcome to Episode 27 of the Rescued by Dragons podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club: A fantasy fiction podcast inspired by a weekly, home brew, Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

My name is Brian Messmer and I’m the Dungeon Master for the D&D campaign this story is based on.

I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, ale in hand, gathered around a table with other listeners, waiting to hear the next chapter in the tales of… The Brunch Club.

But first, a quick recap of our previous episode…

In episode 26, The Brunch Club introduced themselves to Captain Unterpant, chief constable of Elnor. He seemed uninterested in their news of the mysterious cult in the coastal caves west of Elnor. That evening Salys bribed the coachman into letting her drive the carriage to Lady Tiroll’s gala. It was a bumpy ride, but they arrived safely. At the party they met Lord Windsor who told them of Lord Tiroll’s mysterious death. They also met a Wizard named Ahura Mazda who was a dean at the mage college. In the hedge maze, Lady Tiroll confronted Drusilla and demanded her necklace back at knife point. During a toast, Ahura Mazda accused Lady Tiroll of being the notorious assassin Varjo. He claimed she conspired with Master Kormir, current president of the mage college, to not only kill her husband, but also his friend Master Edwin, the previous mage college president. Lady Tiroll protested and pulled a dagger on the wizard. Ahura Mazda cast a spell that made Lady Tiroll scream in agony.

And now…

Episode 27, “Ahura Mazda’s Charming Rod”

Lady Tiroll doubled over with pain and staggered backwards. Her scream of agony echoed off the walls and ceiling of the large ballroom. When she looked up, the guests gasped in horror. Blood ran down her face from her eyes and nose. The veins in her neck strained as she struggled to fight off some invisible force that seemed to wrack her mind. Ahura Mazda held one hand outstretched in a clenched fist as though he was trying to crush Lady Tirol from across the room. His other hand was open, palm up, with a whirring codex floating just above it. A look of grim determination was etched into Ahura’s face, contrasted by the bemused piglet draped across his shoulder. A light sheen of sweat glistened on his brow as he focussed on the spell that was wracking Lady Tirol’s mind. The crowd looked on, horrified at the sight before them. Then an arrow pierced through the wizard’s shoulder breaking his concentration. He glanced around frantically before his eyes locked with Elora’s. She held his gaze, bow at the ready, staring him down.

“Guards!” Lady Tiro screamed. “Kill him.” She ran to The Brunch Club and stood behind Vorjhon. “You’re adventurers! You saw him attack me!” Lady Tiroll shrieked at them. “What are you waiting for? Defend the Lady of the House!”

Vorjhon took a couple steps toward Ahura Mazda, and stopped. He held out his hands. “There is no need for violence,” The paladin said calmly. “If we wait until authorities arrive, we can let Mr. Mazda present his case, and allow Lady Tiroll to defend herself.”

The tense silence that fell over the ballroom was quickly interrupted by the arrival of Lady Tirolls guards. Ahura Mazda produced a rune covered rod from within his robes, one end looked like a stylized castle rampart, emblazoned with sigils and emanating a powerful magic. He held the rod above his head and looked out over the crowd. He said a few words in another tongue and a barely visible ripple expanded through the air in all directions around him.

The guards and party guests, including The Brunch Club, felt confused for a moment. Most of the people in the ballroom shook the fog from their heads and looked around trying to figure out what happened.

A few guests, half the guards, Vorjhon, and Drusilla did not feel confused at all. They felt happy to be in the presence of their dear friend Ahura Mazda.

“Kill him!!” Lady Tiroll shouted again, pointing at the wizard.

“Kill Ahura Mazda? “Who would want to harm such a wonderful man?” Vorjhon said with disbelief.

“Or his cute little pig?” agreed Diesa in a sing-songy voice that was totally out of character.

Fantasy Illustration of Wizard Casting A Spell At Woman While Dwarf Drinks And Watches

Half the guards moved toward Ahura Mazda, but the other half intercepted them, trying to talk them out of harming their good friend.

