Tales of The Brunch Club 052 Honk First. Roll Later.

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Welcome to Episode 52 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

At camp, a familiar, snow-white goose approached the Brunch Club and stole an egg from the party. Before the goose slipped away, SAM identified the creature as a level 10 magic being. (Salys and Drusilla being magic level 3 for comparison.)

They continued their travels through the mountains. A roc’s distant cries set off an avalanche, which enveloped Diesa, Jory, Elora, and Salys. With the help of Copper, a bell, and loud screams, the party dug up their companions one by one. They rested, and continued to push toward the peak the next day.

There, they came upon a frost giant and two ogres at the mouth of a cave. The frost giant pushed one of the monsters into the cave, and hours later it was ejected from its depths with several arrows piercing its skin, dead. The remaining frost giant and ogre retreated from the cave, spotted the group and attacked. The Brunch Club defended themselves, killing their two large attackers.

The group decided to investigate the cave, and entered with caution. Inside was a lush pine forest, filled with streams and waterfalls and inhabited by small woodland creatures. Drusilla cast speak with animals. Two cardinals informed her that Gulu, a beautiful elf of ice and snow, was in charge.

When they found the elf, SAM began to hum and, as if compelled to do so, stepped through a shimmering archway behind the creature. The group then explained the reason for their arrival to the Archfey standing before them, including their misgivings about Rajat.

Gulu, who was not an Archfey, but this Touchpoint’s Fey Guardian, offered to deal with Rajat, but only in exchange for amusement – in the form of a creature of chaos.

And now…

Episode 52: “Honk First Roll Later”

Not only did the party need to figure out how to catch a goose, but one that was a much more powerful magic creature and had evaded any attempts to capture it or harm it thus far. They discussed what they knew about the goose; that it was, surely, an agent of chaos, and that it seemed to have an affinity for shiny cooking utensils. Beyond that, the elusive goose was a mystery.

“It’s a good start,” Drusilla mused, as Jory emptied cooking utensils from his bag onto the cavern floor. He carefully arranged them in a pattern, driving the spatula into the ground at the center so that it stood upright.

Drusilla fished through her pack, seeking any items with extra shimmer. She withdrew her freshly harvested Bahir scales with delight. She placed them leading from the arrangement of cooking utensils toward the mouth of the cave. When she had completed her task, she looked around, looking for any creature she might be able to turn spy.

Spotting a pair of Blue Jays, Drusilla scoffed. “Ugh, blue jays are such dicks.” She thought to herself, and continued to survey for an animal with which she could converse. Soon, she spotted a lone chipmunk as it scurried down the base of a nearby pine.

“Um, hello? Mr. Chipmunk? I was wondering if I could ask you a favor?”

The chipmunk stared at the elf, and Drusilla continued, “In exchange for snacks, of course.”

“I like snacks!” The chipmunk exclaimed, its furry tail twitching in anticipation.

“Okay, if you see a goose come in here, can you please come and let me know? Immediately? Then you can have snacks.”

“OK.” was all it said before reaching its hands out for the immediate delivery of said snacks. Drusilla fished out a piece of beef jerky, promising more for later and asking for his name. It was Chip.

Nearby, Salys wandered the pine forest aimlessly, examining the flora and fauna of the strange cavernous ecosystem they found themselves in. Suddenly she heard Pip’s voice ringing deeply in her mind, “Sup, babygirl?”

Salys knew the comment wasn’t directed at her, but was unable to stop hearing Pip’s avian flirtation..

“Big things come in small packages, baby,” he continued.

Salys spun around to see her familiar scooting closer toward a horned owl. The horned owl rotated its head toward Pip. She let loose a demure ‘hoot’ before flying away to escape Pip’s unwanted advances.

Once Jory had completed his goose lure, he took a deep swig of his bota bag and approached Gulu, who stood stoically in front of the portal to the Feywild.

Jory teetered briefly and, with the unpolished bravery of a town drunk at a bar, he asked, “So you uh, just stand there all the time?”

Gulu glanced down at Jory. “Yes. I guard the portal.”

“How long have you been here?” Jory asked.

“Longer than you have,” the snow elf responded. Jory paused, considering the verity of this answer. He shuffled his feet in the snow for a moment.

“Uh, I have a question,” Jory started.

“You seem to have many.” Gulu responded, and Jory flashed a large, nervous grin.

“Well, you seem powerful, and I was wondering if you would perhaps be able to restore Elora’s memories?” He gazed up at the Fey, hopeful for his companion.

“That skill is not something based on raw power; I sadly lack that capability.” Gulu responded.

“Do you know what could have happened to my friend that made her lose her memory after going to the Fey? She’s an elf, that shouldn’t happen.. Right?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you mind if I ask another question?” Jory asked, and Gulu nodded.

“I have a lot of time to stand here, Jory. Ask away.”

“Right. Good point. Um, my friends think they might possibly be interested in going to the Fey. But they’re, like, way more powerful than I am. I’m just a drunk who knows where to punch people. I don’t think I belong in the Feywild.”

Gulu’s hardened, icy face seemed to soften slightly, the corners of their lips teasing a smile. “Well, if you’ve come to me seeking wisdom, there are much better places to seek this out. But, I do believe you should consider your options with… trepidation.”

Drusilla approached Jory and Gulu, having heard the tail end of the conversation as she returned to camp.

“Would you let us?” She asked as she approached. “Got to the Feywild, that is. Would you let Elora and I?”

Gulu considered a moment, “If you uphold your end of our bargain. Yes. Safety I cannot promise.”

“What kind of dangers are in the Fey?” Drusilla asked, curious.

“It’s much like the world you know,” Gulu started, their gaze boring into Drusilla’s eyes. “But, twisted. This is neither for good nor for bad, but things in the Fey tend not to be what they seem.”

“Have you seen Elora come through this portal before?” Jory asked, both he and Drusilla awaiting an answer with rapt attention.

“The ranger? No, I have not seen her before.”

“Just curious, I guess,” Jory sighed, his shoulders hunched.

“Curiosity is the natural order. Now, my turn. Why are you all here, together? What path led you to me, to this cave?” As Gulu asked, Salys approached from the forest with Pip perching grumpily upon her shoulder..

“We’ve all been on very different journeys, but we found one another during our travels. One-by-one we’ve formed a sort of family. Most of us were seeking information from the library in Elnor. But… I think we needed one another to help us along our journey.”

“How quaint,” Gulu responded. The snow elf looked a bit forlorn as they said, “It does get a bit lonely here.”

The conversation continued, soon devolving into Jory extending a drunken invitation to Gulu to join their party. Gulu respectfully declined, but seemed amused by the offer. Gulu also explained that they were not in fact an Archfey, but rather an Eladren, a type of winter elf. This seemed to reflect both in Gulu’s appearance and icy demeanor, and they explained that they need no nourishment but cold winter air.

The hours passed slowly, the party anxiously waiting for an agent of chaos to join their midst. Several hours passed before a grumbling emanated from Jory’s stomach. Abashedly, he asked Gulu if the Eladren knew of any foods they could consume in the cave that wouldn’t harm the flora and fauna she looked over..

“Strawberries.” They replied.

From the distance, a familiar voice cried, “I fucking love strawberries!”

Gulu turned their attention to Diesa as she stepped out from behind a nearby tree, “Why eavesdrop, dwarf, when you could just join the conversation?”

“Eh, habits.” Diesa shrugged. “Where are the strawberries at?”

Gulu gestured toward an outcropping of hay in the distance, “The strawberries are that way!” They explained, and the group left to investigate.

They were surprised to find no red, luscious berries. Instead, they found a patch of hay-like grass.Drusilla and Diesa glanced at one another, befuddled. They parted the grass, wandered aimlessly, and scoffed. There were no strawberry bushes to be seen. When Salys joined the hunt, she was equally fruitless.

“Is Gulu trying to mess with us? This stinks.” Diesa scoffed, kicking at the hay. Defeated, they all headed back toward Gulu.

“We didn’t see any strawberries!” Drusilla exclaimed, and Gulu looked puzzled.

“You were standing in them”

“What?” Diesa asked, looking back toward the patch of hay.

“Straw. Berries. Why do you think they’re called that?”

“I think we called them something else outside of the cave,” Jory explained, puzzled. Drusilla strode back toward the straw, which snapped as she tore off several stalks. The centers were a deep bluish-purple pulp, which oozed slightly where they had broken.

Emboldened by her resistance to poison, Diesa was the first to taste the fruit that Gulu called ‘strawberries’. The stalk crunched between her teeth, and soon the familiar, overwhelming taste of rosemary and baked garlic coated her tongue.

As the party members tried the purple pulp, they each encountered a different taste..

Diesa breathed at Jory, “Smell my breath!” She exclaimed. Jory paused a moment after reluctantly inhaling, pondering.

“It… smells like watermelon.” He responded, confused.

To Elora and Drusilla, the elves, it tasted quite like an actual strawberry. To Salys, it tasted a bit like ginger.

With more time to spare, the group foraged for other foods to try within the cave. Jory located what Gulu had described as “parsnips”, collecting a root vegetable that actually snipped at Jory’s hands as he drew them from the ground. He fought them into submission, preparing them to cook.

As he laid the first parsnip onto a hot frying pan, it released a high-pitched screech that reverberated through the cave. Parsnips, they found, tasted a bit like lobster.

When night fell, the cavern was illuminated by glowing mushrooms and sparkling water. No goose arrived. Nor did it arrive the next day. They continued to keep watch, but to no avail.

Bored and frustrated, Elora marched to the mouth of the cave, and her companions hurried after her. She looked back at them and drew a deep breath, cupping her hands around her mouth.

“HOOOOOOOOOOONK!” She screamed into the snowy oblivion, an echo reverberating through the mountainside. Although she sounded much like a goose, nothing seemed to come of her cry.

Defeated, they decided to use their free time to call Rajat and inform him of their whereabouts. Through their sending stones, Elora said, “Checking in, found it. We’ll be back to meet you in Root Run.”

After a pause, a deep, curt voice responded, “Thank you for the update.”

And then silence.

Diesa huffed as she paced alongside the fire, grumpy and impatient to locate the goose. She was growing bored. As a thought struck her she halted, smiling.

“I have a brilliant idea!”

She marched toward Jory, grabbing him by the arm. “What if we hang Jory upside-down at the mouth of the cave?”

“What?” Jory cried as he looked at Diesa in horror, while Elora, Salys, and Drusilla stared at the two of them, considering the idea.

Salys crossed her arms and shrugged. “Nothing better to do, I guess.”

Diesa took off running toward the mouth of the cave, Jory in tow.

The dwarf fashioned a pulley using her rope and pitons and attached it to the roof of the cave.

With spatula and bell in hand, Jory allowed Diesa to hoist him by his feet up to the ceiling.

“Why do I have to be upside down?” Jory asked as he felt the blood begin rushing to his head.

“It’s sillier,” Diesa answered, without further explanation.

“You guys will keep an eye on me though right?”

“Right. Of course. Nothing could possibly go wrong.” Diesa assured the drunken halfling while stifling her laughter.

Their companions stood a ways back, laughing as they watched Jory wriggling and twisting in the air. The bell jingled softly.

“Ummmmm, gooooooose?” Jory cried, ringing the bell. For ten minutes, he yelled into the void.

As the minutes passed, Jory grew more and more uncomfortable and lightheaded. When he first heard a soft crunching in the snow, he wasn’t sure if he was just imagining it. It wasn’t until he saw a familiar, white-feathered creature with orange beak approach the mouth of the cave that he exclaimed with joy.

“Guys! It worked!” He shouted as the goose waddled toward him, gazing up at the suspended halfling with its head cocked to the side.

“Honk!” The goose cried as it eyed Jory, and then again as it looked at Diesa holding the rope at the other end.

Abruptly, the goose flew at Jory, snatching the spatula from his hand with its beak.

Diesa let go of the rope, dropping Jory ten feet to the ground with a thud. The goose flew over the heads of Elora, Drusilla, and Salys and into the cave.

The three ran after the goose, followed closely by Jory. Diesa chose to hang back, waiting to see if the goose would try to escape. From the cave entrance she heard the subterranean forest erupt into a cacophony of bird cries.

Deeper in the cavern, Gulu watched the goose as it flew aimlessly around the cavern, honking.

“Mister or madame goose, please come down. I would very much like to speak with you,” Gulu said calmly, and the goose honked as it landed at Gulu’s feet. It dropped the spatula, and honked once more.

Gulu smiled as the party frantically ran toward them. “Have you ever tried just asking the goose to speak with you?”

Breathless and in awe, the party members scoffed. They most certainly had.

“Goose, can you… shake your tail feathers?”

The goose looked at Gulu, and then back toward the party. With a honk, the goose began to wiggle its tail feathers just slightly.

“Well, this goose is fantastic!” Gulu mused, laughing.

As he laughed, the goose’s form began to change. The feathers shimmered as they shifted into a glorious white cape, and he began to transform from a goose into a stout halfling man. He wore an enormous orange topaz necklace around his neck, and a finely tailored grey suit.

The halfling’s grey-blue eyes shone with amusement. He had a glorious head of grey-white hair, swept neatly back against his scalp.

“Well isn’t this fun?” The former goose cried and clapped his hands. He looked at the party and then to Gulu.

“I have to say I was quite fond of the scale trick you tried to pull, but, when you hung your companion upside-down from the roof of a cave, well, I just couldn’t resist coming to say hello. Very silly indeed. Very clever.”

“Who… are you?” Elora cried, her companions struggling to regain their composure from the shock of seeing the goose transformed into a fully communicative halfling. Jory couldn’t help but think that the goose-being need not have defecated all over his sleeping quarters those many weeks ago.

Ignoring the question, the halfling looked at Drusilla. “You can tell your dwarven companion that I will not be trying to fly out of the cave. She can come join us if she would like.”

Drusilla called to Diesa, and a few minutes later she emerged, running and breathless. As she drew nearer and noticed the strange man that had materialized in the cavern, a look of confusion fell across her face.

“What the…” Diesa started as she stopped in her tracks.

“It’s me. The goose! HOONK!” He called as he glanced at Elora. “Nice effort, quite an entertaining goose call you have. I think it sounded a tad bit more like a southern goose but you near had me fooled.”

“Anyway,” He continued with a grin, “you can call me Sheeboo. Why have you beckoned me here so desperately?”

“Well, Gulu wanted to meet you,” Drusilla explained, and Sheeboo glanced at the stoic winter elf.

“Oh. Pleasure to meet you, Gulu. Is that all then?”

“Well, now I just need to know – why have you been messing with us all this time?” Drusilla asked, and Sheeboo shrugged.

“Because it’s fun!”

“And you just do this to us?”

“Don’t flatter yourselves. I do this to everyone. Some call me a creator, an undying one, a demi-God, or some just a God. If you recall, I also took a great deal of pleasure in messing with some pirates you once knew.”

Sheeboo smiled to himself, recounting the memory.

“I believe one of you singed me? Not very civil, was it?” Sheeboo continued as he looked at Drusilla. “You and your Raven Queen… she was never very fond of me, that one. Takes herself quite seriously. She never wants to have any fun.”

“This is….” Jory started, searching for the right words.

“Fantastic! I know!” Sheeboo exclaimed, incorrectly finishing Jory’s sentence. He clapped his hands together once more.

“So, I’m a bit of a trickster myself.” Diesa vainly explained to the demi-God. “What kind of moves do you have?”

Sheeboo glanced at Diesa. “Ever tried this?”

Squatting, the bright-eyed halfling began to very mundanely wiggle his arms in the motion of a wave. Diesa furrowed her brow, but said nothing.

“How long have you been doing… this?” Jory asked.

“Oh, just about a minute now.” Sheeboo called as he continued to wriggle his arms.

“Ah, I’m just being facetious, little one. Do you mean to ask how long I’ve been wandering the planes, often as a goose, deploying chaotic tricks on innocent strangers?”

Jory nodded.

“Three-hundred and seventy-two years, eight months, and twenty-two days. Roughly.”

The group pondered this, and asked Sheeboo whether this was how he had always lived. He explained that before becoming Sheeboo, the God of trickery, he was just a regular halfling that grew up on a goose farm, with an affinity for tricks and messing with others.

“There have been Sheeboos before me,” he explained, “The previous Sheeboo was a bit more malicious than I am; I just like to shit in people’s rooms when they make fun of me. By the way Jory, my nose is not that big, I saw how you portrayed me in that beef jerky portrait. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, my predecessor. He was a right prick. He would steal peoples’ faces and become them. He would sneak up behind his victim, and they would be all like ‘oh my!’ and Sheeboo would be like ‘ha-ha!’’ and he would take your face and you would become a faceless, lifeless lump of goo. Sheeboo would then become you. Well, Sheeboo. But in your face.”

Jory considered this, “So… how did you become Sheeboo?’

“Excellent question. While I am quite literally now a God, I was never religious in my previous life. But, I heard of this Sheeboo trickster and, like any reasonable halfling would, I decided to prank the trickster God. I played a wonderful, helpless little halfling.‘’Oh its me I’m a helpless goose farmer’s son with a pretty face!’, and then I went into the haybarn, and Sheeboo followed. When he snuck up on me, he knew not that I had taken my mother’s looking glass. I devised a contraption to put it in front of my face. When I turned, Sheeboo saw his own face in the reflection, effectively stealing his own face!.”

The Demigod laughed boisterously, as if he had just delivered the most spectacular punchline. Recovering from his laughter, he said, “Now, Sheeboo is me!”

“Does… anyone worship you?” Diesa asked, eyeing Sheeboo.

“Oh, a few. Would you like to? I could use more followers.”

“What is the method of worship?”

“I don’t know. Trick people? Nothing crass of course, I’m not fond of stealing faces.”

A few moments of silence passed as the group considered the development the day had brought them. They caught the goose, who was not actually a goose, and found out that he was a God that took pleasure in nothing more than creating chaos and confusion in His wake.

“So, you’re a God.” Elora began, as a thought crept into her mind.

“Uh, yeah.”

“Can you… restore memories?” She asked, and Sheeboo raised an eyebrow at the Elf, a glimmer in his eye.

“Yes, but I’d like something in exchange. Worship.”

Elora paused, “What does that entail?”

Before Sheeboo could answer, Drusilla suggested it meant that she needs to honk nightly before bed. Sheeboo clapped his hands.

“Yes! It does now! Every night, no matter who you are with, I insist you honk loudly before you rest, thrice. You also need to take some things that don’t belong to you, instill confusion unto others, and please just don’t be dark and mellow and bleh about everything. I like my worshipers to be happy, light, bubbly.”

Suspicious, Diesa cut in, “How do we know you’ll restore Elora’s memory as it was?”

“You don’t! I’m the Trickster God.” Sheeboo responded with a wink.

“Elora, I just need you to say ‘I love you Sheeboo, restore my memory! I trust you completely.’ and we can get on with it!”

The group faltered, considering the option and the very real possibility that Sheeboo would find a way to turn Elora’s memory restoration into a trick, somehow. Drusilla turned her attention to Gulu.

“Gulu, did this satisfy your request?”

“Oh yes, above and beyond my wildest expectations,” Gulu responded with a glint in their eye. The snow elf was deriving much pleasure from simply watching the exchange unfold between Sheeboo and the Brunch Club.

Drusilla nodded in agreement, turning her attention back to Sheeboo, “Sheeboo, I ask this very respectfully, but may I have a feather from your cloak?’

Sheeboo scoffed, “No. May I have a feather from your Raven Queen?”

“I don’t have that power!” Drusilla cried, aghast.

“How unimaginative. Can you try?” Sheeboo pleaded, like a child begging for treats.He skipped toward Drusilla and took her hands in his.

“Pray with me!” He exclaimed, “How do you start? Do you honk?”

Drusilla wavered, finally relenting. “I guess… we can try to contact her.”

Drusilla began to pray to her God. “Raven Queen, we are in the strangest situation. We’ve… met The Goose God, Sheeboo, and -”

“God Of Trickery,” he interjected.

“God Of trickery.” Drusilla repeated after him.

“The undying one,” he continued.

“The Undying One.”

“And, add that I’m a fabulous dancer.”

Drusilla shot Sheeboo a look, but continued, “and… he is a most fabulous dancer. He would really like to meet you. We’re in a bit of a strange situation.”

Moments passed in silence.

“Raven Queen?” Sheeboo called, his voice ringing throughout the cavern. “If you can hear me, I just wanted to say… you’re kind of a bitch!”

Sheeboo wiped his hands against one another, pleased with himself. “Ah, I do hope she was listening.”