Salys attempted to cast hold person spell of her own on the wizard, but he was able to easily break its grasp on him.

Ahura Mazda thrust his arm towards Salys, Drusilla, Lord Bowen and Lady Tiroll as if he was trying to pull something from the polished ballroom floor beneath them. Then the floor under them turned soft and sticky. It bubbled like boiling tar and gave off a toxic stench as dark tendrils erupted from what used to be wood seconds before, grasping around the unfortunate souls stuck in it. The four of them tried to move away from the mire but were stuck in place by sticky black tentacles wrapping around them. They started to feel sick and weak and where the tentacles touched them their skin seemed to have the life sapped from it.

“Oh fuck,” Elora said nocking the phoenix arrow on her long bow. “They’ve been charmed.” She shot the arrow at the wizard, but Vorjhon knocked it out of the way with his shield.

“What is wrong with you, Elora?” the Paladin asked with confusion evident in his voice. “Mr. Mazda is our friend!”

Elora knocked another arrow but before she could shoot Vorjhon breathed a cone of ice at her feet, forcing her to back peddle quickly and miss her shot.

Lord Bowen dropped to his knees. He fell forward until he was on all fours. He tried desperately to crawl out of the sticky morass before being overcome by the toxic fumes and tentacles. His skin was already turning a sickly white.

Salys and Drusilla felt weaker and weaker. They had trouble standing. Drusilla began the motions of casting a healing spell but Salys stopped her.

“Divine magic’s not allowed!” the gnome reminded her. Salys retrieved a healing potion from her bag and quickly drank it. Diesa saw this and did the same. They didn’t feel better, but they did feel stronger for the moment.

Lady Tiroll’s rage masked any outward signs of illness she might be feeling. She threw her dagger at Ahura Mazda, grazing his robe at the waist. He looked at her with cold menace in his eyes. He raised his finger, pointed it at her, and whispered something terrible. “You’ll never get away with this!” she hissed.A wry smile spread across the wizards face.

“I beg to differ.” He said quietly. As the words left his lips, a thin beam of inky blackness traced its way from his outstretched finger into Lady Tirol’s chest. She threw her head back in pain with eyes wide and her mouth frozen in a silent scream. Shortly after her muscles gave out and she fell back to the ground. Her face wore the familiar mask of death.

A blood curdling cry of grief echoed through the ballroom. “NOOO! My DEAR FRIEND! What has become of you?” A few heads turned to see Diesa, uncharacteristically filled with grief, dashing to her fallen “friend’s” body and throwing herself over it. Her sorrow blinded her to the dark tentacles that tried to grasp at her. Her hands brusquely felt around Tirol’s neckline looking for a pulse. Almost as quickly as the grief had overcome her, it seemed to dissipate. The dwarf quickly stood up and stepped away from the body as she loudly announced “Actually, I’m over it. She was kind of a bitch.”

The appalled murmurs of the crowd were replaced by gasps of horror as Lady Tiroll began to rise. She rose clumsily and stood unevenly. One shoulder sagged lower than the other. Her arms hung limp at her sides. Her face still had a deathly pallor. Her eyes looked at the wizard, but they held no expression. The tar-like substance on the floor faded. The tentacles that had wrapped around Salys and Drusilla slithered back into the abyss, releasing them from their grasp. Both members of the brunch club were on the brink of death. A portal appeared next to Ahura Mazda. He looked at the animated corpse of Lady Tiroll and said, “Come.” As Ahura Mazda and the grotesque body of Lady Tirol were about to step through, the paladin’s voice rang out.

“Wait! You’ll need these!” He extended his scaled hand towards the wizard holding three of The Brunch Clubs newly purchased healing potions. Ahura Mazda accepted them and gave a shallow bow in thanks before he and his new companion disappeared through the portal together before it closed behind them.

Drusilla rushed to Lord Bowen’s side to give him a healing potion, but it was too late. He passed away, never noticing his solid gold epaulette had been stolen.