Sheeboo ran a hand along the side of his cloak, and plucked a single white feather with a touch of grey, handing it to Drusilla. “Put it to good use,” he said, winking at the elf. She nodded, and set the feather into her bag of holding.

“So are we just having a slumber party until Rajat gets here?” Sheeboo asked, he plopped himself onto the cavern floor childishly, and looked up at the group expectant for an answer.

“Well, we were going to go bring our map back to him to show him where the touchpoint is,” Jory exclaimed, and Sheeboo yawned dramatically.

“Bo-ring.” He sang, “Would you like me to just portal the crazy druid here?”

“You… know Rajat?” Salys asked.

“Ha! Of course I do. Like I said, he’s crazy, and not the fun Great Aunt Nancy showed up to the winter festival with two blunts and a bottle of gin, crazy. He’s a bit more like ‘Uncle Jimmy with an axe, yelling at everyone and chasing the goats’ crazy. No one really wants to tell him to stop because they might… die.”

“Anyway,” Sheeboo laughed, ”Would you like me to restore your memory, Elora?”

The elf paused, taking a deep breath. She had been chasing her memories for so long, and was surprised at how uncertain she felt now faced with the opportunity to learn the truth about who she was.

“Promise me, you won’t remove any of my memories?” Elora asked Sheeboo nervously.

“Pinky promise!” Sheeboo exclaimed, reaching his pinky out toward the elf. They intertwined fingers in agreement.

“Now, the rest of you. I need you to dance and honk please, it will help me focus.”

They began to honk, dancing about the cave as Gulu watched. His face was still, but his eyes shimmered in amusement. Sheeboo gestured to Elora to kneel, and as she did so he rested a hand on her forehead, closing his eyes to concentrate.

An uncomfortable sensation rushed through Elora’s head, and her eyes began to water. The back of her head pounded as memories came flooding back to her in overwhelming waves.

She remembered that she was born in the jungles of Tenochtilan. She remembered a childhood filled with passion toward folklore and stories of monsters, growing up to love the challenge of the hunt. A vignette of hunts seemed to play across her mind, portraying a young Elora battling monsters and developing her skills with a bow, all to help those that were powerless against the beasts plaguing them.

Elora remembered leaving her home and traveling Twell, and eventually meeting a group of like-minded adventurers to form a hunting party – the Obsidian Watch. She remembered hunting a powerful vampire named Tepesh Torhovista, who had been posing as a powerful noble in the court of the Drazaenian Empire.

While on the hunt for the vampire, Elora and her party travelled to the Bloodwood Forest to gain information about Tepesh. Here, they inquired with wood elves and met Rajat. During her stay in the forest, Rajat continuously pursued Elora’s affections, making unwelcome advances and trying to gain her favor obsessively. Elora remembered her repulsion at the sight of him, and the need to continuously, and aggressively, deny his pursuits.

Crashing a party flush with aristocrats and attempting to kill the vampire by poisoning his drink, which failed. Following the vampire back to his estate, they laid a trap for him. The plan failed, as the vampire had been aware that there was someone – or something – on his trail. The vampire vanquished two of her companions, Alexis Sinclair and Bearclaw, and knocked Elora unconscious. She remembered awakening in his dungeon, chained to the wall. There, the vampire drew out her memories one-by-one, consuming them and using them to gain power.

When he had had his fill of her memories, he banished her to the Feywild. There, Elora was sent on quests by the Fey to gain their favor, and they eventually agreed to send her back to her home plane, ejecting her into the Sable Forest.

As the memories came flooding back, tears streamed down Elora’s face. She stood shakily.

“Oh, my God,” she whispered in shock.

“You might… want to take a moment and process,” Sheeboo said gently, looking at Elora with knowing eyes.

“No.” Elora responded immediately. “I want to see Rajat. Now.”

The Brunch Club formed a circle, preparing for the Trickster God to deliver Rajat to the Cavern.

“Sheeboo, will you help us if this gets combative?” Drusilla asked, and Sheeboo shook his head.

“Goodness no,” he responded, and then the Trickster God began to concentrate. Although he remained physically in the cavern, it was clear his presence was elsewhere.

“Would you like to teleport?” He asked, and the Brunch Club heard no reply. Sheeboo paused a moment.

“Ah, wrong answer!”

The Trickster God bowed, and stepped back. Before the Brunch Club materialized the figure of Rajat, squatting and indisposed. He fell backwards, and scrambled to retrieve his garments. Sheeboo stepped away.

“Nice butt!” Jory cried, and Rajat scowled at the halfling.

“How the hell did I get here? Did you.. teleport me?” His voice was terse and angry, and he flushed when his gaze met Elora’s stone-cold stare.

“We don’t have that power.” Responded Salys, her arms crossed. “But, it turns out we know some powerful, erm, people.”

“Welcome to the portal,” Drusilla said, gesturing toward Gulu and the portal they guarded.

Rajat’s expression softened. “Well done.” He said, staring in awe at Gulu. He stepped toward the winter elf, eyes transfixed on the gateway behind them.

“Not so fast. I believe you owe Elora something?” Drusilla called to him, and Rajat paused.

“Yes, of course. Your memories.” Rajat took a deep breath. “I didn’t want to force it on you, because you couldn’t remember, Elora. But, when you came to the Bloodwood, you eventually relented to joining me for a romantic evening. It may seem hard to believe, but we got along very well, and a blossoming romance grew between us – we fell very hard for one another, Elora, and it was so difficult knowing that you were back.” He looked at Elora with pleading eyes, his voice choked.

“I was bitter you left me in the Bloodwood, but now, we can go to the Feywild together and start a new life together.”

Elora kept her face expressionless, knowing all too well that Rajat was lying outright about their history together. Unable to read her face, Rajat continued, “Please, think about it, Elora. Take your time, but I want you with me.”

Elora said nothing.

“Do you remember… at all?” Rajat asked, and she sighed.

“I can’t say it’s ringing any bells.” The ranger responded, and Drusilla and Salys saw Rajat release a small sigh of relief.

“But, that’s probably because none of that ever happened. Isn’t it, Rajat?” Elora finally revealed.

Rajat stepped back, placing a hand to his chest, feigning insult. “What? It-it did!”

“No, Rajat. I was disgusted by you. You tried to force your way close to me, and it was pathetic.”

“You lost your memory-” Rajat started, and Elora interjected.

“I got it back.”

“You’ve been gone 14 days; there’s no way you somehow had your memories returned to you in the time since you left me.” Rajat exclaimed.

“I did.” said Elora coldly.

Rajat looked flustered, grasping for words. “Y-you’re mistaken. You’re wrong! You fell in love – w-we made love, it was beautiful. Please, Elora. We can go through the portal together.” Rajat was now stammering. He reached for Elora, and she recoiled, shaking her head.

“You… ignorant bitch!” Rajat yelled, suddenly enraged. “We could have something wonderful and you are THROWING IT AWAY.”

“HEY!” Yelled Jory. “Watch yourself. You’re outnumbered.”

“It smells like wet stag in here,” Salys added, her nose wrinkling.

“Hey Gulu,” called Elora over her shoulder, “Do you think we should let this guy through the portal?”

Gulu looked Rajat up and down with disdain, and cooly shook their head. “I think not.”

Rajat shook with rage. His grip tightened on his staff, knuckles turning white. Jory noted the familiarity of the staff – they had seen it once before at Saberhagan’s, being shipped to a new owner. The fine craftsmanship and intricate, magical looking runes stood out to him.

Jory reacted quickly, perhaps hastily. He ran toward Rajat, and landed a flurry of punches while aiming for a cluster of nerves in his back. Two hits missed, but a third connected. The surprised and unarmored Rajat stood stunned and helpless before him.

Jory swung once more at Rajat, striking him across the face in anger. “That’s for lying to my friend.”

Drusilla grinned, anxious to attack the malicious, disgusting druid before her. Her hands glowed as she cast guiding bolt, which struck him with brutal force. The silver-black ray of energy exploded into his shoulder, tearing through flesh and muscle. Rajat staggered backward, gasping.

Diesa stared at the stunned, wounded Rajat, and loaded her crossbow. She first grabbed a regular bolt, and quickly thought to herself, “That won’t do, will it?”

She drew another instead – a bolt dipped in poison. Smirking, and only a few feet away from Rajat, she raised her aim and locked her gaze onto his wide, fearful eyes.

It drove into his clavicle, and blood spurt from the wound. Diesa almost reached for another bolt, but decided to relinquish her opportunity for another shot. Instead, she gestured to Elora. “Elora, take care of this guy, yeah?”

Elora nodded back at her companion, turning her gaze to Rajat. Her eyes were intense as she grabbed her phoenix arrow from her pack. She touched her finger to its fine tip, a droplet of blood forming.

She smiled, satisfied, “I just sharpened it. I don’t take very kindly to manipulation, you see. You tried to destroy towns filled with innocent people, just to get my attention. You tried to lie to me to convince me to be with you. Rajat, you just might be the most vile monster I’ve ever had the pleasure of killing. You’re definitely the most pathetic.” She smirked as she set the phoenix arrow aflame.

Rajat, still stunned, whimpered in fear.

Elora drew back her arrow, and shot the first flaming arrow into the Druid’s chest. She drew a second arrow, aiming a little higher. It drove directly into his eye socket, and he crumpled to the ground.

The arrow returned itself to Elora’s quiver. Rajat crumpled. “But you loved me,” he said weakly, then died on the forest floor.

Elora sat down, catching her breath, and Drusilla stepped toward her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Are you okay?” She asked.

Elora shook her head. “I really… don’t know.”

Salys turned to Gulu. “How’s that for interesting?’

The ice elf smiled wryly, “I’ve gotten much more than I bargained for, from The Brunch Club.”

Drusilla grabbed Rajat’s staff, putting it into the bag of holding with their other possessions. Meanwhile, Jory checked for other items, finding a series of ingredients, powders, and dried mushrooms in his possession.

“What should we do… with the body?” They asked, and agreed the easiest method of disposal would be to toss his body into the Feywild.

“He wanted to go to the Feywild,” Diesa shrugged, and they agreed it would be only right to deliver him. Together, Jory and Diesa hoisted his body through the portal.

Sheeboo sat atop one of the henges, his toes dangling down from above.

He called down to the party, “Oh you devious little minxes! A bit dark for my taste, but quite creative.. Imagine an elf just wandering through the Fey and plop! Down falls Rajat’s body, out of the blue. How… chaotic.” Sheeboo mused, a smile on his face. “What splendid worshippers I have!”

“Um… Sheeboo,” Drusilla asked cautiously. “Any chance you could teleport us back home?”

The Trickster God smiled, “Yes. Are you all ready?”

They nodded, bracing to be teleported. “Thank you, Gulu, thank you Sheeboo!” They cried, and Sheeboo clapped.

Very briefly, everything went dark, and the six members of the Brunch Club experienced the sensation of falling. They landed on their backs, groaning as they propped themselves up from their fallen position.

The party found themselves in a dark, wet cave. The air was cold, and they could hear wind howling outside of the cavern. When Drusilla cast dancing lights to illuminate the cave, they noticed a steel, humanoid figure lying on its back. Its body was covered in crystals and etched with dwarven writing.

“SAM!” Elora cried out and ran toward him. She knelt down, but he was dark and silent.

Salys noticed a drawing etched into one of the cave’s stone walls. It was a crude, but recognizable drawing of a robot holding hands with an elf with a bow. Next to them were figures of another elf, a dwarf, a halfling, a gnome, and a giant pygmy owl.

Beneath the figures, written in Dwarvish, was the word, “Friends.”

“Guys…” Jory whispered, his voice wavering with fear. “I think we’re in the Feywild.”

At least that’s what the party thinks and have thought for the ten months since we were last able to play. I figured as the DM since we don’t know when we’ll be able to play in person next, now is as good a time as ever to tell them that they are not in the Feywild. I let them stew on it since they decided to let the God of Trickery teleport them. Much like a God of Trickery would be expected to do, he tricked them. They’re about a hundred feet down the very same mountain they were on previously. They have a very long trek ahead of them.

I also added this part on after the episode was written to keep the secret for just a little longer.

Thank you for listening to Season One of Tales of The Brunch Club.

If you’ve enjoyed the story so far, please rate and review our first season on iTunes.

We don’t have a start date for Season 2 yet, but starting in January we’ll be posting our new, online campaign, “Darkbrew Monster Vanguard” on YouTube. The audio for those episodes will be available on this podcast channel, but please come and check out the new campaign, and other videos on our Rescued By Dragons YouTube Channel and visit us for more Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy content at rescuedbydragons.com. Thank you so much for listening. .

Episode 52 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio recording of our DnD game session that inspired this episode will be available on our podcast channel this Thursday under the name, Brunch Club LIVE!

Additional role-playing contributions to the story by:

The recording of our Dungeons and Dragons game session that inspired this episode will be available on our podcast channel this Thursday under the name, Brunch Club LIVE!

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.

Please follow us on instagram, facebook and youtube as Rescued By Dragons, and at twitter as rescuedragons for more fantasy-related content and announcements. Thank you once again for listening to our Dungeons and Dragons inspired fantasy fiction podcast.

Tales of The Brunch Club 051 “Saved by the Bell”

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Welcome to Episode 51 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 50, the Brunch club defeated the Bahir that attacked them. Despite the din of battle, they were able to hide from the curious ettins. They continued their way on a new path picked out by Elora. The path took them across a narrow ledge on a cliff face with large nests resting above them. They were attacked by humanoid bird creatures with the heads of stags as they crossed. The battle went poorly until SAM climbed the cliff face to the nests and threatened the winged creatures with the destruction of their eggs. With their focus on SAM, the creatures became easy targets for Elora, Salys, and Drusilla who blasted them out of the air. They finished traversing the narrow ledge safely. On the other side, SAM handed Jory two large eggs.

And now…

Episode 51: “Saved by the Bell”

Jory took the two large eggs from SAM and placed them in the snow. He and the others gathered the scant burnable wood they could scavenge from their campsite. It was mostly twigs, dried grasses, and some narrow dead trees easily hacked down by Diesa.

Jory began making the cooking fire while the others made camp around him. As Elora finished unrolling her bedroll she noticed an orange speck of color creeping up behind the halfling. The small orange wedge-shaped object seemed to float closer in an odd, up and down, bobbing motion. When it got closer Elora noticed it was a goose, its pristine white feathers blending perfectly with the snow. It began rolling one of the eggs away from Jory. Elora was sure it was the mysterious and infuriating goose that had been plaguing them for weeks.

“Hey!” Elora shouted. “That’s our dinner!”

Everyone turned toward Elora, then turned to the direction she was pointing in and shouting at.

“Come back here with that egg, you fucker!” Drusilla shouted.

SAM took a step toward the goose. “Warning!” He said in his loud mechanical voice. “Influx of magical energy level 10!”

“SAM!” Elora shouted. “Catch the goose!”

SAM bent over and lumbered toward the goose. His four arms were stretched down and outward. As he got just close enough to grab the goose in his metal hands, it stepped nimbly out of his grasp. SAM stepped forward again. The goose evaded him easily. The dance between trodding robot and graceful fowl continued for some time, and while SAM was not successful in catching it, he did provide much-needed amusement to his new companions.

As The Brunch Club’s laughter subsided, SAM stopped and watched the goose waddle off into the distance. “Mission failed,” he said as he trudged back to others, who were sitting on their bedrolls eating freshly cooked eggs.

“SAM, what does ‘magical energy level ten’ mean?” Jory asked between bites of his dinner.

“It means the creature had a magic level of ten,” SAM answered.

“Um, okay, that was helpful,” said Jory, before asking, “What level is Drusilla?”

“Level three,” SAM replied.

“Oh! What level am I?” Salys asked with an eager smile on her face.

“Level three,” SAM replied again.

“Oh,” Salys said, the eagerness gone from her voice.

“It’s weird that he’s followed us everywhere,” observed Elora.

“I feel like he’s enjoying messing with us,” Drusilla said with annoyance.

The group finished their dinner and huddled together around the fire as the bitter cold of night descended upon them. Drusilla conjured three woodland creatures from her bag of tricks for them to snuggle with for extra warmth.

Elora stared up at the sunlit peak and picked out the most passable trail. Their progress up the snow and ice-covered peak was slow, but steady for that day, and they made camp again on the unforgiving slope of the mountain.

The next day felt very much like the previous days. There were no trees to give them a sense of moving forward. Only a white peak in the distance that grew imperceptibly closer with each day.

The journey’s monotony was broken by a loud shriek that echoed between the mountains. The group looked in the direction it came from. To their horror, they saw the form of the great flying roc silhouetted against the sun. Relief replaced terror as they saw the roc fly in the opposite direction toward a far off peak. The echo of its cry faded away.

The sound of the roc was replaced by a faint crackling noise, then a low rumble that grew steadily louder. Elora looked at the mountain slope above them.

“Avalanche!” she shouted.

The group frantically looked for cover as the unstoppable wall of snow rolled toward them.

Elora saw a strip of rock cutting across the white snow roughly thirty feet up the slope. It looked like it might be an outcropping. It might not be, but it was their only possibility of cover.

“Get to the ledge!” shouted the ranger, and dashed toward the rocks. The others followed, using their arms to help propel them through the snow.

Jory, SAM, Elora, Copper, and Drusilla made it under the shallow stone outcropping. Salys realized she wasn’t going to make it in time. She made a quick gesture with her hands. A one-dimensional sphere as tall as her appeared in front of her. She stepped through it. The sphere disappeared then instantly reappeared under the outcropping. She stepped out and pressed herself as far under the ledge as she could.

Diesa only made it halfway to her companions. She threw one end of a rope toward the ledge. Jory was able to snatch it out of the air, then grab on to SAM as the crush of snow turned their world white, then dark.

Under the ledge, Jory felt Diessa’s rope go slack, then tighten again. He held onto it as hard as he could, hoping Diesa wouldn’t be carried more than its fifty-foot length. The rope went taut, and though he held on, it yanked him away from the sturdy SAM.

Elora was also swept out from the safety of the ledge by the cascading snow. SAM reached for her but could not grasp his new master. Elora tumbled into darkness.
Jory was able to keep himself near the top of the cresting wave, effectively treading snow to keep himself from being dragged under.

The rush of snow that fell over the ledge filled the space under the outcropping. SAM and Drusilla managed to keep themselves from being swept away, but the snow pulled Salys and Copper away from safety.

Seconds later, the cacophony of the avalanche turned into an eerie silence.

“Can you dig us out, SAM?” Drusilla asked.

SAM’s four strong arms quickly cleared an escape tunnel. Atop the field of freshly churned snow and debris, they searched for their friends.

About 50 feet down the mountain, they saw Copper dig herself out of a shallow covering of snow and began sniffing around her. Near Copper they saw Jory dig himself out, still clutching one end of the line. “I have Diesa’s rope!” he shouted and began pulling it.

Elora’s eyes blinked open. She only saw darkness. She found it difficult to breathe. The snow was packed tightly around her, making any movement impossible. Even if she could dig herself out, she had no idea which direction was up. She took as deep a breath as possible and screamed for help as loud as she could.

On the surface, both Jory and Copper heard a faint cry. Copper moved quickly in the direction it came from. Jory shouted up the hill, “I heard a noise over here!” He pointed in the direction Copper was moving and continued to pull on the rope. There was tension on it, but Jory didn’t know if it was still attached to Diesa, or if the resistance was from tightly packed snow.

Drusilla placed her shield down and slid awkwardly down the slope to where Jory and Copper were. She made a gesture, said a quick prayer, and was able to communicate with Copper. “Where’s Elora?” she asked the wolf. “Can you pick up her scent?”

“Yes,” Copper replied. “She’s near here. I heard her too.”

“Start digging, Copper,” Drusilla said. The wolf began digging furiously.

Diesa tried to get her bearings once the tumbling was over. She was packed in tightly by the snow all around her. She could tell by the pressure in her head that she was upside down. She managed to work her arm into her bag which was still slung across her shoulder. She rummaged around for anything useful and gripped a long-forgotten bell. She punched out enough space around her to ring it furiously. Even with it so close to her, it sounded muffled in the snow. She hoped her companions were able to hear it.

Jory’s heart sank when the end of the rope popped out of the snow. There was no dwarf attached to it. Through his silent despair, he heard what sounded like the sound of a bell. It rang over and over again. He dashed to with renewed hope. When he got to the spot where the bell was loudest, he dropped to his knees and began digging.

Salys, also buried and packed in the snow, worked her head back to see if she could feel Pip still nestled in the hood of her robe. She didn’t feel him there. She reached out her familiar with her mind. “Pip. Where are you?

“I’m flying around watching these idiots dig in the snow,” he replied gruffly. “For some reason the Cleric is sledding.”

“Can you see me? Can you tell where I am?”

“You’re under the snow, genius,” Pip replied sarcastically.

“Useless little flying fuck,” Salys said as she realized her familiar wasn’t going to be able to help her. She screamed as loud as she could.

Jory leaned back to catch his breath. As he bent over to resume digging he heard the gnome’s cries for help.

“Salys is over there,” Jory shouted to Drusilla, pointing in the direction of Salys.

Drusilla sledded toward the spot until she could hear the cries too. She stopped at the loudest point and began digging. She moved large chunks of snow aside with her shield. Pip landed next to her and began scratching at the snow too.

Salys took another deep breath to scream for help once more. Before she could cry out, light burst in through the snow. She saw a white-haired elf and a small owl staring down at her.

Diesa was now thoroughly annoyed at the snow. With newfound strength fueled by annoyance, she had managed to turn herself around and was forcing her way upwards, punching at the snow.

Jory dug down as quickly as he could. His fast, strong, dextrous hands threw snow behind him. He leaned forward toward the bottom of the hole in hopes of hearing any signs of Diesa. A leather-gloved fist shot up from the bottom of the hole and punched him in the face. He was overjoyed.

With Salys and Diesa safely extracted, the rest of them converged on the spot where SAM and Copper were digging for Elora. She had been under the snow for quite a while and The Brunch Club was getting worried about how long she had been buried and hoped they could get to her before she suffocated.

Elora tried to dig herself out, but her oxygen-starved limbs had no strength. She tried to scream again but could not get enough air. She barely heard the sounds of scraping above her. Nothingness began to fill her mind when she was snapped back into consciousness by the feeling of being yanked up by her quiver and the cool air filling her grateful lungs.

SAM pulled her to him and hugged her with his four arms. Copper rubbed her head on her feet.

Jory prepared as hearty and restorative a lunch as he could while The Brunch Club rested and took stock of their inventory. Some minor items had been lost while they were in the avalanche’s clutches. The biggest loss though was Elora’s compass.

After an hour’s rest, they continued their journey up the peak.

A few hours later, Drusilla noticed what looked like a partially obscured entrance to a cave off in the distance. She pointed it out to her companions.

Elora looked at her map and read some of Schittman’s notes. She turned to her companions and said, “Guys, I think that’s it. That’s where the touchpoint is.”

When they got closer, they thought they saw movement in front of the cave. They decided to proceed slowly. They approached, crouched down low, hoping to avoid being seen. When the mouth of the cave was clearly in sight, they noticed the objects partially obscuring the entrance were a giant with blue skin, a horned helmet, and a large axe. On each side of the giant were two gray-skinned ogres. They weren’t as large as the giant, but still large compared with even SAM. The three towering creatures stared into the darkness of the cave, as though considering something.

The giant grabbed one of the ogres by the neck and threw it into the cave. It reluctantly walked forward into the darkness, out of sight.

The Brunch Club watched patiently from their safe distance as the two remaining creatures stared into the cave, waiting for their companion.

The ogre did not emerge right away. Nor did he appear after an hour, or after an hour and a half. Two hours after he went in, his head flew out of the cave, as though it had been ejected. It was pierced with many arrows and covered in a thick layer of ice and frost.

The remaining ogre screamed out and tried to flee. The giant grabbed it by the neck. It calmed down in deference to the larger, stronger creature. They talked in low murmurs The Brunch Club could not understand because they were too far away and did not speak giant. The creatures turned away from the cave and began walking down the mountain. When they got near The Brunch Club’s hiding spot, the giant looked down at the snow

“Shit,” Elora muttered. “He sees our footprints.”

They stayed still, hoping they would continue on their way. Instead, the giant picked up a nearby boulder and turned toward them.

Before he could throw it, Salys stepped out from cover and fired a barrage of magic missiles and a firebolt at him. The spell attacks crashed against the broad chest of the giant, causing him intense pain and rage. He threw the boulder in anger at Salys. It crushed against her, causing her ribs to make sickening cracking sounds. She collapsed, out of breath at SAM’s feet.

Jory scrambled toward the giant, trying to get within range of his throwing darts. Diesa loaded her crossbow and took aim. The crossbow bolt sunk into the giant’s patchwork armor but seemed to have no effect.

Elora withdrew her longbow and shot at the giant with her phoenix arrow. In her haste, she didn’t load the arrow perfectly. It sailed toward Jory, who turned just in time. He caught the arrow, continued spinning around, and threw it at the giant. Unfortunately, the beast was too far away.

The ogre threw a javelin at the distracted Jory. It hit him and took a chunk of flesh out of his upper arm.

The giant lumbered toward the prone Salys and slashed at her with his great axe. The blade gouged the side of her crushed ribcage. The gnome slipped into unconsciousness from the damage. SAM knelt down next to Salys. A compartment in his chest opened up, revealing a medical kit. With two arms he expertly bandaged and revived her. She sat up dazed and sore, but grateful to be alive. With his other two arms, SAM drew the great sword Diesa had found in the wendigo cave a few days ago. The sword burst into flames. He swung at the giant that loomed above him and Salys. The giant screamed as the hot blade cut and cauterized his abdomen.

Drusilla ran between the two large creatures. She made a gesture with her arms, spoke a prayer into the air, and summoned a cloud of spiritual ravens that circled around her, engulfing the creatures and ripping into them with their sharp beaks and claws.

Jory ran up to the ogre. He punched it with a flurry of blows, stunning it before backing away quickly.

Diesa fired her crossbow at the stunned ogre. The arrow sunk into the creature’s hide. He growled in pain but showed no signs of giving up the fight.

Elora aimed at the giant again, this time more carefully. Two perfect phoenix arrow shots sailed through the cloud of ravens, burying in the creature’s brain, sending it crashing to the ground.

Salys, now conscious and standing with SAM’s help, fired a round of magic missiles into the ogre. It looked down at her with a surprised expression, as its insides spilled out through the hole Salys blasted into its stomach.

SAM healed the injured party members while Diesa and Drusilla rummaged through the armor of their attackers. They found fourteen gold and a vial of strange blue powder, which SAM analyzed as crushed sapphire.

They decided they should rest before exploring the cave, so they made camp near the entrance.

In the morning, they cautiously entered the cave, stepping past the head of the Ogre. The air inside the mouth of the cave was warmer compared to the mountain air. It smelled different as well.

“Smell that?” Salys said. “It smells like a forest.”

“Yeah. It does!” Elora agreed.

“It smells like a swamp to me,” Drusilla observed.

“I smell fields of barley,” Jory said, inhaling the pleasant odor.

“What are you guys talking about?” asked Diesa. “It smells like a cave.”

They entered past the opening. It turned right, into a dark passage. Jory hesitated. He dreaded the thought of meeting an Arch Fey. He worried even more about becoming trapped in the Fey Wild. “Are we sure we want to do this?” he said. He noticed that the party was nearly out of sight. He raced to catch up with them.

Elora called out in Elvish, “We’re Fey, coming in peace to seek council with the Arch Fey!”

After the echoes died down, the reply came in a soft, smooth voice that only Elora could hear. “I hope you’re better company than the last creature who visited.”

“We are. May we come in?” Elora asked in Elvish.

“Why yes,” the voice said to Elora. “The more the merrier.”

“Sweet,” said Elora, not sweetly at all. “Let’s keep going.”

Drusilla conjured dancing lights to illuminate their way and the group moved forward.

They proceeded down the passage. After a short walk, they heard what sounded like water. When they moved closer, they could hear chirping. The darkness began turning into light. A few moments later, the passageway opened up into an enormous, vast cavern. It was filled with waterfalls, streams, and a forest of lush pine trees. It was bathed in a golden sunlight that had no apparent source.

Deer, rabbits, and other wildlife skittered around them. The group stood in silence. They basked in the presence of living things thriving around them. It was a presence they missed more than they realized during their march through the comparatively lifeless mountains.

Two cardinals landed in a branch above them. Drusilla cast her Speak With Animals.

“Hi!” the birds said.

“Hi!” Drusilla replied. “What is this place?”

“It’s home,” one of the cardinals answered.

“Who’s in charge?”

“Gulu,” the other applied.

“Who’s Gulu?”

“They are the guardian.”

“What form do they take?”

“Beautiful elf of ice and snow.”

“Where are they?”

“Follow the path.”

Before Drusilla could ask another question, one of the birds said, “You are boring. Goodbye.” The cardinals flew off.

The group followed the path. It led down a hill, over a small bridge, into a lush natural garden. In the middle stood a tall elf with pale blue skin. A subtle aura of cold blue light swirled around the elf. Behind it, hovered a shimmering oval disk, perpendicular to the ground. It was nearly transparent, save the smoke-like tendrils of air that seemed to bend the light around them.

They approached the elf closer. When they were almost to her, SAM began humming. The crystals on his chest lit up in random patterns. In his loud, warning voice, he yelled, “Conflux of conjuration energy! Stage Seven!” He ran quickly toward the swirling oval. When he got within five feet of it, he shouted, “Error!”

He backed away and went to Elora. He handed her the magic greatsword, then turned and walked back to the oval. The elf stepped aside and SAM stepped into the oval and disappeared.

“Wait! SAM!” Elora called out.

“Where did he go?” Drusilla anxiously asked Gulu.

Gulu calmly replied, “To the FeyWild, of course.”

“Will he be safe?” Elora asked.

The elf shrugged. “The Feywild is not safe. But it’s not dangerous either.” She then asked, “What can I do for you?”

Elora told Gulu about their reason for coming here, and about how they weren’t sure if Rajat’s intentions were good or bad. They guessed bad.

“Oh, I’ll be happy to deal with this Rajat, but I’ll need something in exchange,” Gulu said, smiling with anticipation.

“What do you want?” asked Elora.

“Oh, something amusing. Something different. Something unpredictable. An agent of chaos.”

The Brunch Club cast knowing glances at each other.

“An agent of chaos, you say?” said Drusilla.

“We happen to know someone like that,” Jory said.

Salys whispered, “Honk.”

Our tale will continue in Episode 52

Episode 51 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 050 “How Do You Like Your Eggs?”

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Welcome to Episode 50 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club. Thank you to those who have supported us thus far!

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

The Brunch Club continued their journey to the Fey touchpoint, searching for a place to rest in the mountains. During their search, Elora spotted a cave, which the party decided to investigate. The cave stank, and they could hear a faint rumbling noise from within.

Diesa scouted ahead, entering a cavern laden with treasures, most notably an enormous greatsword. The rogue spotted a large beast with white-blue fur, sleeping soundly in a distant corner. She attempted to creep back to the others to report her findings, but knocked an icicle across the cavern. The creature she had spotted remained asleep, but a larger beast arose from deep within the cavern, immediately paralyzing Diesa with its chilling gaze. Although frozen, she was able to release a strained, desperate yell for help.

On Elora’s command, SAM ran into the cavern to find Diesa being slashed by a giant Wendigo, and soon the remaining members of the Brunch Club raced in to her rescue. They made quick work of disposing the two monsters, and were able to save Diesa from a close brush with death.

After a brief rest, they then pressed onward into the mountains, eventually coming across an encampment with four ettins waiting around a fire. To avoid confrontation, they decided to climb a steep hill in the distance that led to a flat, snowy plateau.

The party may have been able to successfully evade the ettins, but they instead found themselves face-to-face with a giant Behir.

Episode 50: “How do you like your eggs?”

The Behir hissed. The huge reptilious creature was electric blue, with shining gradient scales. Its enormous tale swung weightily back and forth, and it bore long, sharp fangs. An electric current seemed to surround the creature.

“Imminent danger!” Shouted SAM, as his new companions took a ready stance. Elora quickly set one of her arrows aflame and shot at the enormous creature.

The arrow blazed past SAM, glancing off of the Behir’s scales with little effect.

“It is too late to go back to the hill giants?” Jory asked as Diesa drew her crossbow and shot at the Behir, sinking a bolt into its chest. The Behir hissed, but seemed altogether unaffected by the attack.

“…I guess so,” Jory moaned, reaching for his darts.

Reacting quickly, Salys and Drusilla began to bring their magical abilities to bare. Drusilla’s brow furrowed as she muttered an incantation, blessing herself, Diesa, and Salys.

Salys glanced up at her elvish companion in gratitude as her hands began to glow. Raising her hands before her, a green blast emanated from her fingertips, the bright sphere blasting toward their reptilious foe. To her dismay, the blast flew wayward, missing the Behir and exploding into a distant snowdrift.

Elora steadied her bow once again, taking aim at the Behir and loosing an arrow. Despite the sheer magnitude of her target, the arrow’s fate was similar to that of Salys’ chromatic orb – it flew to the side, missing the Behir and burying itself deep within the snow.

“DANGER!” Cried SAM as he leapt at the Behir. The robot grappled for a hold on its scales, and with a heave propelled himself onto the giant creature’s rearing back.

“Please. Stop. Moving.” He muttered as he scaled up the Behir’s neck, getting as close as he could to its head. Despite the Behir’s lack of cooperation, he was able to steady himself.

With two hands holding the neck of the beast, SAM used another of his two hands to grasp his greatsword. He swung, aiming for its left eye. As he swung, the Behir thrashed his neck, throwing SAM off balance and thwarting his attack.

The robot holding onto its neck seemed to disturb the giant beast, and it continued to throw its neck back and forth, trying to dismount his rider. Using his distraction to their advantage, the grounded members of the party rushed to attack.

Diesa quickly drew her axe, charging at the Behir’s hind legs. She swung, but as she did the Behir shifted its stance. Diesa lurched forward and her axe sank into the snow. Salys shot another green, magical blast at Behir, which missed and dissipated into air.

Drusilla shot a bolt of radiant light from her fingertips, which shot through the air at the Behir. On impact, the beast unleashed a piercing shriek and thrashed again. SAM clung tightly to its neck, his metallic frame clanking against the beast’s hard scales.

Jory charged at the Behir, zig-zagging toward his target. As he ran, he seemed to evaluate the flow of energy coursing through the Behir’s body, and he quickly struck several of the Behir’s pressure points. But, he wavered. Just millimeters off target, he missed three of his strikes.

“Take this!” He shouted, landing his fourth strike. Jory’s pointer finger dug into a pressure point with deadly precision.

The Behir was stunned by the blow. Quick to identify his opportunity, SAM rose his greatsword above his head once more, driving the blade deep into the eye of the beast. Blood exploded from its eye socket, staining the snow beneath the Behir.

Moments later, an arrow sunk deep into the creature’s neck. SAM looked briefly down at the arrow and back toward Elora.

“Your talent moves me.” The Robot shouted mechanically as Elora reached for another arrow.

From behind Elora, Salys sent a magical blast of darts at the Behir, which erupted as they made contact with its scales. At long last, the Behir was beginning to look rough. The electrical current surrounding the creature seemed weakened, and its scales cracked in several places. The Behir’s eye socket continued to ooze.

Jory attempted to steady himself, charging at the Behir. He swung several times at the Behirs hindquarters, but they seemed to have little effect. The time hardened scales proved difficult to get through.

“What the hell!” Jory exclaimed, angered by his missed opportunity for glory. Exasperated, he retrieved his Bota Bag from his satchel, taking a giant swig. As he drank, he angrily swung his free arm at the Behir’s butt. To his surprise, he heard a giant crunch beneath his fist. He choked briefly on his drink as the Behir roared in agony, crumbling into the ground.

As the head of the beast fell, SAM stepped gracefully from its snout onto the ground, the snow crunching beneath his metallic feet.

“Danger averted.” SAM said, blood dripping from his new greatsword.

The group decided to harvest what parts of the Behir they could, retrieving long, sharp teeth from its mouth and carefully carving one of its lightning glands from its throat. It was tedious work, but they were able to collect what they hoped would be a fruitful bounty.

Salys knelt to the ground, inspecting the Behir’s gaping eye socket.

“I kind of want to drink its blood,” she mused, swiping her finger into the crimson liquid and giving it a sniff. As she raised her finger to her tongue, the group heard a loud crunch from the distance.

“What was that?” Elora asked, gazing back in the direction they had come from. It sounded like someone, or something, was stomping through the snow. Soon, they could hear a loud grunting.

Quickly, the party darted behind the body of the Behir, noting how suspect a giant, gutted Behir would appear in the middle of a snowy plane. Slowly, Salys poked her head from behind the creature, trying to remain concealed.

“Yep. We’ve got company.” She whispered to the group. Two enormous giant heads emerged from behind the snowdrift, attached to the same set of shoulders.

The hideous giant heads conversed briefly as they stared at the corpse of the Behir before them, eyes growing wide as it made a dim assessment of the carnage. Slowly, the heads lowered back down, and the group could hear them scraping their way back down the embankment.

“I think one giant monster battle was plenty for the day,” Diesa lamented as the sound of the footsteps receded into the distance.

“What should we do?” Jory whispered.

Elora’s eyes traced the snow, trailing into the distance. “I think there’s a path over this way.” She said, and started marching off, away from the giants. The group willfully followed.

Their boots crunching through the snow, they soon found themselves facing a narrow path along the face of a cliff. Jory gulped, and Copper whined softly as Elora secured a rope around the giant wolf.

Drusilla eyed Jory. “Feeling brave?” She asked, and Jory took a deep swig from his Bota Bag.

“Um, no. No not really.” He answered, desperation in his voice.

“Come on! You just vanquished a Behir! You got this.” Salys coaxed. Jory reached for his Bota Bag, taking several more deep, ungratifying gulps of liquid before creeping out onto the path and slowly inching his way across the trail.

“It seems… okay,” He shouted back to the group above the howling wind. Beads of cold sweat fell down the side of his face, and his legs trembled.

Slowly, the others began to follow, feeling their way across the path with trepidation. No sooner had they reached the center of the pass, a rustling permeated through the air. Drusilla was the first to look up.

“Are those… nests?” She asked. As the query left her lips, three giant, flying creatures soared out from what were indeed nests at the top of the cliff face. Their bodies and wings looked to be those of a bird of prey, but their heads resembled stags. As they flew down toward the party, the shadows they cast against the cliff face seemed oddly humanoid.

The creatures swept downward, straight toward Jory. The halfling yelped, and Diesa quickly drew her crossbow.

“Back off!” She screamed, releasing an arrow that grazed the beast’s shoulder. Drusilla followed suit, and her spirit raven guardians quickly materialized from thin air, circling around her.

Salys took a moment to evaluate the situation before joining the fray. Instead of trying to damage the ravenous, winged beings, she magically cast an audible illusion, which replicated the screams of the Behir they had heard earlier that day.

For a moment, the creatures seemed to pause, searching the horizon for the source of the noise.

Jory took the moment of pause to grab his darts, throwing several at the flying creature nearest him. The three creatures dove at Jory, their talons tearing into his skin. Jory screamed, nearly losing balance as he teetered at the edge of the cliff face.

As the party desperately continued to attack their pursuers, SAM looked to the cliff face. After a brief computation, he deftly scaled the side of the cliff. When he reached the top, he swung himself over the edge and stood to inspect the enormous nests. Within them were a total of five eggs.

Meanwhile, Salys summoned Pip, who telepathically berated her for bringing him into the frey.

“Oh, look who needs someone to do their dirty work?” He complained, tiny wings beating frantically as he rushed toward one of the beasts. He found grip in one one of them, talons digging into its side.Through pip, Salys cast shocking grasp, immediately killing it.

The beast spiraled downward, its corpse clashing against the cliff face as it fell. Within moments, it had crashed into the snow beneath them where it lay still.

At the top of the cliff, SAM grabbed several of the eggs. His robotic voice rang through the air.

“How do you like your eggs?” He asked, pausing for effect. To his disappointment, neither of the living creatures responded.

“Safe at home, I presume!” He shouted as he tossed two eggs over the side of the cliff. They splattered on the ground below.

The beasts screeched, agonized by the loss of two of their eggs, and quickly rerouted. As they ascended toward SAM, he grabbed another egg from one of the nests.

SAM quickly killed the first of the two beasts, and the other continued its ascent. It let loose another ear piercing screech as it dove at SAM from high in the air. As it collided with him, sparks flew off of SAM’s body.

Below, Elora knocked an arrow, squinting one eye as she followed the movement of the creature with the arrowhead, waiting for the perfect moment. When she released it from her fingertips, it quickly found home in the head of the beast, which fell to its death.