Vorjhon, Diesa, and the rest of those that had been charmed by the wizard’s magic rod, felt the fog in their heads lift. Their loyalty and love for Ahura Mazda turned to anger and embarrassment.

Five portals appeared suddenly in the ballroom. Solania and Illian, of the Council of Five, entered the ballroom through two of the portals. They recognized the other three arrivals as Instructors, the elite guard under direct control of Elnor’s ruling Council of Five.


The Instructors told everyone not to leave until they were questioned individually by either Council Member Solania or Council Member Illian.

Two of the large pantries off the kitchen were turned into make-shift interview rooms. In one of them, Vorjhon sat across from Illian, who remained standing in an attempt to intimidate the hulking dragonborn.

“It’s funny,” Illian began with a humorless tone, “how you and your friends happen to be at the last two magical disturbances we’ve been called to.”

Vorjhon said nothing. His military experience made him used to dealing with men in power who liked to hear themselves talk.

Illian asked him to describe what happened between Ahura Mazda and Lady Tiroll.

Vorjhon recounted the incident to the best of his ability with as few words as possible, though he caught himself referring to Ahura Mazda as his friend, surprising even himself..

“So you took it upon yourself to try and stop them? How noble of you,” Illian said in a mocking voice.

“Bad habit,” Vorjhon replied calmly.

“You should curb that habit while you’re in Elnor. We have no use for paladins here,” Illian said with an unfriendly tone.

Vorjhon gave a single curt nod in return.

Illian dismissed him and called for the Inquisitor to send in the next witness.

The other members of The Brunch Club were called in. Diesa was interviewed by Illian as well. Salys, Drusilla, and Elora were all interviewed by Solania.

When they compared notes, they were in agreement that Solania seemed to be diplomatic and friendly. Illian was a dick.

“Do you think we can leave now?” Salys asked as they stood near the entrance of the ballroom.

“They didn’t tell us we had to stay,” said Diesa.

“We should search the house for evidence to back up Ahura Mazda’s claims,” Drusila said.

“Don’t tell me he charmed you too?” asked Elora.

“No, but the way she handled her dagger, and how she carried herself – I think there’s more to Lady Tiroll than being a lonely widow.” Drusila explained.

The rest of the party agreed with their cleric. They slipped quietly out of the ballroom and climbed the first staircase they could find to the upper floors of the Villa.

“We should start at the top floor, that’s where her private chambers will probably be,” suggested Diesa.

“What makes you so sure?” asked Salys. The dwarf brushed a blue shock of hair from her face and in a matter of fact tone replied.

“Practice.”

They climbed three flights of stairs until the staircase ended at the threshold of a long hallway. The walls were lined with five sturdy-looking oak doors with thorny rose sconces on each side.

Some doors were unlocked, and Diesa’s lockpick made short work of the ones that weren’t. Most of the rooms were unused guest chambers. They reached the second to last door, found it unlocked and opened it slowly. The room was empty except for a brass and wooden box chained to the floor. It was the size of a keg of ale and had a brass lock on the front.

Diesa looked at the unguarded chest as if it was holding a hand-written invitation to rob it. She stepped into the room. Vorjhon stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.

“Wait, Diesa, we’re looking for evidence, not robbing the dead,” said Vorjhon.

Diesa looked at the paladin with an annoyed expression on her face. She was about to step back into the room but relented when she saw Drusilla, Salys, and Elora nod in agreement.

The last room was also unlocked. It was a small office. Against the wall next to a window sat a roll top desk with several drawers on each side of it. The drawers and rolltop were all securely locked. Diesa began to inspect it cautiously.

“Be careful,” Drusilla warned her. “If Ahura Mazda was right about Lady Tiroll, it’s probably trapped.”