Slowly, SAM descended back down the cliff face. The others panted heavily, recovering from the unexpected encounter.

Jory took another deep swig from his bag. “That was close,” he said.

They slowly worked their way across the path to the other side, where they decided to make camp.

“I have something for you.” SAM said to Jory.

That evening, Jory smiled to himself as he prepared dinner for his friends; scrambled eggs.

Our tale will continue in Episode 51

Episode 50 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 049 “Diesa’s Folly”

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Welcome to Episode 49 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 48, the Brunch Club happened upon an abandoned tower which was now occupied by two giant lizards which they feared. They thought about sending SAM in to investigate but Drusilla had another idea. Fredward’s monster manual said weasels were immune to the basilisk’s gaze. She reached into her bag of tricks hoping to withdraw a weasel, but got a badger instead. They figured a badger might be close enough. Elora shifted her consciousness into the creature and inspected the tower for herself. Her consciousness sprang back to her body almost immediately as the badger was turned to stone upon entering the tower. The party decided it was not worth the risk and walked further on until they found a new campsite. During the night they were attacked by two frost trolls. They killed them both, though SAM took heavy damage and shut down. All of them, except for Diessa, were relieved to learn healing spells healed SAM. Elora led them further into the mountains. Their path turned into a very steep slope coated with loose scree. They used their rope and petons to cross the slope safely. Once across, they saw four boulders rise from the ground and emit an eerie, but seemingly harmless, humming noise.

And now…

Episode 49: “Diesa’s Folly”

The Brunch Club took their climbing gear off. They rested for a few minutes and listened to the gentle hum of the floating rocks behind them. Elora double checked her map and they continued on their journey. The snow was deeper now but they continued to make steady progress throughout the day. A snow-packed trail of hoof prints crossing their path was the only sign of other living creatures on the mountains besides them.

As night drew near and they scouted for places to camp, Elora noticed a cave in the distance. They trudged through the snow to its entrance. The opening of the cave was roughly the size of a large carriage and the entrance sloped downward toward the back. Even with their night vision, they could not see how far the cave went in but an awful stench emanated from within. Drusila withdrew a ball of fur from her bag of tricks. When she tossed it to the ground, it transformed into a weasel. Drusilla also conjured dancing lights in the shape of a weasel. Elora transferred her consciousness into the weasel and crept carefully into the cave with SAM following behind her quietly. The light from the glowing magic weasel revealed that the cave bent around to the left about thirty feet in from the entrance.

Elora and SAM continued around the bend. They walked even more cautiously as the passage began to slope downward and the ground grew frostier and more slippery. After a few more feet they saw the passage open up into a large cavern. Elora heard a soft , repetitive rumbling noise. They turned around and went back to the mouth of the cave to report what they saw to the rest of the party.

They decided to go back in and explore the cave as a group, with Diesa scouting well ahead. The sneaky dwarf lit her hooded lantern and adjusted the opening to a narrow beam she pointed in front of her. As she worked her way down the sloping passage and into the cavern, her light picked up the brown hue of frozen and dried blood on the walls. She opened the aperture to reveal more of the underground space around her. She scanned the area and noticed a gleaming, pristine greatsword resting atop a pile of worthless looking armor and organic refuse. Near the pile, Diesa noticed the source of the low rumbling noise. Barely noticeable because of its icy blueish-white fur, a creature lay sleeping. It’s fur moved up and down in time with its long breaths. She couldn’t tell what kind of creature it was, but it looked very large. Even larger than SAM. She eyed the gleaming sword greedily, but decided going back for the rest of the group was the safer move.

She turned to go back up the passage way. Her lantern grazed the rocky and icy wall, knocking an icicle off. She caught it before it crashed to the ground. It broke in half in her grasp. The top half tumbled downward and shattered against the icy floor. The furry creature’s breathing halted for a moment, but then resumed its steady snoring.

Diesa’s feeling of relief was short-lived. At the other side of the cavern, a pile of snow shifted and fell away as a very large creature with the same icy blue fur stood up to a full eighteen feet tall. It fixed her with an intense stare from piercing blue eyes. She gasped in pain as a cold, stabbing feeling permeated her chest. Her feeling of relief was replaced by terror as she found her muscles unresponsive to the commands her brain gave her. She could not run. She could not lift her axe. She could not even open her mouth to scream. She did manage to let out a strained wail through her unopened jaw as the wendigo trudged toward her with open claws.

Drusilla, Elora, Jory, Salys and SAM waited anxiously in the cavern for word from Diesa. As the minutes passed by they looked at each other with increasingly worried expressions. After a few minutes they heard a faint cry, a low snarl, and heavy footsteps echo up the passage.

“I think the scouting mission’s over,” Jory said.

“Maybe we should just leave,” SAM suggested in a monotone voice, not concerned about Diesa’s fate.

“Get in there and save her!” Elora shouted at SAM.

Heeding her command SAM trudged down the passage. He entered the cavern, just in time for his headlamp to illuminate the wendigo slashing several large gashes across Diesa’s chest and sides. He heard her scream through her paralzyed jaw and fall unconscious. Her blood spread quickly across the frozen ground.

“DANGER!” SAM shouted.

Jory raced into the passageway and dove on his belly to slide into the cavern. As he slid and tumbled past SAM toward the fallen Diesa, he shouted at the wendigo, “Hey! Pick on someone your own size!”

The wendigo looked down toward the defiant halfling. He did not see Pip fly into the cavern and land on Diesa’s shoulder. Salys, through Pip, cast a spare the dying spell that stabilized her. The dwarf remained unconscious, but her blood was no longer spreading out around her.

Elora ran into the cave as fast as she could without slipping, withdrew her phoenix arrow, muttered an ensnaring spell and shot at the wendigo. The arrow caught the beast in the shoulder. Vines, looking strangely out of place on the icy floor, rose up and wrapped around the creature’s legs. The wendigo effortlessly broke the vines.

“Get away from them you fucker!” Drusilla screamed as she slid into the icy passageway using her shield as a sled. When her shield came to a stop, she spoke an incantation, made a gesture with her arms, and conjured a cloud of ravens that swirled around the wendigo. The swarming birds raked and bit the beast with their claws and beaks.

SAM moved up to Elora. “Danger!” he shouted again. He raised two of his four arms. His metal fists flew off the ends of his arms, shot through the cloud of ravens, and pummeled the wendigo.

The wendigo, growled and trudged toward Drusilla. He fixed her with his freezing graze, paralyzing her as well. He bared his razor sharp claws and ripped through her armor and flesh with a swipe of each hand. As the cleric fell into unconsciousness, she toppled sideways off her shield. Her blood spread in a pool around her as the spectral ravens disappeared.

Jory closed the distance between him and the wendigo. He leapt up and punched it several times, hoping to hit and disable the nerves in the creature’s back and abdomen. He did not incapacitate the beast as he hoped he would, but he was able to do further damage. He snuck between its legs and scrambled out of reach before the beast could take a swing at him with its deadly claws.

Salys muttered a spell and a chromatic orb shot from her hands. An orange sphere of fire slammed into the wendigo. It screamed as the flames engulfed it. The smell of burning fur and flesh filled the cavern. On his master’s command, Pip flew across the cave and landed on Drusilla’s shredded body. Salys stabilized the cleric with another spare the dying spell through Pip as Elora damaged the wendigo with two more well placed arrows.

SAM jumped up. Skis expanded from his metal feet. He slid toward the fallen cleric, reuniting his arms with his fired fists on the way. He came to a stop between Drusilla and the Wendigo. His fists fired out. One of his fists shot through the chest of the beast, and exploded out its back. The wendigo’s heart was clutched in its hand. The huge beast toppled over.

The smaller sleeping wendigo woke up. It blinked in confusion at the battle happening in front of him. When it saw its parent’s body fall to the ground with blood oozing out of a hole in its chest, it howled with rage. Though it was a young wendigo, it was still taller than SAM when it stood up. It ran toward SAM. SAM punched him twice. Jory ran up besides SAM and hit the wendigo with a flurry of several blows. His punches had more effect on the younger wendigo than they did on the adult one. He was able to connect with one of the creature’s ki points, disrupting its energy flow and stunning it.

Salys finished it off with a fireball.

The Brunch Club surveyed the aftermath of the battle. SAM healed Drusilla, bringing her back to consciousness. He looked at the unconscious but breathing Diesa.

“She’s dead. We should just leave,” he said in a cold metallic voice.

“SAM!” Drusilla shouted. “Don’t be mean!” The cleric knelt beside Diesa, touched her shoulder, and brought the dwarf back to consciousness.

The group caught their breath before clearing an area to make camp for the night. Elora spent most of the night skinning the younger wendigo, resting only for her four hours of restful meditation.

The pristine greatsword was too heavy for any of them to wield, so they gave it SAM.

The rest of the night passed quietly in the cave. Elora stuffed the wendigo pelt into the bag of holding and they continued on their journey.

As they progressed toward the northwestern peak where they hoped to find the touchpoint to the Feywild the snow got deeper. Later in the day the snow was too deep for Salys and Jory to keep up with the others. SAM offered to carry them.

“It reminds me of when Vorjohn used to carry me,” Salys said as SAM conveyed them through the snow.

Later in the day they saw another trail of hoof marks cross their path. This time they saw in the distance a herd of gray-brown shaggy creatures that looked like some sort of oxen and boar hybrid with long, thick hair. They sniffed the air as the group crossed their path, but paid them no other mind.

As they moved on from the herd, Elora looked to the distant peaks. She noticed a large bird. Even from the great distance, she could tell it was a roc – a very large bird Fredward had warned them was in this area. She pointed it out to the others.

“Keep an eye out for those,” Elora told them. “They could sweep down and carry any of us away.”

Salys and Jory instinctively held on to SAM a little tighter.

As their eyes were fixed to the sky, they noticed wisps of smoke rising into the air in front of them. They slowed down and walked very carefully. They kept low and used mounds of snow to conceal themselves. When they approached within two hundred feet of the smoke, they saw its source. Directly on their path, four humanoid creatures crouched around a fire. They wore furs, had distinct tattoos decorating the exposed skin of their arms, and were as large as the younger wendigo they had just slain.

“They look like Hill Giants,” Elora whispered.

“Except for the two heads,” said Drusilla.

“Except for that,” agreed Elora.

“What now?” Diesa asked, gripping her axe tightly.

Elora looked around her. She scanned the treelines and terrain. She pointed to a very steep hill that ended in a level plateau.

“If we can climb up there, we may be able to find a new path around them.”

“I can climb that,” SAM said.

The four-armed mechanical man easily ascended the steep hill. He threw down a rope and pulled them up one by one.

They all stood on the snow covered plateau. They listened for any signs that the two-headed giants may have seen them. They heard nothing. In fact their surroundings seemed eerily silent around them. They scanned the sky, looking for the roc. To their relief, they saw it emerge from behind one of the distant peaks.

Movement on the side of a cliff nearer to them caught Elora’s attention. She was able to make out a shape clinging to a cliff face about one hundred and fifty feet in the distance. It was a large, twelve-legged lizard. Elora didn’t move. She recognized this beast from the book Fredward had given them. It was a bahir. A creature that could breathe lightning and was originally bred to hunt and kill dragons. It blinked at her.

The silence around them was shattered by the bahir’s terrifying roar. It leapt out from the cliff face and landed in front of them.

“DANGER!” SAM shouted.

Our tale will continue in Episode 50

Episode 49 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 048 “Quick and Painful”

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Welcome to Episode 48 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

A terse meeting with Rajat outside of town led to the return of Elora’s winter cloak, exchanged for information about the Fey touchpoint to the North of Tor. The Brunch Club agreed to scout out the touchpoint in advance, and to keep touch with Rajat using their sending stones.

In exchange, Rajat informed Elora of how they met, saying they had become acquainted when the Obsidian Watch ventured into the Bloodwood.

After making travel preparations, the party ventured to Root Run, where Salys took the group to meet Aggie, a beloved old gnome whom she had grown close with when she lived in town. After spending a night in the village and saying goodbye to Aggie, the group began their journey into the mountains.

After several days of travel, Drusilla caught a glimpse of a shiny object sticking out of the snow, and uncovered a mechanical robot with a distaste for dwarves. The unit’s name has the initials B – I – L – L – Y. Elora decided to call him Sam.

Soon, they journeyed to an abandoned tower Pip spotted for them in the distance, discovering it to be inhabited by a pair of Basilisk. Wary, they decided to send SAM into the tower first.

Episode 48: “Quick and Painful”

Drusilla stared at the Monster Manual, skimming Fredward’s entry on Basilisks in hopes that something could help them prepare for the worst. The information was grim, detailing the fate of those unlucky enough to lock eyes with the creatures.

Concerned, she turned to face their new robotic companion. “SAM, are you immune to a Basilisk’s gaze?”

“What do you mean?” The robot asked, perplexed.

“Well… a basilisk can turn you into stone, just by looking you in the eye.”

With vacant eyes, SAM stared at Drusilla, silent for an uncomfortable few moments before telling her mechanically, “Yes. I am immune.”

He turned to face the tower, his joints creaking softly as began shuffling toward the entryway. An uneasiness permeated the group, the party exchanging nervous glances.

“Wait, wait,” Drusilla whispered, her eyes locked on the monster manual. The robot paused.

“Weasels!” she exclaimed. “Weasels are immune!”

Scrambling, Drusilla withdrew her bag of tricks, eagerly sticking her hand inside and withdrawing a hissing Honey Badger. It wriggled in her grip, claws thrashing angrily in the air.

“Not a weasel.” Diesa pointed out as she sharpened the blade of her axe.

“Well, it’s worth a shot instead of sending SAM to his death.” Elora said, and SAM beeped in gratitude. “I’m going to beast into it.”

Elora reached for the badger, carefully poking the creature in its side. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head as her consciousness merged with the Honey Badger, which quickly went limp.

Elora, now a small Honey Badger, gave Drusilla’s hand a small lick as she set her down. She took a few steps, flailing in the snow as she grew familiar with her new anatomy. She stumbled, glancing up at her companions and squeaking as they stifled laughter at her clumsy attempts to walk.

Eventually, she made her way to the entrance of the tower, poking her head inside to survey the giant creatures. Immediately, her beady badger eyes met the gaze of an enormous scaled Basilisk, and she froze.

She snapped back into her own elvish body, gasping as she returned to her consciousness.

“Are you okay?” Jory asked, trying to hand Elora his Boda Bag as reassurance. She waved it off.

“Definitely Basilisks. Our Honey Badger friend is officially a statue. And probably dinner.” She breathed. “Guys, they’re huge. I don’t know if we should bother with it… I’d like to make it out of these mountains alive.”

Solemnly, the party agreed, and they set to gathering their belongings to go.

“I guess weasels aren’t immune…” muttered Drusilla.

The pass through the mountains provided some shelter from the bitter cold wind as the group journeyed, six days quickly passing. The nights were cold and dark. As the sun set each evening, the group huddled around a small fire, picking at meager rations before retiring under their furs. When the sun rose each morning, so did the party.

On the sixth day, Elora realized they had strayed off course, cursing herself for not noticing sooner. They had lost a day of travel, and temperaments were wearing thin.

As they corrected course, they noted the area they were in was covered with enormous hoof prints in the snow. The prints appeared to be left by enormous, wagon-sized creatures.

“It looks like cow hooves,” Elora noted, and Jory stood in one of the giant imprints.

“Cows!” He exclaimed. “What I would do to cook a big juicy steak right now, with potatoes and gravy and just a pinch of a new spice blend I’ve been saving.”

The members groaned, all but SAM imagining a juicy, home-cooked meal.

“If I have to eat another handful of dried fruit and nuts I might lose it.” Diesa complained as she stomped through the snow.

“Oh, the rations aren’t good enough for the princess,” Salys joked, and Diesa scowled.

As the sun was setting and the group set up camp, Elora fashioned a small trap in hopes of catching game that could satiate their hunger. Morale was low, and it seemed only a proper breakfast could lift the spirit of the Brunch Club.


That night, Elora took watch with SAM. As she stared into the cold, dark night, she could feel the robot’s gaze on her. Each time she turned to face him, he quickly glanced away. Several hours passed before Elora heard a shuffling in the distance.

“Wait,” Elora whispered. “Do you see something?”

She squinted into the darkness, and there it was. A dark, gnarled, humanoid creature with spikes sticking out of its skin. Another joined beside it, and they stared at the encampment.

“Affirmative.” The robot responded.

Moving slowly and keeping her eyes on the monsters in the distance, Elora reached over to Drusilla, poking her shoulder.

“What?” Drusilla murmured, swatting Elora’s finger away.

“We’ve got company,” Elora warned.

“You saw them too?” Drusilla asked SAM, who nodded. Drusilla sat up, following Elora’s gaze into the distance. Where the creatures had been crouching before was now nothing but an empty void, and several more hours passed before they returned, the long, lanky creatures rounding a bend and emerging from behind a giant snowdrift.

Drusilla and Elora quickly shook their companions awake to face the approaching threat. Already alert, Elora reacted quickly, withdrawing her longbow and sinking an arrow into the creature’s ice crusted upper chest. She rapidly loosed a second arrow, which sailed over its head. The creature’s shriek pierced through the night.

SAM beeped and turned to Elora. “He is injured. May I heal him?”

Elora stared momentarily at SAM, incredulous. “What? NO. ATTACK HIM.” She shouted.

SAM nodded, and curled one of his four fists into a tight, metallic ball. It detached from his wrist, launching toward the creature. The hand sailed wide, landing in the snowdrift.

SAM hobbled closer to the beast, launching a second hand. It sailed through the air and collided into its chest, and the creature stumbled backward in momentary confusion.

Salys raised herself from her sleep, yawning. “What the fuck,” she muttered as she stood, her hands already beginning to glow green. “I was having a good dream,” she complained as she shot a fire bolt at the creature, blowing him back into the air. The gnome then rubbed her hands into her sleepy eyes.

Jory had thrashed awake beside Salys, his limbs flailing as he scrambled for his darts. “Take this!” He shouted as he tossed a dart into the abyss, which surprisingly ricocheted off the cliff face and rebounded into the neck of one of the beasts. In the same moment, an arrow flew over its head, and Diesa cursed her poor aim.

A swirl of silver blue light whirled around Drusilla as she cast spiritual guardian, the light taking the shape of a Raven. With several graceful beats of its wings, the light swept toward the hideous pale creatures, clawing at its skin.

Reacting to the onslaught of attacks, the creatures sent a blast of frost in the direction of the party, hitting Diesa and Copper with an arctic blast. Diesa was able to fend off the attack with her magic cloak, but Copper fell instantly unconscious.

Enraged, Elora deftly shot an arrow through the creature’s eye, and it fell to the ground with a resounding crunch in the snow.

The remaining beast roared, and the group continued to exchange blows against the disgusting creature. As the fight wore on, two things became clear. One, that the beast was able to heal itself, seemingly restoring some of its health with each attack. Second, each time it took damage a barrage of ice shot from its body, damaging anyone within a close radius.

Diesa drew back an arrow, ready to shoot the enormous creature.

“Wait!” Elora yelled, “You’ll kill SAM!” The robot was battered and frost crusted from the onslaught of ice he suffered as the creature was wounded.

SAM, having approached the beast in an attempt to get a closer attack range, had taken multiple hits from the splintering ice, and was beginning to short circuit. A series of alarming beeps escaped from his armored exterior.

Diesa loosed the arrow, shrugging. “That thing is going to kill us all if we don’t do something about it!” She yelled back.

The arrow shot into the beast’s shoulder, and a barrage of icicles shot into SAM’s armor. Several flashes emanated from the robot, and with a loud beep he seemed to shut down, crashing into the snow and falling still.

The giant, troll like creature stepped over Sam’s still body, and ran toward the group with an enraged snarl.

“Oh no you don’t,” Salys said as she released a flash of green light from her fingertips, and the beast crashed into the snow at her feet, dead.

Drusilla ran to SAM, attempting to heal him with her magic. Moments passed before he flickered on with a loud series of beeps, and she sighed in relief.

He stood shakily and marched back toward the camp, plopping himself back down into the snow as the others began to settle back into their bedskins.

“Fuck you, dwarf.” He said to Diesa as she rolled to face away from the robot.

“Fuck you, robot.”

Despite their late night battle, the party still rose with the sun, groggy and sore from the fight.

“Hey,” Elora said, elbowing Drusilla. “We caught one.”

Several yards away from where they had made camp, a hare struggled in the snare Elora had set, bright red droplets of blood sinking into the snow around its leg. Drusilla gasped.