The rogue heeded her friend’s advice and swept her fingers delicately around the edges of the desk. “Your hunch was correct.” say Diesa with the barest hint of approval. Her practiced fingers had found tiny needles set into barely noticeable holes next to each lock. No doubt the needles were coated with poison. She took her time and successfully disarmed and unlocked every drawer and the roll top.

They sifted through the papers. There was nothing incriminating in them. They were simply everyday receipts for household goods, invoices for routine maintenance work, and records of payments to servants

They were about to give up hope when Diesa examined the larger drawers of the desk one more time. She found a hidden compartment behind one of them and withdrew a leather folder bound with leather cord. They were filled with papers written in code.

The code was a form of Thieves’ Cant which Diesa deciphered after some studying. She identified receipts for poisons, correspondence detailing negotiations with clients, and several signed contracts for the elimination of one or more people. All the contracts and correspondence were signed, “Varjo.”

They compared them to the legitimate business receipts that were signed by Lady Tiroll. The handwriting looked the same.

A sheet of paper at the top of the pile caught Salys’s eye. She couldn’t read it, but it looked like a contract signed by both Varjo, and the initial, “K.”

“Kormir, the new college head master could start with a K,” said Salys “but I mean it could be a C, too. I-I haven’t seen it written out.”

Diesa decoded the contract. It was for the assasination of Ahura Mazda’s friend, and former mage college president, Master Edwin.

“Or maybe Kormir starts with a C-H?” Salys muttered, still pondering her earlier thought.

“I guess your very good new friend was right, Vorjhon” Drusilla teased.

Vorjhon ignored her and placed the papers back in the folder. He tied it closed and put it in the bag of colding.

“Put this in there too,” said Diesa, handing him a very familiar ruby necklace inscribed with an “E.T.”

Drusilla looked astonished and happy. “When did you get it?” she asked the rogue.

“When I was suddenly overcome with greed. I mean grief.” Diesa said with a hint of smugness in her voice. “I couldn’t find a pulse, but I did find that.”

Even Vorjhon laughed.

“You approve of stealing from the dead now? That’s a little odd for a paladin,” joked Diesa.

“Now that we have uncovered her secret, I approve,” Vorjhon said. “In fact, let’s go see what’s in that chest.”

They walked to the previous room where the lone chest lay. Diesa entered slowly. She crept to within a foot of the chest. When she crouched down to inspect it for traps the treasure chest grew a well-muscled arm from its side and took a powerful swing at the unsuspecting rogue.

Our tale will continue next week in Episode 28

Episode 27 was written by Dominic White with help from Brian Messmer and based upon a homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign created by me, Brian Messmer.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!

Tales of The Brunch Club 026 “Lady Tiroll’s Surprise”

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Transcript

Welcome to Episode 26 of the Rescued by Dragons podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club: A fantasy fiction podcast inspired by a weekly, home brew, Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

My name is Liz Raychard and in the DnD campaign this story is based upon, I play Elora, a wood elf ranger.

I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, ale in hand, gathered around a table with other listeners, waiting to hear the next chapter in the tales of… The Brunch Club.

But first, a quick recap of our previous episode…

In episode 25 The Brunch Club spent a relaxing afternoon in a spa. They got massages then spent time in the spa’s enchanted rain room. Elora wandered off from the group and took moondust given to her by a fellow patron. The group found her staring at a light floating above her head, transfixed by its glow. They got haircuts and enchanted manicures. That night Salys and Tuft had a date that ended in his bedroom.

And now…

Episode 26, “Lady Tiroll’s Surprise”

The heavy curtains kept the light from creeping in the room Elora shared with Salys. Salys’s bed was empty and un-slept in. Elora sat cross legged on her bed. She held her hands in front of her, staring at the lamps painted on her fingernails. They glowed with a soft enchanted light, similar to the glow given off by the gem set into her beehive hairdo. She was startled out of her reverie by the sound of the door opening.

“Are you still tripping?” Salys asked as she entered their room.

Elora blinked several times. She felt clear headed for the first time since the previous afternoon. She also felt very, very tired.