“Oh, poor dear. Should we let it go?” The two glanced at each other, and it was clear they had opposing views on the Hare’s fate. The two elves quickly started toward the trap, racing one another toward the hare. Elora drove an elbow into Drusilla’s side as she dove at the trap, beating Drusilla to her prize.

She grabbed the hare, and without a second thought, snapped its neck.

Drusilla gasped, horrified, and Elora tossed the dead hare to Jory, who still sat groggily under his sleeping furs. The lifeless hare landed in his lap with a thud.

“Feel like cooking breakfast, Jory?.” Elora asked, and Jory took a swig from his Boda Bag before reaching into his pack for his knives. Jory’s hands trembled slightly as he skinned the hare, tossing its skin to the side to prepare the meat for breakfast.

Drusilla, still aghast, paced the camp. Elora laughed and grabbed the hare’s skin, slipping it over her forearm as if it were no more than a grusome sock puppet. She turned her hand to Drusilla, making the hare’s mouth move as she spoke through pursed lips.

“Don’t worry!” She said, opening and closing the mouth of the hare with her fingers. “It was a quick, painful death!”

Drusilla gasped in disgust, cursing Elora under her breath as she stormed to the far side of the camp.

“Er, I mean painless.” Elora corrected herself as she let the hare skin fall off her hand and onto the ground.

Well fed and in better spirits, the group continued their journey. The day was bright and sunny, but the air was crisp. All but SAM could see their breath as it escaped their lips, and Copper padded along silently beside the group.

“Do you guys hear that?” Salys eventually asked. She heard a deep hum reverberating off the icy rock faces of the mountain.

“I thought I was going crazy,” Elora responded in agreement. “The humming right?”

Deep humming pitches vibrated through the air, growing progressively louder as they continued onward. Mildly concerned but unable to discern the source of the noise, they continued toward the peak of the mountain.

As they approached the peak, the snow began to merge with pebbles and rocks, giving way to a graveled field of scattered scree.

“Careful, this stuff will slip you up,” Elora commented, her ranger experience kicking in. “It’s like trying to walk across millions of ball bearings.”
The party surveyed the ground, strategizing the best way to cross. Larger boulders were scattered throughout the field.

Opting to cross the top of the slope, they agreed to err on the side of caution and use their petons and climbing gear to traverse across. They tied a rope around Jory, who hiccuped as Elora secured the knots around his small body. Salys tied the rope around herself as well, handing the other end to SAM.

“Wish us luck!” Salys exclaimed as she and Jory cautiously stepped out onto the slippery rock surface. Jory’s foot slipped momentarily and he gasped, but they slowly crept across the gravel field, making it about twenty feet out uneventfully before turning back to the party.

As they approached one of the enormous boulders, they paused to check it out. To no one’s surprise, it looked much like any other boulder they had seen.

One by one, Jory hammered petons into the ground to secure passage for the party members behind him. They secured a safety line through which they hoped to provide safe passage for the remaining party members, with SAM holding the far end of the rope and bringing up the rear.

The group slowly progressed forward, cautiously advancing across the field of gravel. On several occasions, the members slipped, slowly sliding across the gravel field. SAM, continuously drew the party members back in with three arms, his fourth holding a smaller rope that was secured to Copper.

About a quarter of the way across the passage, both Diesa and Copper slipped, sliding down the passage and crashing against one of the enormous boulders.

“Filthy scum dwarf,” SAM bleeped as he tugged at the ropes, pulling both Diesa and Copper back toward safety.

A low rumbling sounded through the air as the boulder began to reshape behind them, rising to a standing position. The enormous rock creature glared at SAM, as the rest of the party stared back, fearful that it may attack. The rock creature stood still and silent.

In a moment, SAM slipped, dragging copper down with him. The rope went taut against one of the pitons they drove into the cliff, which precariously kept hold. He slid into the boulder creature, and gazed up at it.

“Erm, hello.” The robot said. The boulder grunted and kicked SAM out of the way. With a resounding PING, the piton dislodged from the side of the mountain.

SAM, Diesa, and Copper began sliding down the surface, scrambling to regain their footing. With effort, they were able to regain their composure and slowly progress to the other side of the pass. The enormous boulder creature watching solemnly as they haphazardly progressed.

On the other side, a second boulder creature unfurled itself, standing to face the first rock creature.

“Oh my,” Drusilla whispered as the two rocks began to hum, the deep noise they had heard earlier that day permeating through the air. Around them, four boulders began to levitate, hovering above the ground.

SAM beeped, “Dwarf. We forgot something back there. You should go back for it.”

Our tale will continue in Episode 49

Episode 48 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 047 “Golden Gnomes”

Listen Here

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Welcome to Episode 47 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 46, the Brunch Club, despite being hungover, made it to the Scallywag on time and set sail for Sturgeon to meet Rajat. As they got closer to their destination, Diesa noticed the ship started sailing in the wrong direction. When pressed, Captain Hubert answered why. There was a black dragon rumored to live in the bog on the other side of these waters. He wanted to give it a wide berth, just in case the rumors were true. When the wind died, and the air grew chill, and the booming ethereal voice shook the timbers of the Scallywag, he knew the rumors didn’t lie. The voice was familiar to the Brunch Club from the first night they spent in the Bitch Bog. It taunted Jory and Diesa attempting to sow discord among the group by revealing their long held secrets. That Jory was a drunk was not a surprise to the Brunch Club, but the reveal that Diesa was actually a princess who had to flee her village came as quite a shock.

The dragon flew on, and the ship’s sails filled with air and they were once again on their way to Sturgeon. Upon arrival, they went to the Black Lamb, the previous owner of which they killed because he was part of a potion smuggling ring they broke up. The new owner was drunk and asleep in the kitchen, so Jory made them all breakfast.

They later went to a popular watering hole called Jimmy’s where they asked about anyone who had been to Tor. Jimmy told them a local recluse named Fredward had been. They bought a bottle of whiskey and headed to find Fredward. They used the bottle to bribe Fredward into telling them about his adventures in Tor. It so happened he had written and illustrated a book about all the beasts he had run into in his long adventuring life and sold it to them for a large sum of gold. They bid Fredward good night and went to their rooms at the local tavern to get some sleep before meeting Rajat at dawn.

And now…

Episode 47: “Golden Gnomes”

The Brunch Club woke before dawn, dressed warmly, and trudged along the snowy road that led outside the ramshackle town of Sturgeon. Just to the north they saw the middle-aged elf standing in the road, leaning on his staff. His clothes looked dirty and rumpled, except for Elora’s pristine Winter Wolf cloak which hung on his shoulders.

He approached them. Dispensing with any pleasantries he said, “What do you have for me?”

“We have information,” Elora said.
“What information?” Rajat asked quickly.

“I’m not just going to give you information,” Elora replied curtly. “I want something for it.”

“If you want something, you have to give me something.” Rajat shot back.

Jory threw up his hands in frustration at Rajat. “Look, we’re trying to help you. I’m gonna make a fire and cook some breakfast. You can join us and we can have a civilized discussion and help each other, or you can stand there and keep playing tough guy all morning.” The halfling muttered “Chenka Jia help me,” under his breath. He stomped to the edge of the road and began building a fire.

Elora showed him the planar fork and told him about the location of the touch point near Tor.

Rajat relented a little and gave the Winter Wolf cloak back to her.

“So, we gave you what you wanted,” Drusilla said. “We got a planar fork for you and know where the touch point is. So tell Elora about her past and be on your way.”

“You’ve only read about the touchpoint in dusty books.” Rajat snarled. “You don’t actually know if it exists.”

“We can’t do anything about that,” Diesa answered flatly.

“You can scout ahead, find the passage through Tor and locate the touch point. When you do that, I will tell Elora all she wants to know.”

“That’s a big ask,” Salys said. “You gotta give her something else before we agree to that.”

“Like what, gnome?” Rajat asked coldly.

Before Salys could come up with an answer of her own, Elora quickly blurted out “How did we meet?”

He looked at her and his face softened just a little. “We first met when you and your Obsidian Watch came to the Bloodwood. You were looking for answers to a blight that had affected a distant forest. I can’t remember the name.”

“Was there something between us?” Elora asked.

“Yes,” Rajat answered.

“How did it end?” asked Elora

“You never came back,” Rajat sighed.

There was an awkward silence.

“What do you want to do? This is your call,” Jory asked Elora.

“How do we get in touch with you when we find the touch point?” Elora asked Rajat.

The druid shrugged.

“We have a sending stone,” pointed out Drusilla.

They agreed that they would scout out the path to the north and confirm the location of the touch point. In exchange for which, he would tell Elora everything he knew about her past. They also agreed to check in with him once a week.

“Listen here,” Diessa said as she reluctantly handed Rajat the sending stone that paired with Elora’s. “We’re going into the mountains for you. It’s going to be dangerous and require a lot of supplies. Anything you want to give us in the way of compensation?”

“That’s fair,” Rajat said. “I can’t give you gold, but I can give you some healing potions. That will at least help protect my investment.”

Rajat handed them some potions, wished them luck, then transformed into an elk and walked away into the woods. The rest of them finished their breakfast by the fire.

“Sooo…” Salys started as they put out the fire and Jory packed his cooking utensils. “It’s a four day walk to Root Run, we might as well start now.”

The four day walk went by quickly. The Winter Wolf cloaks staved off the bitter cold of night for Diesa, Drusilla and Elora. The three gray furry animals from Drusilla’s bag of tricks helped keep Jory warm at night. As did his mead.

Root Run was small and rustic even compared to Sturgeon. Being further north though, they were able to find a shop with the proper gear for a trek into the mountains. The shop was run by a short gnome named Podrick Tall. He outfitted them with spikes for their boots, petons, and gloves. They also stocked up on twenty days worth of rations.

Being back in Salys’ home town, she took them to meet Aggie, who was a grandmother figure to her when she was younger.

Aggie, a frail, aged gnome in a wooden wheelchair greeted them excitedly and invited them in. “I just made blurpleberry muffins! Would you like some?”

“Really?” Jory asked, suspiciously. “Blurpleberries aren’t very tasty.”

“Don’t be rude, Jory!” scolded Drusilla.

“No, no, no,” Aggie said laughing. “He’s right. They’re normally very gross. But I have a secret recipe!” she said proudly.

They squeezed into the gnome-sized furniture. Aggie brought out warm muffins stacked on a tray.

“Wow! These are delicious!” beamed Jory. “I need to get the recipe!”

She suddenly noticed that Salys looked so much older after only being gone for a relatively short time. They told her about their adventures and about the sixteen years Salys aged as the result of her wild magic side effects during a recent battle.

Salys spent the night with Aggie to continue getting caught up, while the rest of them got rooms at the Root Run Bunk House.

In the morning Salys went to say goodbye to Aggie. The room was quiet and Aggie was unnaturally still. Salys approached and noticed she wasn’t breathing. She sighed and remarked sadly, “Today of all days.”

“Ahah! Gotcha!” Aggie gleefully howled as she sprang up to a sitting position.

“Damn it Aggie, you get me every time!” Salys screamed.

“I can hold my breath for four minutes.” said Aggie, beaming with pride.

“I know! And you still get me!” laughed Salys.

That morning, after an early brunch, they began their journey into the mountains. Over the next three days they climbed higher in altitude. They followed Schitman’s map to the edge of the sable forest, and the cusp of the Aegis mountain range. They camped near the path to the northwest peak where Schitman said the touchpoint would be.

Elora contacted Rajat to update him and got a terse “Thank you” in reply.

They found the path early in the morning and continued their climb into the mountains. Near lunch time, when the sun was at its peak, Drusilla noticed a glint of light flicker on the snow ahead of them. She pointed it out and they approached it cautiously.

They saw a large chunk of metal coated with a thin layer of snow. They brushed enough snow off to reveal a breastplate embedded with crystals. Elora knocked on it expecting it to be an abandoned piece of armor. It sounded solid, not hollow. Elora brushed more snow off. She jumped back when it suddenly started whirring and a mechanical looking humanoid sat up.

The others placed their hands on their weapons. The mechanical humanoid whirred and with an arcane energy as it came to life. Its head turned from side to side. It stood up revealing its six foot height and four arms. It’s armor was covered in runes and gem inlays. Elora was closest to it. It looked at her.

“Register your name,” it said in a monotone, tinny voice.

Elora looked at her companions and shrugged. “Elora Riverleaf,” she said clearly.

It placed two of it’s mechanical hands on her shoulders. It grasped her head on either side with its two remaining arms. The crystals on its breastplate glowed blue.

“Registering!” The mechanical humanoid said. “Elora. Elf. Shall I register your companions?”

“Uh, sure,” Elora said with a little hesitation and introduced each member to him.

The metal man looked at Drusilla. Its eyes glowed. “Registered as ‘Lunar Elf.’”

It looked at Salys. “Registered as ‘Gnome’.”

It looked at the owl sitting on Salys’s shoulder.

“This is Pip,” Salys said.

It looked at the owl familiar for a moment. “Registered as ‘hoot.’”

It looked at Jory and said “Registered as ‘Human Toddler’.”

It looked at Diesa. The crystals on its breastplate changed to a red glow. In Dwarvish, it said in a disgusted voice, “Registered as ‘Dirty Filth Scum’.”

“What did you say?” Diesa asked angrily, lifting her axe.

“Wait, wait,” Jory said, “it might just be doing what its creator asked it too.”

“What are you? Who’s your master?” Diesa said as she marched toward it. When she got closer she noticed that the runes etched into its armor were dwarven runes. They read:

Bio Interactive Lifeforce Longevity … the last word had a scratch across it making it illegible, but Diesa could see it began with the letter ‘Y’.

“I think it’s some kind of healer golem,” Diesa muttered.

When it was done scanning all the members of The Brunch Club it turned back to Elora.

“Thank you for registering.”

“What in the Underdark are you?” Diesa Exclaimed

The mechanical man looked at her and said, “Bio Interactive Lifeforce Longevity Yellowmonkey” It seemed to twitch with a glitchy shudder when it said the last word.

“Uh, a what?” Elora asked.

“Bio Interactive Lifeforce Longevity Yangdeficiency” the mechanical man repeated, but changing the last word, which was said a bit faster.

“What was that last part?” Drusilla asked.

“Bio Interactive Lifeforce Longevity Yellowfever.”

“How did you get here?” Jory asked.

“I don’t know,” it replied mechanically.

“Who built you?” Salys asked.

“I don’t know,” it said again.

“Who do you answer to?” asked Elora.

“To you,” it said.

“You’ll do Elora’s bidding?” Drusilla asked.

“Yes,” it replied.

“Elora, you should tell it not to be mean to dwarves,” she suggested.

“No!” screamed the mechanical man.

“What’s your name?” Jory asked.

“Bio Interactive Lifeforce Longevity Yamnoodle,” it answered, then looked at Jory for a moment before asking, “May I see your container of liquid?”

Jory handed it his bota bag. He threw it several yards away where it disappeared into the snow.

“Why did you do that?” Jory screamed in a shrill, disbelieving voice.

“Alcohol is poison,” it replied in its matter-of-fact monotone voice.

“Okay,” Jory said. “Elora, I think the second thing we need to teach him is not to throw away Jory’s mead.”

Elora turned to the mechanical man. “I’m going to call you ‘SAM.’ Will you answer to SAM?”

“I will answer to SAM,” SAM said.

“Great,” Elora said. “Now listen, SAM. If something happens to me, you must take orders from my friends. Can you do that?”

“I will take orders from your associates,” it said in an even voice. It then twitched, and in a louder, angry voice said, “EXCEPT THE DWARF!”

“Alright, that does it!” snarled Diesa, raising her battleaxe and charging. She swung wildly at SAM. Her battleaxe clanged loudly but harmlessly off his breastplate.

SAM crouched down. All the crystals and runed on his harmor glowed red. Its voice was low and monotone, yet somehow menacing. “Defensive mode engaged,” it said. It then looked at Elora and asked, “Shall I kill Associate Diesa?”

“No SAM, stand down.”

The red glow faded from his armor and he stood up. “I should have expected that from a filthy dwarf,” it muttered in a disgusted tone.

With their new healing contraption joining them, the group proceeded on their way. They followed the path deep into the forest that clung to the base of the mountains.

As the trees thinned and they became more exposed, Salys called for her familiar, “Hey Pip, wanna fly ahead and check things out? It’s been a while since you did some recon for us.”

The adorable fluffy white pygmy owl poked its tiny head out from the hood of Salys’s robe.

“Fuck no!” it said in a gruff, annoyed voice that only Salys could hear. “It’s fucking cold.”

“You got feathers, you’ve got wings, use them,” Salys commanded.

Pip sighed and reluctantly flew into the air ahead of them. When he returned he told them he saw a stone tower in the distance perched atop a steep hill. It looked abandoned.

It was late in the afternoon so the group decided to inspect the tower in hopes it would make a good shelter for the night.

They approached the base of the hill cautiously. Salys sent Pip into the tower to make sure it was uninhabited.

Pip flew up, landed outside the entrance, and slowly walked into the darkness of the tower. Almost immediately he flew out. He shot straight down toward them.

“Oh fuck. Oh fuck,” he breathed heavily, nestling into Saly’s hood. “Two lizards. Big ones. The size of robot man.”

“Could you tell what kind of lizards?” Salys asked.

“Big fucking lizards. What else do you want to know?”

Drusilla retrieved the monster book Fredward gave them and flipped through the pages in front of Pip. “Stop me if it’s one of these.”

Drusilla showed the owl all the illustrations of lizards while Pip looked on.

“It was either a basilisk or giant lizard.” Pip told Sayls.

“Well, let’s climb up there and send SAM to check it out.” Jory said. “If it’s a basilisk it can’t turn a magical construct to stone, can it?”

“One way to find out!” Exclaimed Diesa. “I think it’s a great idea.”

The hill was steep enough that they had to walk up it carefully. They were surprised to see SAM’s bulky form stride quickly and effortlessly past them to the top of the hill.

Our tale will continue in Episode 48

Episode 47 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 046 “Under New Management”

Listen Here

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Welcome to Episode 46 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

After leaving the Library, the Brunch Club prepared to part for the Aegis Mountains, where they hoped to find a Fey touchpoint. They coordinated passage to Sturgeon with Captain Hubert aboard his ship, The Scallywag.

Captain Hubert encouraged the Brunch Club to check out a local dive bar called the Crusty Clam for Trivia Night, and the party agreed it sounded like a good time. While selling their newly acquired gemstones at ‘I Don’t Karat All’, Salys asked Tuft to join them for the evening.

That night, the game of Trivia was a bust, but the group managed to enjoy their time. After, Salys and Tuft decided to continue enjoying one another’s company, while Diesa opted to take a room with a different kind of company the Crusty Clam had to offer.

Asking for someone who “made their patrons feel vulnerable,” Diesa found herself accompanied by Rose, who agreed to share her secrets in exchange for more gold. In a sexually-charged exchange, Rose informed Diesa of the identity of the Dark Serpent, the political tidings in Sturgeon, and one big, juicy secret: that Lord Windsor was operating as a human sex trafficker.

Meanwhile, Salys and Tuft decided to go “back to his crib”, encountering two thieves on the way to his home. Salys convinced them that they had just spent most of their money paying for “the weird stuff” at the Crusty Clam, and were allowed to continue on their way.

Episode 46 “Under New Management”

The docks were bustling with activity the next morning. Stinking, hungover sailors hurried to prepare the ships for departure, grumbling as they hauled goods across the Pier. The Brunch Club hardly looked better for wear after their night at the Crusty Clam, moaning as they made their way to the Scallywag.

“Welcome aboard!’ Captain Hubert exclaimed, the peg-legged captain exalting in the early morning mist. He seemed unaffected by the previous night’s debauchery. “Make yourselves at home, and we’ll be to Sturgeon before you know it!”

The captain led the group onto the ship, shouting commands at his crew as he gave the party the grand tour of the Scallywag. Their sleeping quarters were modest, with worn hammocks hung from the ceiling that swayed softly. Etchings from past travelers were carved into the walls, ranging from romantic scrawlings to haggard remarks.

As the party settled in, they began recounting the evening prior amongst one another.

“… Yeah, so we told them we were into the weird stuff,” Salys said, and the others burst into laughter. The gnome had taken out her woodcarver’s tool, scraping the letters T. U.F. T. into the wall as she sat cross-legged looking toward it.

She cocked her head, staring at the letters.

“Nahh,” she decided and began scratching the letters out. “It was good… but not that good,” she explained.

Diesa described her evening with Rose, leaving out the more intimate details of what transpired between them the night prior. She informed the party of Lord Windsor’s Sex Trafficking activity, confirming that he was someone that they should soon deal with. She then suggested, blushing ever so slightly, that they try to use Rose as an ongoing source of intelligence.

The next days passed uneventfully as the group settled into periods of aimless wandering about the ship, games of cards and chess, and anxious planning for their arrival in Sturgeon.

The planning was contentious, but they reached several small conclusions in their discussion. The party agreed that Elora should use Rajat to learn what she could about her past, using their information about the Fey TouchPoint as a bargaining chip. They also discussed the possibility of simply letting the Archfey that guards the touchpoint deal with Rajat as they saw fit.

There were differing opinions when it came to what they should do if given the opportunity to travel to the Feywild.
Jory looked pale at the thought, “I would die.” He said confidently. “I’m not as strong or brave as you guys, I-I don’t know if I would make it.”

Salys expressed her own concerns. “I’d rather not risk losing my memories,” she argued nervously, “us non-elves have to think about that. Besides, I don’t know if I trust what I’ve heard of the Fey… it sounds too good to be true, and Saberhagan didn’t seem much too fond of his experience there.”

“I’ve got some more business to take care of on this plane,” Diesa muttered.

Elora and Drusilla, on the other hand, entertained the idea.

“I think it would be fun,” Drusilla admitted, “we could learn so much about our ancestry.”

“Depending on what Rajat says… I have to admit, I’m curious.” Elora said, pondering the idea.

Jory took a big swig from his Bota Bag, wavering slightly as he stood. “I’ve said my piece. If you need me, I’ll be meditating on deck.”

Mid-afternoon the following day, the party huddled above deck, trying to catch the last bit of sun before it began its descent over the horizon. Elora gazed toward the setting sun, something giving her pause.

She drew her compass from her pocket and stared intently for a moment. “We’re turning South,” she stated to the others, showing them the compass as the needle vibrated over the ornate ‘S’.

Diesa marched to the bow of the ship. “Hey, Hubert! Sturgeon’s North.”

The Captain glanced at Diesa.

“That’s ‘Captain’ to you, dwarf. And, I’m well aware. We’ve heard rumors of a dragon living in the bog, probably a crock but I like to give it a wide berth just to be safe.”

Diesa nodded, recalling the stories her comrades had told her about the Bitch Bog. “Captain,” she corrected herself.

Night fell quickly as the ship sailed onward, water lapping quietly at its sides.

“Is it getting really cold?” Salys asked as she shivered, and the others agreed. Even compared to the brisk chill they had encountered over the past several days, the air was now bitter cold.

The sails of the Scallywag slackened as the wind died out, and suddenly, the only sound that could be heard was the tired creaking of the ship. For several moments, the party exchanged anxious glances, questioning the quick change in atmosphere.

“I’ve not seen you before… Diesa.” A voice hissed. The timber of the ship vibrated beneath their feet. It was a voice several of the group members had heard before, encountered in the Bitch Bog many weeks ago.

“You mastermind you. A keeper of so many secrets… when will you share your own?”

“You sniff out the lies in the world, yet you never tell your own. A Chieftain’s daughter, and with debts to pay… Princess. Your heart is as black as my scales.”

Diesa stood still, exposed. Her hand rested on the hilt of her axe as the Dragon’s voice continued.

“And you, you worthless drunk. Worshipping someone who was no more than a worthless drunk himself. You try to find meaning at the bottom of a bottle, but no matter how much you drink there’s nothing there. Maybe one day you’ll prove you’re worth something more than your wit.”

“Well that’s not that creative,” Jory whispered to his companions nervously.

“Drusilla, still a poor little girl, thousands of miles from home. That drivel scribbled onto a scroll of paper… it just keeps growing, doesn’t it? Do you feel yourself slipping into a spiral of nonsense? When will you give up and realize it’s all for naught? You may think you’ve found a new family in your companions, but they’ll end up just like your last.”

“And Salys,” He laughed to himself. “I’m starting to like you. Trading in those closest to you for power – first your Father, now your friend. Why should you be so lucky to live while they perish? Why should you be on this earth to breathe this air, while he cannot? You could learn a lot from me, we will see each other again.”

“Elora, you’ve found the scraps of your previous life, I see… but how much of it is the truth, and how much is just more lies? How do you even know you can trust these people? You seem to think you’re on the path to enlightenment… I will leave you with that quaint thought.”

“I look forward to seeing you all again – maybe in person, so I can see the look on your faces next time we speak.”

Several moments of silence passed before the wind began to pick back up, the sails of the Scallywag shuddering back to life.

“What the fuck was that?” Captain Hubert called across the ship, cutting through the silence. “You failed to mention that you knew the dragon in the bog.”

Salys laughed nervously. “I mean, knowing him might be a stretch. We, uh, encountered him once. In the bog.”

The Captain shook his head, “Shoulda charged you more. What’re you lot looking at, back to work!” He yelled at his crew and they quickly began resuming their duties.

Jory glanced at Diesa. “Princess?”

“With… debts to pay?” Drusilla pressed, her arms crossed.

Diesa shrugged. “Look, guys, it doesn’t matter. I don’t love the term but yeah, I guess I’m a Princess. Really not a big deal.”

“But, are there people looking for you? Your family?” Salys asked.

“Oh, they probably think I’m dead,” Diesa answered.

“You said you lived in poverty!” Jory exclaimed.

“Oh, goodness no. We’re fucking rich.” Diesa laughed. “Well, I mean maybe not so rich at the moment, I did make one itty mistake.” She paused, and the group urged her to continue.

“There was… a heist. It went south, fast. My family owed some money, and I found a way to steal it back. Repaying our debt would be the best way to prove that I should be the leader of my clan, not my idiot brother. Needless to say, it didn’t go well… so I fled.”

“So we’ve got a princess on our hands!” Salys shrugged.

“My real name is Diesa Brawnanvil, of the Brawnanvil Clan. Don’t call me princess. ” Diesa retorted.

Silence fell over the group for a few moments, before Drusilla noted, “what he said about Vorjohn… don’t listen to him, Salys.”

Salys sighed, “I would never do that to someone I cared about.”

After seven full days at sea, the Scallywag ported in Sturgeon. To celebrate their arrival, the group had several drinks onboard the Scallywag, and found themselves stumbling into the small, bustling village.

“It reminds me of when we all first met!” Drusilla exclaimed into the crowd, “I wonder if the rats ever came back to the Black Lamb after we took care of them?”

“Well, it’s likely under new management now, considering…” Salys responded.

“Considering what?” Diesa asked.

“Oh! We killed the last owner!” Elora responded casually. Several people in the crowd stopped to gape at the group before averting their gaze and scurrying away.

Curious about the fate of the Black Lamb, they decided to head there for a quick brunch. The wooden door slammed shut behind them as they entered the bar, only to find it deserted.

“Hello?” They called into the empty space. The bar and stools at the Black Lamb were covered in dust, and the mismatched glassware behind the bar looked to be coated in a thin layer of grime. A faint snoring came from the kitchen.

Jory crept into the kitchen, nearly tripping over the large, drunken man curled up on the kitchen floor. An empty bottle of whiskey sat beside him, and a thin trail of drool extended from the corner of his mouth. Jory poked him, and the man haphazardly swept at his hand, eyes still closed.

“Um, hi. My name is Jory. I see you’re taking a nap so I don’t want to take too much of your time. My friends and I are pretty hungry so I’m just going to slip you 5 gold if you don’t mind us helping ourselves to some food and ale?”

“Sure,” the man groaned, opening one bloodshot eye to gaze at Jory. He then grunted as he rolled to face away from the Halfling, his snores quickly resuming.

After lunch, the group decided to find rooms at the Original Tavern. They asked the innkeep where the locals hung out, to which he answered “Not the Black Lamb, any more. Now they go to Jimmy’s.”

The party shot him an inquisitive look.

“Used to be his house, but people kept showing up. Now, he lives upstairs and downstairs is his business. Jimmy’s.”

“Has… anyone been to Tor lately?”

“Well, there’s this one guy. Frederick. A bit of an introvert. Probably at home writing some books.”

“Maybe we should check it out. Does he drink?” Drusilla asked. The innkeep informed them that they could buy some whiskey at Jimmy’s, if they had some available.

Jimmy’s itself was crowded to the rims. A few townspeople stood outside speaking animatedly, and a whir of voices spread through the air. Through the frosted glass windows they could hear cheering, belching, and laughter emanating from inside.

They made their way through the entrance, the door slamming behind them. Heat washed over the group, both from the fires and the close bodies crowded into the room.

A stout gentleman approached the group, with a monkish, circular round of hair around his head.

“Ah, new to Jimmy’s? Welcome, I’m Jimmy!” He exclaimed as a patron clapped him on the shoulder.

“We heard this is the place to be in town!” Drusilla responded, her voice raised to combat the noisy crowd. “Do you sell any whiskey? Or shots?”

‘Two bottles it is!” He exclaimed, asking the group for two silver to cover the charge. He handed Drusilla and Elora each a bottle of yellowed liquid. “Enjoy!”

Quickly, the Brunch Club polished the first bottle of whiskey, passing it around amongst themselves and grimacing after each swig. It wasn’t the finest whiskey they had tasted, but the bite warmed them from the inside, removing any remaining chill from the outdoors.

Slurring and inebriated, they drunkenly decided to head to Frederick’s.

It was another cold night, but the party was warmed by the first bottle of whiskey they had consumed. They walked in jagged lines, following the instruction of the innkeep who had told them where Frederick’s home was located. They found themselves at a nondescript, two-story home.

Striding confidently up the front steps, Elora knocked at the door. Several moments of silence passed before she knocked again, to no response.

Diesa huffed, picking up a pebble and throwing it at an upstairs window. A moment later a light turned on, and a slight shuffling could be heard from the indoors. The door opened just a sliver, held fast by several chain locks. A pair of big eyes staring at the group from through the crack.

“Fredrick?” Drusilla asked.

“Um, my name is Fredward. Who are you?” He asked through the small opening in the doorway.

“We’re, um, the Brunch Club. And we have some questions if you don’t mind us joining you.”

“Do you like whiskey?’” Jory asked, and Elora held up the second bottle.

“If it’s free, I do!” He responded. Fredward closed the door, and a clicking could be heard from behind. Shortly he had unlocked all six of the locks, opening the door to his visitors.

Fredward’s home was covered in souvenirs from what they had to assume were travels all over the world. The home was unkempt, and Fredward cleared stacks of scrolls and books from his furniture to give the group members a place to sit.

A black, furred creature was splayed across the floor as a rug, with long tails protruding in multiple directions. Its claws were long, and its fangs even longer.

“What is this?” Drusilla asked, gesturing at the rug to break the ice.

“Well, it’s a Displacer Beast I encountered years ago in the Bloodwood, kept it as a souvenir,” he admitted. “We had gone to scalp some elves, no offense, but it wasn’t quite the mercenary work I had in mind.” He shrugged as Elora and Drusilla shifted uncomfortably.

“What brings you to my living room?” He asked as he poured a bit of whiskey into his cup.

“Well… we want to learn about the Gates of Tor,” Drusillla responded. “We heard that you’ve been, and we’re particularly interested in what encounters you’ve had that way”

He paused, eyeing the group. “There isn’t much, now. Some ruins and abandoned towers. Outposts, whatever. Most have been plundered. Out in the mountains, things get less friendly – the terrain is rough, as with those you’ll encounter there.”

“There are orc clans, some cyclopsis, a roc, a bahir. We’ve seen it all in those mountains.”

“A Bahir?” Drusilla asked.

“Dangerous bastards. Rare beings. A bit of a cross between a centipede and a lizard. Lots of legs, those ones. The trails out there aren’t well kept, either, you’ll want climbing spikes, for sure.”

“Why did you go there, to Tor?” Jory asked.

“This or that.” Fredward responded curtly.

Jory asked if Fredward had been to the gates of the Feywild, to which he explained that he was unable to get through, having had difficulty opening the gates. Fredward stood up, walking to a stack of books in the corner of the room. He brushed off the leather spine and held it toward the group.

“I finished a book, it explains the monsters I’ve encountered and how to deal with them. 20 Gold, and worth every coin if you’re planning to head that way.” Salys took hold of the book, quickly flipping through its pages, which were filled with ornate drawings and notes on what must have been almost a hundred different creatures.

“Have you heard of a touchpoint?” Jory asked, looking from the book back up at Fredward.

“No, but I haven’t looked.”

The party polished several more rounds of whiskey with Fredward before the conversion waned, and soon they were all yawning. With their newly purchased monster manual, they shook hands with Fredward and agreed that they would meet again someday, in due time.

“By the way, I prefer gin.” He called after them as they left his home, stepping out into the dark of night.

Our tale will continue in Episode 47

Episode 46 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 045 “The Weird Stuff Costs More”

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Welcome to Episode 45 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club: 

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.  

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 44, the Brunch Club returned to Elnor and bade farewell to Kalavar. During dinner with Solania they learned that the unfriendly librarian, Shittman, was obsessed with all things Elvish. Drusilla shared her prophecy with him in exchange for the location of a touch point where they would be able to send Rajat to the Feywild. Schittman was thrilled with the prophecy. He told them it was most likely the long-lost first half of the Moon Fall prophecy that foretold the emergence of an ominous presence called “The Hungerer.” The librarian shared some information related to Elora’s past with the Obsidian Watch and told them the closest Fey touch point was near the Gates of Tor in the Aegis mountains.

And now…

Chapter 45 “The Weird Stuff Costs More” 

The Brunch Club left the Crystal Spire Library feeling more hopeful than they had in quite some time. They didn’t have what would be called a ‘fully formed plan,’ but they had a destination, which was more than they had before. 

This newfound purpose, or newfound direction at least, rode with them as they descended steep cliffs in magic elevators to Elnor’s Dock District.

They found the harbor master’s office and asked if there were any ships sailing to Sturgeon leaving soon.

The Harbor Master informed them that the light merchant vessel, “Scallywag” was leaving for Sturgeon at first light tomorrow morning. He told them where on the docks the vessel was berthed.


With the salty beard, tanned skin, crinkled eyes and bandana around his neck, Captain Hubert was the living archetype of a sea captain. He even had a wooden peg replacing the lower half of one leg.

Diesa remarked about how tall he was as they approached. He turned toward them, smiled, and said, “Aye, and I’d be even taller, but as ye can see, I lost a foot.”

Yes, he could take them to Sturgeon. It would cost them 5 gold each, 4 gold for Jory, since he was so small. The Scallywag would set sail two hours after sunrise tomorrow, with or without them.

They promised to be there.

The Brunch Club wondered how to spend the night waiting for the ship. Captain Hubert mentioned he would be spending his night at a local dive bar called “The Crusty Clam.”

“How are the drinks?” asked Drusilla.

“Bad, but cheap,” Hubert answered.

“How’s their whoring?” Diesa asked.

“Bad, but cheap,” the captain repeated.

“Sounds perfect,” smiled Elora.

“Tonight’s a good night to go, too!” Hubert told them. “It’s Trivia Night!”


There were a few hours left in the day, so the five adventurers decided to head back up the cliffs and into the main city.

They visited the “I Don’t Karat All” jewelry smith with the intention of trading some of their looted gems for gold to raise money to buy a Bag Of Holding. This also gave Salys a chance to reunite with Tuft.

They entered the store and saw Tuft busily working on a piece of jewelry. He looked up when he heard them enter. He was wearing a pair of jeweler’s glasses which made his eyes look comically large.

Salys laughed. Tuft grinned sheepishly, took the glasses off, and greeted them. 

“What can I do for The Brunch Club today?” he asked.

“We have some gems we’d like to sell, if you’re buying,” Salys said. 

Tuft said they were always in the market for quality gems. He took the bag from them and told them he’d be right back. He needed to go into the back room where the scales were.

“Can I watch?” Salys asked, following him closely.

“Sure!” Tuft said, beaming.

“Can I watch too?” Diesa asked. The others snickered.

“Um, no,” said Tuft, and closed the door behind them.

As Salys and Tuft went into the back room, The Brunch Club quickly gathered close to the counter. They leaned toward the door as far as they could so they could hear the two gnomes’ conversation.

“So… how do you like living upstairs with your grandmother?” Salys asked.

“Oh! It’s great!” Tuft said with earnest sincerity. “I think family is very important, don’t you?”

In the front room, the others looked at each other nervously, knowing Salys’s fatal relationship with her own father.

“Not to me,” Salys replied quickly, without seeming upset.

The conversation seemed to stall. “So…” Salys started, searching for something else to say.

“Do you want to spend the night with me?” Tuft blurted out.

They heard laughter from the front of the store.

Tuft’s face reddened, and he added quickly, “I mean, like go out, go do something, hang out?”

Before Salys could reply, they heard Elora call out, “Invite him to the Crusty Clam!”

“Yeah, so we’re going to this cool sounding dive bar down at the docks tonight. You want to come with us?” Salys asked him. “It’s Trivia Night,” she added, trying to sweeten the deal.

Tuft did like trivia, and was happy to be invited and spend time with the beguiling sorceress. He was a little disappointed that it wouldn’t be alone. Nevertheless, he happily agreed.

“Yay!” They heard the others cheer from the other room. Salys sighed and rolled her eyes. 


They left the jewelry store with fifteen less gems, but six-hundred more gold pieces. Tuft had given them the name of an enchanted goods emporium where they might be able to find a Bag Of Holding. He also told them where they could have a sending spell cast.

At the Wizard Ward Wares, they purchased their Bag of Holding. Drusilla, asked about another bag that caught her eye. It was an unassuming furry grey bag. The enchanter explained it was a Grey Bag of Tricks. Once a day the owner could withdraw up to three random, small furry creatures that do your bidding. The creatures vanish at dawn the next day.  The animals withdrawn could be a weasel, giant rat, badger, boar, panther, giant badger, dire wolf, or giant elk.

Drusilla was already counting the gold out before the enchanter finished the description of the item.

Their next stop was a small nook of a shop called “Correspondence.” They wrote down the twenty-five word message for the wizard to magically send to Rajat. He was to meet them in Sturgeon seven days from tomorrow.

Rajat replied that he would be there and hoped “it was worth his time.”


The Crusty Clam was filled to capacity. All the tables were occupied with drinks and their drinkers.

They saw Tuft standing against the wall, keeping an eye on the door. A dwarf walked past him and ruffled his bright red hair.

“Boy, am I glad to see you,” Tuft sighed when they approached. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my hair ruffled in the last half hour.”

“Looks like we’ll have to stand,” muttered Drusilla as she scanned the packed tavern.

“We could fight someone for their table,” Diesa suggested, only half joking.

Jory walked to a table with drunken confidence. The six large, burly sailors sitting at it didn’t even see him until he cleared his throat.

The sailor closest to him looked down. “What do you want, kid?” he asked.

“I’m not a kid, I’m a halfling,” Jory told them. “And I have a bet for you.”

“Scram kid,” another of them said.

“Halfling.” Jory corrected.

“Scram kid,” the sailor repeated.

Jory shrugged. “Okay. But if you won, you would have made a gold each.”

The table fell quiet. The first sailor looked at him, curiously. “What’s the bet, Halfling?”

“I’ll let one of you try to punch me in the face. If you hit me, I’ll give you each one gold. If you miss, you give my friends and I your table.”

The sailors laughed. They took the bet, and chose which of them would attempt to punch the Halfling for easy money.

Jory assumed a defensive stance and concentrated on his opponent’s body language. The sailor was quick, but Jory easily sidestepped the punch, causing his opponent to lose his balance and almost fall on his face.

The sailors groaned and reluctantly gave up their table, playfully ribbing their companion for ruining their chance at some easy gold.

Jory’s companions joined him at the table.

The six of them ate and drank and eventually noticed a young human man with long hair set up a table in the corner of the bar. He placed sheets of parchment, inkwells, and quills on the edge of the table. Diesa got up and walked over to him.

“‘Sup?” Diesa said.

“Sup?” the young man replied, barely looking up as he organized his table.

“You the trivia guy?” Diesa asked.

“Triva Bard?” he corrected.

Diesa threw a gold coin on the table. The bard looked at it. His eyes lit up for a second, before his brow furrowed. “If someone knew I let a team bribe me to win I’d get my ass kicked.”

“It’s not a bribe,” Diesa said. “I want you to ask a specific question, then give me everyone’s answers when it’s over.” Diesa wrote her question down and slipped it to him. He read it, nodded at her,  and took her gold.