“You look like you got even less sleep than I did,” Salys told her.

“Why do I have lamps on my fingers and why is my head glowing?” Elora asked. “And where have you been?” she added.

Salys told Elora how she had been given moondust in the spa’s enchanted rain room and did nothing but stare at lights all afternoon and evening. Salys also told her about her own night with Tuft, which Elora approved of.
Salys then handed a small mirror to her friend.

“A beehive?” Elora said with disbelief. “We were in an enchanted spa and you guys let me get a beehive?”

“Hey, you were into it at the time,” said Salys with no feeling of guilt.

Elora set the mirror down beside her and collapsed backwards on to the bed. She held her hands back up in front of her eyes. “The nails are pretty cool,” she admitted.

“Check mine out,” said Salys. She held her hands up so Elora could watch the animated blocky representation of the sorceress shoot small rectangular missiles across her fingernails. They exploded when they reached her pinkies.

When the novelty wore off, Salys stood up. “Vorjhon wants to show Elnor’s Constable the medallion we got off those chanting weirdos in the cave. You coming?” she asked.

“No,” I’m going to get this ridiculous thing off my head then get some sleep,” Elora said.

Salys met Diesa, Drusilla, and Vorjhon on the first floor of the Rampart Wizard inn which served as its tavern. They ate brunch then headed for the quartz district.

“Why are we going to talk to the local law again?” Diessa asked as they walked up the long flight of steps that led from the granite district to the quartz district.

“It looked like those priests in the cave were up to no good,” said Vorjhon, feeling unusually self-righteous this morning. Perhaps it had something to do with his freshly cleaned armor, and his freshly polished scales.

“It may also help us gain favor with the Elnor constabulary, which may be an inroad to the Library.” Drusilla added.

Once they reached the top of the steps, they saw a sign post which showed the way to various government buildings within the Quartz District. They followed the one that said “Constable.”

Like all of the buildings in the quartz district, the constabulary was structurally made from granite, but every inch of that granite was covered by a quartz facade. The facades of the Quartz district varied in color, but this building’s exterior had a purple hue to it. It matched the purple and silver uniforms of the guards who flanked the main door. The floor of the main entranceway was decorated with a giant quartz mosaic depicting Elnor’s pride and joy, the Crystal Spire Library.

They told a guard they had some information about a possible threat to the city brewing in the caves to the west. The guard looked at Vorjhon with suspicion, but told them where they could find the officer in charge, Captain Unterpant.

Salys entered first, and the Captain smiled at her. He smiled at the rest of them as well. When Vorjhon entered his smile straightened and his eyes narrowed. He had the same suspicious look the guard had.

Vorjhon pretended not to notice and strode confidently to the Captain’s desk.

“Good morning, Captain,” Vorjhon said cheerfully. He held out the squid like medallion they had taken off the high priestess in the cave a few days ago. “Do you recognize this?” the dragonborn asked.

Captain Unterpant took it, examined it, and handed it back to Vorjhon. “I don’t. Should I?”

“I’m not sure,” Vorjhon said. “We took it off group of cultists performing dark ritual in caves outside your city. We think they might have been part of a larger network living in the caves there.”

“Performing rituals outside the city gates isn’t a crime,” said the captain.

“They may have been trying to summon a monster from the ocean,” Drusilla said.

“It seemed like possible threat you should know about,” said Vorjhon.

“We can lead you there if you want,” said Salys.

Captain Unterpant sat silent for a moment. “I’m not sure that’s necessary, but thank you for bringing it to my attention. I’ll look into it.”

“Thank you for your time,” Drusilla told him.

When they turned to leave, the captain called out to them. “Paladin,” he said. “You might find life in the upper districts a bit easier if you don’t parade around with a giant holy symbol on your shield.” He handed a slip of paper to Vorjhon. “Give this to the quartermaster on your way out,” he said.

Vorjhon took it and thanked him.