Diesa brought their answer sheet and quill back to their table and they waited for Trivia Night to begin.

When it did begin,  Brunch Club felt extremely confident as the first question was, “How many heads does a Chimera have?”

Having fought one, they knew the answer was “Three”.

The next question: “How are Hags made?” The Brunch Club knew that one too, having witnessed a Hag born from the possessed form of a thirteen year old girl.

“What color dragons can be found in swamps?” They had seen a black dragon in the swamps of the Blue Litch Bog.

“What do Beholders use their extra eyes for?” This question took a little joy out of the game for them. It brought back the image of the undead beholder’s eyebeam disintegrating Salys before Vorjhon sacrificed himself to bring her back.

“What do Clerics use their holy symbols for?” They slid the parchment to Drusilla, who wrote about the spell-focusing power of her holy symbol.

“How did Winter Wolves get their name?” The Brunch Club remembered the deadly power of the Winter Wolves’ icy breath when they fought them and got their Winter Wolf cloaks.

“And now for the bonus question,” the Trivia Bard said, “Who is the Dark Serpent?”

The Brunch Club felt confident about their answers and listened eagerly as the bard read them back:

“Chimeras have two heads.”

The Brunch Club looked at each other with puzzled looks on their faces.

“Hags are born during an eclipse.”

“What the fuck?” Elora said. “He doesn’t know shit.”

“Green dragons are found in swamps.”

The Brunch Club shot angry looks at the bard.

“Beholders use their eye stalks to prevent their enemies from sneaking up on them.”

“Well that’s just not true,” muttered Salys.

“Clerics use their Holy Symbols to prevent the undead from attacking them.”

Drusilla stewed, wordlessly.

“Winter wolves are called winter wolves because they prefer cold climates.”

“I think he’s making everything up.” Jory whispered.

Finally the host said, “No one answered the bonus question correctly so the identity of the Dark Serpent remains a secret.”

“Well that was bullshit,” said Elora.

“I’m gonna go get the answers I paid for,” said Diesa, standing up. 

“I think you should all go up there and tell him how wrong he was,” suggested Jory. “I’ll stay here with Tuft.”

As the others left the table, Jory flagged down a barmaid, requested a bottle of moonshine and two shot glasses. He filled each glass with the clear, strong smelling liquid and slid one of them over to Tuft. The glasses were like tumblers in their small halfling and gnome sized hands. Tuft sipped his gingerly. Jory downed his whole glass in one gulp.

As Drusilla, Salys and Elora explained to the bard how wrong his answers were, Diesa thumbed through all the written answers regarding the Dark Serpent’s identity. They confirmed what she already knew and offered no additional information.

When they got back to the table, Tuft was half way done with his glass of moonshine and grinned happily when he looked at Salys. Jory was filling his third glass.

The night wore on and eventually Drusilla, Elora, and Jory felt like calling it a night. They inquired about rooms.

Rooms without company cost three silver. Rooms with company cost five.

They chose the “without company” rate.

Salys and Tuft decided to stay at the bar.

Diesa wasn’t ready to turn in but didn’t want to be a third wheel to Tuft and Salys. She took a room with company.

As their friends left, Salys bid them good night and told them not to wait up. 

“You two be safe,” Drusilla said to them. “And if you get into any trouble, you have the other half of my Rockie Talkie. Just call me.”

“Yes, mom,” teased Salys, theatrically rolling her eyes.

Tuft smiled as his cheeks turned red with alcohol and embarrassment. 

Elora and Jory stood by the door inside Drusilla’s room and watched the cleric open the Gray Bag of Tricks. She reached her hand in and pulled out a ball of gray fluff. She tossed it on the ground and it transformed instantly into a gray panther. It stood, looking at her. She commanded it to be still.

She pulled out another gray ball of fluff, tossed that to the floor, and it turned into a gray badger. The third ball of fluff produced a second badger.

Drusilla spoke to each of the animals, giving them their commands. She told one badger to snuggle with Elora, one to snuggle with Jory, and the Panther to snuggle with her.

Elora happily clutched the warm fuzzy badger to her chest and went to her room. Jory took one of Drusilla’s pillows, laid it on the floor and used that for his mattress. He used the badger for his pillow.

Drusilla commanded the panther to curl up next to her in bed. 

They all drifted off to sleep, aided by the warm animals snuggling with them.

When the tavern keeper showed Diesa her room, she asked if she had any requests for her companion for the night. Diesa thought for a moment and said, “Send me someone who makes your patrons feel the most vulnerable.”

The madam cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Do you have a gender preference?” 

Diesa shook her head.

“Go to room 3D, get comfortable, and wait for Rose.”

Diesa went to the room. She did not take off any of her armor. She found the darkest corner of the room, crossed her arms, and leaned against the wall to wait.

The door opened. A beautiful woman walked in. She wore only the sheerest of veils which left nothing to the imagination. She looked at Diesa and smiled.

“Sit down,” Diesa said, moitioning to the bed. “You can cover yourself up with a sheet or something. I’m not interested in your body. I want to ask you some questions.”

Rose approached confidently. She sat on the corner of the bed closest to Diesa. She did not cover herself. “You only paid for my body, not my secrets.”

“How much are your secrets worth?” Diesa asked, tossing a gold coin next to her on the bed.

“More than my body,” Rose replied, ignoring the gold coin.

“How much?

“That depends on the secrets. You want the dime a dozen ones you could hear in any dockside bar, or the big, juicy, hefty secrets?” Rose said. “Or we can start small and work our way up to the bigger ones if you want.”

Diesa narrowed her eyes at the barely clothed woman. “I want good information. If you rob me, I’ll cut off your left tit.”

Rose’s eye contact never broke, and her smile never waned. “But I need that one,” she replied coyly.

Diesa cracked a very slight smile. She had to admit inwardly that Rose was a formidable, self-assured woman. She liked her. “Tell me what you know about the Dark Serpent? And don’t tell me he’s a low level thief who likes to talk big, because I’ve heard that already.”

“Why do you want to know about him?” Rose asked. The genuine curiosity broke through her seductive facade.

“He wrote me a letter,” Diesa replied, referring to the note they had found at the abandoned mineshaft when she first joined the Brunch Club.

“Ohhh! Scandalous,” Rose teased. “Information about the Dark Serpent will cost you two gold.”

“One gold,” countered Diesa.

“One gold and a kiss,” replied Rose.

“Fine.” Diesa said.

Rose told Diesa that The Dark Serpent’s name was Richard, and despite his reputation of being a petty thief that talks big, he was actually quite good at what he did. He prefered to steal and sell magic items rather than mundane gold and gems.

“What do you know about Sturgeon?” Diesa asked.

Rose told her that Sturgeon was a backwater town with not a lot going on there. She did hear there was a decent-sized potion smuggling operation there, but it was discovered and terminated a few weeks ago. She also said there were rumors that if the Kingdom of Drazean were ever to invade and claim Elnon for itself, Sturgeon would be one of the towns they attacked first.

“Have you ever heard of a druid named ‘Rajat’?” asked Diesa.

“It does not ring a bell,” Rose said.

Diesa thought for a moment about other questions she could ask, but couldn’t think of any, so she asked, “What about the ‘big, juicy, hefty’ secrets? How much for those?”

“Fifty gold,” Rose replied without hesitation. “I assure you they’re worth it. Dirty little secrets about very powerful people.”

“Fifty gold? How do I know they’re real?” Diesa asked.

“You’ll just have to trust me,” Rose replied. “After all, don’t you like to feel vulnerable?”

“No,” Diesa said, flatly. “I just like secrets given up by vulnerable people. What about a favor? Anyone hurt you that you want killed?”

Rose laughed softly. “I’m flattered, but no. I know how to take care of myself.”

“Fine. Fifty gold,” agreed Diesa. “What do you know?”

“Do you know Lord Raymond Windsor? A local, ‘Businessman’ who owns the Jade Serpent?”

“I’ve met him briefly,” Diesa said, thinking back to Lady Tirol’s gala.

Rose informed Diesa that Windsor was a human sex trafficker, getting his sex workers from slavers from all over the world. He was very, very wealthy and therefore influential. But he might be getting nervous and keeping things more under wraps now that Kalavar has arrived.

“Are you here of your own free will?” Diesa asked.

Rose’s easy smile faded slightly. “Whore’s don’t typically choose to be whores, free will or not. It may not be the life I dreamed for myself, but we all have to do what we can to survive.  At least I’m not at the Jade Serpent anymore.”

“You were one of Windsor’s slaves?”

Rose nodded. Her smile had dissolved entirely. 

“How’d you get out?” pressed Diesa.

“You’ll notice he has a scar on his cheek,” Rose said with a hint of pride in her voice, though it had become a little shaky as unpleasant memories flooded back to her. “And I’m good at taking advantage of powerful people who like to feel vulnerable.”

“It seems like the tables turned on you tonight,” Diesa said with a smirk, but not mean, or teasing. “I think I’m the one who made you feel vulnerable.”

The smile returned to Rose’s face. “That may be. But you still owe me fifty-two gold and a kiss.”

“And five silver for your body,” added Diesa as she leaned toward Rose’s lips.

Salys and Tuft finished their drinks shortly after their friends left. Salys turned to Tuft and said, “So.. want to go back to your crib?” 

“I sleep in a bed,” said Tuft. 

Salys laughed. “Are you drunk?”

“I think I can walk,” he smiled. “But we can’t be too loud when we get home.”

“Woah, planning a big night?” Salys joked.

“I mean, I mean,” Tuft stammered. “When we walk through the door. There’s a bell on it. I don’t want to wake my Grandma. She’s usually a heavy sleeper, but she’s always listening for the bell.”

They took the elevator back up to the city and began walking to Tuft’s. As they walked and chatted Tuft said suddenly, “I think that guy is watching us.”

Salys followed the direction of Tuft’s pointing finger. A figure walked out of the darkness toward them. He drew his short sword.

“I think he has a friend,” Tuft said, as another figure approached them from another corner, sword also drawn.

When they got closer, the first one spoke to them in a threatening, low, gruff tone. “If you give us your gold, we won’t have to gut you.”

“Let me handle this,” Salys whispered to Tuft.

“How?” Tuft asked, worriedly.

“With my amazing personality,” she answered. “Hey, look,” Salys said, turning to the bandit. “We don’t have a lot of money. We just came from the Crusty Clam, you guys look like you’re familiar with it, and we just spent most of our money there.”

“The drinks at the Clam don’t cost that much, little ones.” The second man snarled.

“Well, we weren’t just there for the drinks, if you know what I mean,” Salys said, and winked knowingly at them. “We’re a pretty adventurous couple, and you know… the weird stuff costs more. A lot more.”

As if seeing them for the first time, the bandits looked at the two gnomes that stood before them. They looked, with their bright copper and orange hair, like they would indeed, be into the weird stuff.

“I know you know what I’m talking about,” Salys continued, in a hushed tone. “You guys look like you’ve spent a night or two at the Clam.”

They nodded. One leaned in and spoke even lower, “You ever have that… itch after you been there?”

“It’s funny you should mention that,” Salys told him. “We were just talking about that. We didn’t want to say anything too loud because we didn’t know if it was contagious.”

“Do you know how to get rid of it?” The bandit asked.

“I really don’t,” Salys said. “I was thinking of trying fire.”

The man nodded his head and they let them go on their way in peace.

They hurried on their way. As they let themselves into the jewelry store and up the stairs to Tuft’s room, he asked quietly, “Are you really into the weird stuff?”

Salys smiled. “Define weird.”


Rose woke up. The sun streamed in through the windows onto the sheets. She rolled over. When she realized she was alone she felt surprisingly disappointed. She saw a stack of fifty two gold pieces and five silver on the nightstand. A note lay next to it.

“When I’m back in Elnor, I’ll be looking for more juicy gossip to buy. Information is as good as gold. So were you last night. Maybe the life you dreamed of isn’t out of reach just yet. -D”

Our tale will continue in Episode 46

Episode 45 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 044 Elf Help

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Welcome to Episode 44 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 43, the Plain Truth, Elora approached Rajat in the snow, who did not believe that she had lost her memory. Rajat promised to call off the gnoll attack and tell Elora everything he knows about her past, should she and her comrades help him to find his way back to the Feywild.

The Brunch Club decided to send a pigeon to Trademeet, warning them of the impending attack. Saberhagan shared his knowledge of the Planes with the party: the Material Plane, the Elemental Planes, the Astral Plane, the Shadow Fel, and the Feywild. The latter being a parallel plane existing in the same space as the material plane.

The party returned to the library, where Devon gave Salys her newly charmed pendant. Librarian Schittman reluctantly aided the party by selling them a planar fork attuned to the Feywild.

They encountered Kalavar and called in their favor to help them swiftly remove the threat of the gnolls marching on Trademeet. To their surprise and pleasure, Kalavar invited the party to ride along. Together they overtook the gnolls and eliminated them.

Episode 44 “Elf Help”

The sun was setting over the Crystal Spire Library, the city of Elnor aglow under the blanket of the sun’s last rays. Against the bright sunlight, Kalavar and the Brunch Club were no more than a glint on the horizon, slowly growing larger against the sky as they approached the Crystal Spire.

Kalavar landed with remarkable grace for his size, kneeling to let his passengers climb off of his back. Their legs weary, the Brunch Club took a moment to stretch, bemoaning their tightened muscles.

“My debt to you is now paid, I wish you the best in your future endeavors,” The dragon stated.

He was met with profuse thanks from their party for his aid in defeating the gnolls.

“I know we’re really small and you are very big but… if you ever need our help with anything, let us know.” Jory offered, regarding Kalavar in perpetual awe.

“I will keep that in mind,” the bronze dragon grumbled, his voice cutting through the square. “If you ever need to seek my counsel, I’ll likely be found on the spire, or in the council chambers.”

“Wait,” Salys started, “Can you fit in the council chambers?” As she finished her question, the form of the glimmering dragon began to shift before their eyes, revealing a late middle-aged man in bronze robes in its place.

“It’s a bit easier when I’m in this form,” Kalavar responded, with a slight grin. “I do find it a bit restrictive otherwise, so I prefer to maintain my true form when possible. Plus, I find people are more apt to obey me as a dragon than as an old, bearded human.”

The group agreed, thanking Kalavar once more for his assistance and bowing in respect for their companion.

“I suspect it will be some time before we see one another again. Goodbye.”

As he strode away, the citizens of Elnor gazed in amazement at the robed man, awkwardly bowing as he passed them by, too awestruck to make a sound.

After stopping at the Aviary to send a pigeon to Trademeet, the group decided to find an inn in the Quartz district and treat themselves to a well-deserved meal, inviting Solania to join them.

They wandered into the Quartz district, settling on a night at the Gold Stone Dreamery. The Inn’s walls were made of golden stone, and the carpets deep red. Warm air washed over the party, relieving them from the harsh winter night. The concierge explained to the group the rooms available at the Inn, and each eagerly paid for luxurious rooms in which to rest and bathe after weeks of travel and battle. All but Salys and Jory opted for individual rooms, who chose to purchase a night in the master suite. The concierge assured the two that there would be plenty of space and accommodation for the pair of small beings.

“Do you have a courier service?” Diesa asked the concierge.

Jory blushed, “W-we would like to send a message to Solania, asking her to join us for dinner! Tell her it’s from Jory!” He hiccuped.

“Tell her it’s from the Brunch Club.” Diesa interjected, giving Jory the side-eye.

Jory slid a silver to the concierge, who nodded in approval. “She will have the message within the hour.”

The Inn was among the nicest places the party had stayed. Each room had a warm fireplace, and the walls constructed with elegant stonework. The party took time to bathe, don fresh clothing, and enjoy a few moments of peace before making their way to the tavern.

A tall, slender woman was standing in the doorway of the dining room. She turned to face the party, a look of recognition washing over her face.

“Oh. I got your message, it’s a pleasure. I took the liberty of reserving us a private table already, I hope you don’t mind.” Solania stated. She was wearing a fox fur shawl over her trademark dress, a long slit in her skirt revealing slender, toned legs.

“H-hi,”Jory stammered.

Solania glanced at the halfling, “Um, hello. Shall we eat?”

Solania leaned over to the host, whispering to him quietly. “I’ve reserved us the room in the back, follow me,” she gestured to the party.

As the group walked through the dining room, they couldn’t help but notice a group of disgruntled guests carrying their plated dinners from the back of the restaurant, one of them grumbling, “I can’t believe they’ve kicked us out of our seats!”

The group settled into their seats, and Drusilla turned to Solania, “Are we able to speak privately here?”

Solania nodded, “In a moment.”

She waved her arms, and her hair suddenly began to blow around her. Chanting, Solania drew a circle around the table in the air, and the other groups in the dining room stared in awe. Suddenly, the sounds of the restaurant surrounding them could no longer be heard, despite the fact that they could see guests speaking to one another and passing wary glances at their table.

“That should do the trick,” she finished and sat herself down at the table.

Before long, the chef at the restaurant brought out the meal’s first course, passing a nervous glance at Solania. In a thick accent, he explained the dish as “thin-cut potatoes, cooked in animal fat and sprinkled with salt. We encourage you to enjoy them with our house fish sauce,” he placed the plate at the center of the table, revealing a heap of fragrant, golden brown potatoes.

Solania nodded in approval, “It looks like a true delicacy, my compliments.”

After the chef parted, little time passed before the group dove into conversation.

Turning to Solania, Diesa noted, “So, we found Kalavar.”

Solania smiled, “I noticed. I hope it wasn’t too much trouble.”

The group exchanged nervous glances, admitting that they had, in fact, died just briefly in their attempt to bring the dragon back to Elnor.

“So, what happened to the rest of The Five?” Jory asked, changing the subject.

“Well, the ones who supported Kalavar are still here, acting as advisors to Kalavar. The Council is no longer as you knew it.” As Solania explained the political shifts in Elnor, her demeanor remained as calm as if she were reporting the weather the city had experienced over the prior weeks.

She explained that Ilyan had promptly fled the city after Kalavar’s takeover, along with Teufel (?), although she was unsure of their precise motives.

“On paper, they were doing nothing wrong,” Solania mused, “but I’m sure the sudden appearance of a large, bronze dragon made them wary of… something coming to light. Meanwhile, Nulculth, the former number one, decided to retire and pursue quiet studies in the library, foregoing his political career.”

“Do you agree with all of the recent changes?” Drusilla asked.

“Most of them. Kalavar has reinstated the legality of worship in Elnor, and Divine magic. Most of the Instructors have been relieved of their position; a few have been made example of in the square for particularly heinous misdoings. For example, Kalavar ate Master Kormir after evidence came to light of his nefarious activities, provided by a group of vigilantes you may be familiar with.”

The group shifted, imagining Kormir’s gruesome demise. Solania continued, “The Marble District, once home to the city Temples, has also had many of the old Temples restored. It’s quite an interesting place to visit now.”

The Brunch Club was pleased to hear that most of the changes in Elnor seemed to be for the better, including the cessation of the underground threat they had been sent to clear with Vorjhon weeks ago.

Solania admitted apologetically that the city would never know how close to demise they truly were, and would not know it was the Brunch Club they could thank for their safety.

“Solania, are you a wizard?” Jory asked.

“Yes,” Solania answered quizzically, unsure of the direction the inquiry would take.

“Can you… cast planeshift?” He continued, emboldened by his last several glasses of wine.

“Yes, I can,” she admitted.

“What kind of…implications are there for sending another being into another plane?’ Diesa asked.

Solania shifted in her seat, wary, “Sending a being into another plane without their consent is illegal, in most places.”

“Oh goodness, we mean consensual plane shifting!” Elora declared nervously.

“Ah, well if necessary safety precautions are taken, there shouldn’t be any negative implications!” Solania answered. “Anyone going to another plane should have a way to get back, if they want to.”

“What if we are sending someone undesirable into another plane, and they don’t want them? What if we disrupt the balance of the Fae? Even if it meant a better outcome for our plane?” Drusilla asked.

Solania leaned forward. “So… you want to send someone, consensually, into another plane, who has done terrible things. When they get to the Fae, you are concerned that someone is going to meet them,such as an Arch Fae, and be so infuriated that they would exact revenge against those who sent them?”

“Yes.” The party said in unison.

Solania laughed. “Oh, this is exciting. By the way… that scenario seems entirely plausible.” The members of the group paled, and Solania clapped her hands, “have we ordered yet?”

The Brunch Club decided that details were prudent, explaining their experience with Rajat, the gnolls, and his connection to Elora over their meals. As they explained Elora’s memory loss, presumably from her return from the Fae, a puzzled look passed over Solania’s face.