“Can you help me with something?” Diessa asked Captain Unterpant. “I lost my Library card, can you help me get me a new one?”

“I see. And what name was your card under?” The captain asked.

“Um, Linda,” Diessa hesitated. “Linda Bean,” she said with more confidence.

“So not only are you lying about losing a library card, but you’re lying to me about your name,” Captain Unterpant said seriously.

“Hey! Hey! She didn’t mean it,” Salys interjected. “She got a hold of some moondust, and…”

“Moondust is illegal in Elnor,” said the captain.

“We should probably leave now,” said Vorjhon, ushering his friends out of the captain’s office.

At the quartermaster’s, Vorjhon exchanged the slip of paper for a small jar of purple paint and a brush. They spent the rest of the afternoon at the inn where Vorjhon painted over the symbol of Bahamut on his shield..


The coach arrived at sunset. It was a six person carriage drawn by two horses.

Drusilla appeared at the coach wearing the gold and ruby necklace they found in the hollow log.

“I call dibs on that for the next party,” said Diesa.

“Where’s Pip?” asked Vorjhon.

Salys pointed to the hood of her robe that hung on her back. Vorjhon peeked in and saw Pip curled up, sleeping with a wing draped over his face.

“Awww, he looks so cute!” Vorjhon said.

“Shut the fuck up, dragon breath. I’m trying to sleep.” Pip said, though Vorjhon could not hear him.

The coachman opened the door to the carriage and invited them to step in.

“Can I drive?” Salys asked him.

“Have you ever driven a coach before?” he asked the gnome.

“No, but there’s five gold pieces in it for you if you teach me.”

Salys sat next to the coachman on the driver’s bench while the others climbed into the coach.

“Smooth ride so far,” Vorjhon said.

“Salys must not be driving yet,” said Elora.

The carriage lurched to one side. They fell on top of each other and bounced around inside the coach as the carriage careened around the curves.

“Slow down! Slow down!” they heard the coachman scream.

“Whoooo hoooo! This is fuuuuun!” Salys shouted over him.

The passengers did manage to climb back up on the seats and hold themselves more or less in place for the remainder of the turbulent journey.

They arrived at Lady Tiroll’s villa a little shaken, but with their enchanted hairdos still intact. They could tell they were late because of the large number of coaches parked outside with their drivers tending to them. Diessa, Drusilla, Vorjhon and Elora stepped out of the couch. Salys jumped down from the driver’s seat.

“That was so much fun Guys!!!!” She said excitedly.

The coachmen remained in his seat clutching the bar in front of him. He was pale and shaking. A bead of sweat ran down his temple. He withdrew a bottle of whiskey from his coat and took a couple big swigs.

“See ya in a few hours for the ride home!” Salys shouted to the driver.

He groaned and took another pull on the bottle.

Fantasy Illustration of Gnome driving a carriage.

“Drusilla and guests!” announced a servant as they entered the room. At first no one paid attention to them as they descended the stairs into the ballroom. As people noticed them, a low murmur spread across the guests. The fully armored, spit-and-polished adventurers, with their perfectly coiffed hair, stood out among the other party guests adorned in their upscale finery.

“We should get drinks,” said Diessa, feeling the eyes upon them.

On their way toward the bar they were stopped by an older dwarf dressed in a ceremonial military uniform. On one of the shoulders was a solid gold epillet that caught Diessa’s eye.

He introduced himself and his wife as Colonel and Lady Bowen.

“Some party!” he greeted them, happily.

“We haven’t seen you at any other social events around the city,” his wife said rather coldly. “How do you know Lady Tiroll?”

“We don’t. We’re new to the city, but she was kind enough to invite us so we could meet fine people such as yourselves,” Drusilla said in her most refined manner.

“Well, good luck with that,” said Lady Bowen with a complete lack of sincerity. She walked away, leaving her husband behind.

“What can you tell us about Lady Tiroll,” Elora asked.

Colonel Bowen laughed. “You need to talk to Lord Windsor.” The dwarf pointed out a tall skinny human in flowing silk robes with salt-and-pepper receding hair. “He knows everything about everybody in Elnor.”

“How does he get his information?” Diesa asked.

The colonel chuckled. “He owns the Jade Serpent. A pleasure house in the Quartz District that caters to Elnor’s higher class perverts.” He said.

“Why don’t you go talk to Lord Windsor. I’ll get us drinks,” said Vorjhon to the rest of the group.

Vorjhon walked to the bar. He ordered five drinks, which he was able to carry easily in his large hands. When the older bartender passed him the drinks, he slipped a note into Vorjhon’s hand.

On the other side of the room the rest of the Brunch Club introduced themselves to Lord Windsor.

“We were told you could give us the low down on Lady Tiroll and what happened to her husband,” Salys told him.

Lord Windsor motioned for them to join him in a quiet corner of the room. His eyes gleamed. He seemed happy to share his gossip with a new audience.

“Lady Tiroll’s husband disappeared a year ago,” he told them. “She claimed he was killed by highwaymen, but they never found his body. She used her influence to have him declared dead quickly so she could inherit his fortune. If you ask me, which you have, I believe this little party is her attempt to find another husband to rob of his wealth.”

Lord Windsor was interrupted by the buzzing of excited whispers rippling around the room. Everyone had turned their eyes to the entrance way. A servant stood at the top of the steps and announced to the guests, “Ladies and Gentlemen. Honored guests, presenting your gracious hostess for the evening, Lady Tiroll!”

The crowd applauded and began moving toward the entrance to try and be among the first to greet their host.

Lord Windsor finished his drink and placed it on the tray of a passing server. “It was nice meeting you all, but if you’ll excuse me, I must ingratiate myself to the Lady Tiroll.”

While everyone’s attention was on the front of the room, Vorjhon pulled out the note the bartender slipped him.

“What’s that?” Drusilla asked.

“The bartender gave it to me,” Vorjhon told her.

He opened it and held it down in front of him so they could all read it together.

“The Gods watch over us all. We must bring them back,” it read.

“I guess religion isn’t fully dead in Elnor,” Elora said.

“It looks like you’ve been recruited,” Salys told Vorjhon.

The dragonborn looked around. When he was certain no one was looking, he stuffed the note in his mouth, chewed it, and swallowed it.

They stood back from the crowd watching Lady Tiroll greet her guests. She was average height for a human woman, but looked lithe and confident as she moved through the room. Her eyes were dark and intelligent.

Salys noticed they were not the only ones watching Lady Tiroll from afar. A lone human male stood near them. His arms were folded across his chest. He wore dress robes that identified him as an academic. A miniature pig sat on his shoulder. Salys approached him and introduced herself.

“Hi, I’m Salys,” she said, holding out her hand. “I like your pig.”

The man bent down and politely returned her hand shake. “It is nice to meet you, Salys,” he said and introduced himself as ‘Ahura Mazda.’ He introduced the pig as Zoraster.

Pip poked his head out of Salys’s hood. He looked at Zoraster and said, “Mmm… bacon!”

Salys pushed him back into her hood.

“You enjoying the party?” Salys asked Azhura.

“No. But one must keep up appearances,” he said in an even voice masking any disdain.

“Why are you here then?” she pried.

“I’m a dean at the mage college. Master Kormir, the new college president made me attend in his place.” The way he said “president” made Salys think he didn’t think highly of his superior.

“Sounds like you don’t like your boss that much.” she told him.

He chuckled softly. “You could say that. Maybe I’m just bitter though. The previous president, Master Edwin, was my friend, and better at his job,” he said.

“Why did Master Edwin get fired?” asked Salys.

“He didn’t get fired. He died,” Ahura replied.

“Oh. Sorry.” Salys said. The conversation fell into awkward silence.

Salys was grateful when Vorjhon approached them and introduced himself to Ahura Mazda with his typical outgoing warmth. While they chatted Vorjhon mentioned that Salys was was looking for a mentor to teach her about her wild magic.

“Come by the college tomorrow,” the wizard told her. “We can chat about controlling that wild magic of yours.”

“Thank you!” Salys said, unable to hide her excitement.

Ahura looked up from the sorceress and scanned the crowd. Lady Tiroll was no longer visible.

“If you’ll excuse me,” he said, and walked toward the largest mass of party guests.


While Vorjhon and Salys were talking to the man in the academic robes, Drusilla decided to get some fresh air.

She stepped outside to a large patio that overlooked a snow-covered hedge mage on the grounds.

She went down to the maze. She walked between the tall hedges, enjoying the silence. She heard the sounds of soft moaning in front of her. She turned a corner and saw Lady Bowen sitting on a bench, passionately kissing a man who was not her husband.

Drusilla turned down another path before she was seen and stepped right in front of Lady Tiroll holding a dagger up to her throat.

“You’re wearing something that belongs to me,” she said in a formal and menacing tone. She gestured at the necklace with the tip of her dagger.

“How do I know it’s yours?” Drusilla asked.

“It has my initials engraved on the back,” Lady Tiroll deftly flipped the pendant over with the dagger. “E.T.” was engraved on the back in ornate script.

Drusilla slowly took the necklace off and handed it to Lady Tiroll. “I’m glad I could look after it for you,” she told her host.

Lady Tiroll took the necklace and put it around her own neck. “Thank you for being so understanding,” she smiled. “I hope you’re enjoying the party,” she said as she strode away.


Elora lost sight of her companions in the ballroom.. She decided to get a drink. She was surprised to see Captain Grath standing at the bar.

“Hey sailor,” she said, standing close to him touching her shoulder to his. “I’m at full health.”

Captain Grath smiled, happy to see her again.

After a few minutes Diessa joined them at the bar. Then Salys and Vorjhon.

Drusilla eventually joined them. “Diessa, Lady Tiroll took the necklace from me at knife point claiming it was hers. Do you think you can get it back?” asked Drusilla.

Diesa smiled and held up the solid gold epillett that was part of Colonel Bowen’s dress uniform. “I think I can help you with that,” she said.

“Attention everyone!” A familiar voice commanded the crowd. Azhural Mazda stood next to Lady Tiroll. Zoraster sat proudly on his shoulder, as if he were enjoying the attention. “I would like to propose a toast to the Lady Tiroll,” the wizard began. “Not coincidentally her husband went missing on the same day as my friend Master Edwin, the former president of the Mage college. I have proof that Lady Tiroll killed both her husband and Master Edwin on the same day and that Master Kormir disposed of their bodies.”

Shocked gasps rose from the guests. Lady Tiroll had a fierce and angry expression on her face and had taken a couple steps back. She reached her hand under her cape.

“Furthermore,” Azurha continued, “I have proof that she killed them with Midnight poison, the trademark of the famed assassin, Varjo.”

“Not possible!” one of the party guests shouted.

“What proof?” shouted another.

Azhura smiled knowingly. “Haven’t you ever wondered how she can be wearing her husband’s ring when she claims he was killed by highwaymen and no one ever found the body?”

“How dare you!” Lady Tiroll said with venom. She pointed her dagger at her accuser.

Ahura Mazda made a complicated gesture with his hands. They could not hear the words he spoke but they knew he was casting a spell.

They didn’t know what the spell was, but it made Lady Tiroll scream in horrible agony.

Our tale will continue next week in Episode 27

Episode 26 was written by Dominic White and based upon a Dungeons and Dragons campaign created by our dungeon master, Brian Messmer.

Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:

More information about Rescued by Dragons and ways to support this podcast can be found at RescuedByDragons.com. You can follow us on instagram at RescuedbyDragons and on Twitter @rescuedragons.

Thank you very much for listening Please join us next week to find out, along with the rest of us, what‘s going to happen next!