“There’s very common knowledge around Elves that one of the side-effects of returning from the Faewild is memory loss. Elves, though, are immune to that. The Fae in your blood means that you never need to worry about losing your memory upon return.”

“Wait, what would cause Elora to lose her memory then?” Drusilla asked.

“I don’t know. But it seems whatever the reason for you to have gone to the Faewild may also be the cause of your memory loss – but it is impossible for the Fae itself to have brought this on.”

“Could I have been cursed?” Elora asked.

Solania nodded. “I think it’s possible your memory was stolen. It seems it was either malicious, or perhaps you learned something you weren’t meant to, and asked someone to wipe your memory for you.”

A silence passed briefly over the group, only to erupt into theories regarding Elora’s memory loss and ideas for their next steps; whether or not her memory was maliciously taken, and whether to provide Rajat the means to return to the Fae.

Exhausting a range of options, they eventually agreed that they needed more information from the Library. Remembering Schitman’s reluctance to help them in the past, Salys asked Solania if she knew anything of the strange librarian.

“Ah yes, Schitman. He is quite the odd duck indeed, a bit tightly wound. He does love all things Elvish, especially the Faewild.”

“Is there anything we can give him, to grease the wheels, if you will?” Jory asked.

“Something Elvish.” Solania suggested with a shrug, and Drusilla gasped.
“I could share my story – about my life and my prophecy.”

“Your prophecy?” Solania asked, curious. “Can you share it?’

Oddly, Drusilla had brought her full travel pack to dinner. She sifted through her belongings, eventually pulling out an old piece of parchment. Obliging, she began to read the words that foretold her fate:

When black meets silver in a world of white.
On paths untraveled to shed new light
Seed of sable but cousin of crimson
False life seeks death and by lust is driven
The weak now strong with untapped power
Though power ‘twas gained in the darkest hour
Unexpected, untested, untravelled, unfolds
Horrors of haunting origins untold.
By end, will be cleansed and anew will begin
Power without and strength within.

A few moments of silence followed Drusilla’s reading, and she took a deep breath.

“Guys, I think this is my song. If i play this for Schittman, I’m sure he would help us.” she said, sitting back in her seat.

Solania nodded, thoughtful. “Do you… know the prophett Toleria?” She asked, and Drusilla shook her head. The other members of the party appeared equally oblivious.

“She was a moon elf Diviner from several millennia ago; she wrote multiple prophecies, and that sounds like one of hers.”

Discussing the prophecy further, Solania informed the group that it was impossible to tell the immediacy of a Prophecy’s tellings, and told them that many of Toleria’s prophecies foretold of a being called the Hungerer. According to legend, the Hungerer was a being that would arrive with the intent to devour all of the Light in the world.

The meal wore on, and eventually Solania declared that it was time she retired, offering to pick up the tab. Bidding them goodnight, the Brunch Club also decided to retire to bed, ready to pay a visit to the Library in the morning.

The next day, the group rose early, eager to go TO THE LIBRARY and find Schitman.

They quickly located Schitman, in his normal spot, deep in the study of scrolls and books scattered about him.

“‘Sup nerd?” Diesa asked as they approached, much to the chagrin of her companions. Schitman quickly recoiled in offense, but after an abrupt apology seemed appeased by the dwarf’s charm.

“Erm, um, hello. What are you doing here?” He asked, “Have you found a use for the planar fork? And why do you have a shield?”

Drusilla sat across from Schitman, adjusting herself as she moved to the cold stone floor of the library. “We are here for information, but we thought we could share some information with you first in exchange. For return, we would like information about the location of Fae touchpoints, and the Obsidian Watch.”

Schitman paused, and carefully moved several papers from his lap. Cautiously curious, he looked to Elora, “Well, on with it then.” He said.

Drusilla began to drum on her shield, the sound reverberating through the library. With flourish she read through the verses of her prophecy, her eye contact with Schitmann unwavering. When she finished, she handed the stunned librarian the scroll the prophecy was written on.

Schitman studied it carefully, then asked, “Where did you get this? Is this your handwriting?”

He slowly stood from his seated position, staring at Drusilla.

“This was given to me, by a friend… at the end.” She responded, somber.

Schitman evaluated the parchment, and briskly turned on his heel, walking away. Drusilla followed, although he was difficult to keep up with as he navigated the vast aisles of the library. They passed sections of dusted, worn books on the Faewild, Elven History, and finally Schitman slowed at a section filled with Prophecies, his finger trailing the spines of books as he searched.

Finally, he pulled out one of the books, a leatherbound sheath of papers that looked as if they could crumble at his touch. He gently moved them to a nearby workstation, spreading them across the table.

“This prophecy you read,” he began, his eyes alight and voice trembling with excitement, “It sounds as if it may be a part of the Moon Fall Prophecy… it has been missing for over 4,000 years.”

He handed Drusilla a parchment, of which the top part seemed damaged. A paragraph remained, and Schitman carefully held Drusilla’s prophecy alongside the one he had drawn from the stacks.

“I think… this might be it. The meter, the words. It fits!” His eyes glistened. “Whoever gave you that discovered a piece of Toleria’s prophecy.”

“So, there’s more?” Elora asked, staring at the parchments.

“There is… it’s called ‘Moonfall’” Schitman explained, and began to read the remaining verses of the prophecy:

But power crafts fame, fortune, and pain,
All may be lost when there’s much to be gained.
Threads so dark and threads so bright,
Entwined as one and as one, must fight.
The fate of the moon-touched,
A solemn catastrophe,
But others will succumb to similar atrophy
A vessel of death and a reaper of souls
Will ever progress as sorrow it sows
It may be halted by worthy foes.
Lest the darkness consume and forever grow.

After his reading, Schitman stood stunned. “I, I don’t quite know how to react. I’ll be sure to get you a full written copy of the text but… this is incredible.”

He looked to Drusilla, “I hope this is just a nice piece of history and naught to do with the Hungerer.” The group was solemn, considering the implications of the text.

Promising to return with the transcribed text, Schitman briskly walked away, his leather soles whisking across the floor with renewed vigor.

After a time, Schitman returned with a scroll, handing it to Drusilla. “As promised,” he stated. “I believe I owe you something in return? What do you need?” He added, seeming more intent to assist the group in light of recent events.

Salys explained their plight, and desires to learn as much about Rajat and the Obsidian Watch as possible, as well as touchpoints to enter the Fae.

“I’ll see what I can do,” he promised. “First, Rajat – let’s try this way.” He scanned several books, opening multiple volumes and promptly putting them away. Finally, he settled on one book.

“Ah, yes. This mentions a druid, although they do not name him until later. I knew I recognized the name! It described tribes in the bloodwood, and this druid passed his ceremonies four or five-hundred years ago. It recognizes him as a new spirit guide in a Bloodwood village, but not much beyond this.”

He continued searching through the histories of Elnon, scanning books in the surrounding areas. He sighed. “I’m not finding much else,” he admitted solemnly.

“Is there a record of the Obsidian Watch?” Salys asked, and Schittman perked up.

“Ah, yes! This way!” He exclaimed, leading the Brunch Club to another section of the library. He soon pulled out a book that detailed the activities of the Obsidian Watch and its members. He explained what he could find of the monster hunters and their illustrious kill list, which included a Bahir, a young dragon, and a Wyvern.

The members were named Kellgorn Kellarny, a Dwarf Fighter, Alexis Sinclair, a human warlock, Brendan Bearclaw, a human druid, and Elora Riverleaf, an elf ranger.

Schittman scrolled through the book, “it looks as though all but Kellgorn were missing and presumed dead, aside from Kellgorn. It appears he retired to the north, away from monsters.”

Finally, Shitman agreed to divulge what he knew regarding Fey touchpoints.

“Well, off the top of my head, there is rumored to be one in the mountains near the Sable Forest. A few day’s travel into the mountains, there is rumored to be one at the tip of its peak. It is said that it is guarded by a Fey Creature.”

“Would you want to be our guide?” Salys asked, hopeful.

“No, absolutely not. But I would pay you handsomely for a transcript of your meeting with this Fey Creature, should you survive the journey.”

Schitman agreed to provide his best directions to the peak, documenting what he could of the landmarks and directions of which he was aware. He turned them over to the group, “Please,” he urged, “document this journey for me.”

Leaving the library, the group was invigorated by their newly gained knowledge of Drusilla’s prophecy and Elora’s past. They were eager to learn what the future held for them. Discussing their next move, they agreed (despite objections from Jory and Diesa) that they should sail to Sturgeon as the quickest route to the mountains.

“Well,” Jory started, “I think we should first send a message to Rajat. It seems we have some information for him.”

Our tale will continue in Episode 45

Episode 44 was written by Dominic White, Bethany Powers, and myself, Brian Messmer.

The audio reording 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 043 “The Plane Truth”

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Welcome to Episode 43 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 42, Jory and Salys fought the pirates aboard the Rod’s Curse. The rest of The Brunch Club, along with Captain T’Hard and some of Wheaton’s town guard, commandeered a boat and gave chase. Drusilla gave Elora a potion of climbing, which she used to scale the ship’s mast. From her perch atop the sails, she killed the rest of the pirates with accurate and lethal shots from her longbow.

The smaller ship caught up to them and they secured the Rod’s Curse. Diesa found a chest in the captain’s quarters and picked the lock. She found several gems and an oil of slipperiness as well as enchanted crossbow bolts. After bringing the boat back to Wheaton they salvaged five cannons, which Jory taught the townsfolk how to use.

After another magic goose sighting, The Brunch Club, along with the guards and able-bodied citizens who stayed behind to defend Wheaton, began their watch. A full day and night went by without any sign of the gnoll warband. Through a scrying spell, Saberhagen discovered the warband was still marching west, long after they should have arrived at Wheaton.

While they tried to figure out what was going on, Rajat appeared outside the town gates and called for Elora. He accused her of avoiding him and demanded to know the secret of returning to the Feywild. If she did not get him back to the Feywild within two weeks, Trademeet would be burned by the gnolls.

Elora decided to leave the safety of the town walls and go out to meet Rajat face-to-face.

And now…

Chapter 43 “The Plane Truth”

Elora ran to the city gates. The Brunch Club followed on her heels. “I’m going out to meet him,” she said to them.

“We’re coming with you,” Jory insisted.

“Fine,” Elora relented. “Just stay behind me and don’t look aggressive,” she said as she took off in a dash through the snow.

“Diesa, maybe you should stay here,” Jory said, before dashing after Elora.

Drusilla and Salys ran out after Jory while Diesa stood and wondered how she could help from so far away. Then she saw the nearby cannon and smiled.

As Elora got within a couple hundred feet of Rajat, she slowed down to approach him with more caution.

“So, Elora!” Rajat bellowed. “I see I’ve finally got your attention,” he added with a snarl.

“Um, who are you?” Elora asked.

“Don’t toy with me!” Rajat screamed angrily.

“No, no. It’s true,” Jory said, panting as he caught up to them. “She has no memory. She doesn’t even know who she is.”

Rajat scowled at the halfling, then stared at Elora through narrow eyes, considering her. “So my name means nothing to you, Elora Riverleaf?” he said.

“My last name is Riverleaf?” asked Elora.

“Cool name!” said Jory.

Elora shot Jory a “can you be quiet for just one second” look and asked Rajat, “How do I know you?”

“We met when you and those fools in your Obsidian Watch found me in the Bloodwood.”

“What were we doing there?” Elora asked.

“I don’t know,” the Druid snapped. “That was a hundred years ago! All I care about right now is you getting me back to the Feywild.”

“I don’t know how to do that,” Elora said.

“Well then, Trademeet burns,” Rajat scowled.

“I think I know someone who can tell me how to get you back to the Feywild,” Elora said. “I’ll find a way to get you back if you call off the attack on Trademeet.”

“I can try. But once a Flind gets on the warpath, their bloodlust is hard to cool. But even if they do burn down Trademeet, I’ll make sure that’s as far as they go.” he said without pity.

“Alright,” Elora sighed with reluctant resignation. “I’ll help you.”

“How can I trust you?” Rajat said. “Give me something I know you’ll come back for. Something precious to you.”

Elora took off her winter wolf cloak and handed it to him. “It’s enchanted. I’ll be back for it.”

Rajat took it from her and nodded. Before he transformed into an elk and disappeared into the forest, he turned back to her and said sadly, “I thought we had something, Elora.”

Drusilla and Salys caught up to them as Elora and Jory watched Rajat depart.

“What happened?” asked Drusilla, eagerly. “Tell us everything.”
“I’ll tell you over brunch,” Elora said. “I need a drink.”

Once back within the walls, they realized there was no tavern to get brunch at, as the town had been evacuated.

They went to the aviary where they sent carrier pigeons to Trademeet to warn them of the gnoll attack two weeks away. More pigeons were sent to Elnor to let Solania know the threat against Wheaton was over and update her on the direction of the gnoll warband.

Diesa suggested that they break into one of the taverns and make breakfast on their own, but the group convinced her they should just go back to their lighthouse and eat there. Jory prepared brunch while Elora filled them in on the exchange with Rajat, and what she had agreed to, and the disturbing fact that they were still going to have to fight the gnolls.

“How are we going to find out about getting Rajat to the Feywild?” Diesa asked.

“Um, there’s a great big library we can teleport to,” Salys pointed out.

“What about Saberhagen? Would he know?” Jory asked.

The group decided it was worth a try.

The black cat looked up from the counter as the Brunch Club entered his magic emporium. “Well, if it isn’t the bringers of false news,” he greeted them sarcastically.

“How do you know we didn’t just scare them off?” Diesa asked.

“I’ve met you,” Saberhagen answered dryly.

“Hey, we were going off your scrying visions,” Elora reminded him. “And why are you still here? I thought you’d have fled to your litter box by now.”

“Did you think,” Saberhagen purred condescendingly, “I wasn’t going to listen in when a Druid shows up outside the gates and starts calling your name?”

“So you heard all that?” Drusilla asked.

“Yes I did,” confirmed Saberhagen. “And wow, that was messed up.”

“So can you help us get him back to the Feywild.”

“There is no specific way to the Feywild,” he told them. “Travel between planes is a very tricky proposition and not in any way straight forward.”

The group responded only with blank stares.

“Do you know about the planes?” he asked them.

“I know there are planes,” Drusilla said.

“Do you know what plane we are on right now?” Saberhagen inquired.

More blank stares gazed back at him.

The wizard sighed, leapt off the counter onto the floor, and told them to follow him. They followed him up the stairs into what looked like a small classroom. A dozen chairs arranged in rows faced a smooth, vertical slate board. Saberhagen hopped up on a stool next to the board. A piece of chalk levitated off a small shelf and began drawing on the dark stone as Saberhagen talked slowly as if he was addressing children.

“We are on the Material Plane,” Saberhagen began. The chalk drew a disk in perspective as if it were lying horizontally. “The center plane of all the planes. All planes have touch points that overlap the material plane. At these touch points, whose locations and time of existence may be fluid, one can transfer between planes.”

“Around the material plane are elemental planes: air, water, earth, and fire. Between those are ice, mud, magma, and conflagration.”

The chalk drew large circles overlapping the first disc to illustrate the other planes.

“Above the material plane, is the Astral plane, where most of the so-called good gods reside. Below the material plane is the Shadow Fell. This is where the bad gods are.”

“Which plane is the Raven Queen on?” Drusilla asked.

“The Raven Queen is an enigma. The best anyone can guess, she exists between the planes,” Saberhagen answered.

“Coooool,” said Drusilla, with pride.

Saberhagen continued, “The Feywild is a parallel plane existing in the same time and space as the Material plane.”

“How can it exist in the same place as the Material plane and we don’t see it?” asked Jory, feeling very confused.

Saberhagen thought for a long moment on how to explain it to the inebriated halfling before answering with, “Magic.”

Jory accepted this answer and Saberhagen continued his lecture.

“The Feywild is the easiest plane to survive in, but it is still dangerous and unpredictable. The laws of nature, time, and magic that you are used to here on the Material Plane don’t necessarily exist in the Feywild.”

“What’s the greatest treasure in all the planes” asked Diessa.

“That depends on who’s asking,” Saberhagen answered her. “A great treasure could be material wealth to one, or spiritual awakening to another, or absolute power to someone else.”

“Pretend it’s a greedy rogue who’s asking,” Jory told him.

Saberhagen listed a few treasures such as The Genuine Bombay Sapphire, legendary artifacts created by the gods and given to mortals, and the Lost Treasure of Bohnlodir

“So how do we send someone there?” asked Salys.

“The touchpoints where the planes overlap the material plane are where you will find portals to those planes. But the portals can be hard to find and may appear for one person, and not to another. They also may be disguised as something ordinary. For instance, you could dive into a clear lake and when you come up for air, suddenly find yourself in the Feywild.”

“Do you know where one of these touchpoints are?” asked Elora.

Saberhagen said he did not, and also warned that memory loss was a common side effect when traveling to and from the Feywild.

“If I traveled back from the Feywild and remembered it, I’d write it down,” Jory mused. “I bet there’s a magic user’s diary in the Library that would tell us where to find a touch point.”

“Is Kalavar powerful enough to teleport Rajat to the Feywild?” Drusilla wondered.

“He does owe us a favor,” Salys said.

“We should probably use that favor on the gnolls heading to Trademeet,” said Diesa.

“So, One: Go to the Library to look for information on touchpoints. Two: Ask Kalavar to kill the gnolls. Three: Get Rajat to the Feywild in exchange for information about Elora’s past.” said Drusilla, counting off their latest to-do list.

“Sounds like a plan,” said Elora.

“To the Library!” said Salys.

They followed Saberhagen to his inner sanctum, stepped into his teleportation circle, and in the blink of an eye, found themselves in the Crystal Spire Library.

Unlike Salys’s last trip to the Library, they did not have to seek out a librarian for assistance. The moment they appeared in the library’s teleportation circle, they saw a gnome librarian walking towards them quickly. He smiled when he saw Salys.

“I was hoping that was you,” Devon said as he handed her the carved wood Bahamut pendant.

“Uh, why does he have your pendant?” Drusilla asked Salys.

“When I was here sending the message to Solania, I gave it to him to enchant for me.”

“That was nice of him,” smirked Diesa.

“I paid him for it!” said Salys, rebuking Diesa’s insinuations.

“Are you a librarian?” Jory asked Devon.

“Yes. Yes I am,” said Devon, pride evident in his voice.

“We need information on touchpoints, plane shifting, and anything related to traveling to the Feywild,” Drusilla told Devon. “Can you help us with that?”

“I can’t, but we do have an expert in our Fey section, Librarian Schittman. He might be able to help you,” Devon answered, pointing in the direction where they would find him.

They found Shittman sitting crosslegged on the floor with his back against a stack of books. He was an older human male with thinning gray hair and the skin tone of a man who spent as little time in the sun as possible. He was reading from a book in his lap while a floating quill dipped its tip in a floating inkpot and wrote in a floating book.

“Excuse me, are you Schittman?” Salys asked.

“I’m working,” the librarian answered curtly, without looking up.

“We’re friends with Solania and Kalavar,” said Elora.

“I doubt that,” Shittman replied, still not looking up from his book.

“We were told you were the library’s expert in all things Fey,” Drusilla said.

Schittman looked up. “I am that,” he confirmed.

“We need to get someone to the Feywild before a town burns down,” Diesa blurted.

The book, quill, and inkpot crashed to the floor. Shittman looked down at the upended inkpot with a frown and glared up at Diesa. “I guess I’m not getting any more research done with you lot here,” he sighed with resignation.

He told them they needed to cast a spell of Planar Shift at a touch point, using a ‘planar fork’ that had been attuned to the Feywild.

“Where would we get one?” asked Elora.

“Well, this is your lucky day,” Shittman said. “Not only am I an expert on the Feywild, I have several Planar Forks already attuned to the Feywild for the low low cost of two-hundred and fifty gold.

“What if we needed it to save a town from burning?” Drusilla asked.

“Two hundred and fifty gold,” Shittman repeated.

Sensing Schittman’s reluctance to talk to them, let alone help them, The Brunch Club bought the Planar Fork and left the Library to seek out Kalavar.

After leaving the darkness of the book stacks, and their eyes adjusted to the bright light of day, they noticed Kalavar curled around the Library’s great crystal spire.

“Hey Kalavar!” Drusilla shouted up. “It’s us!”

The bronze dragon slowly uncurled and dropped gently to the Library steps with a single flap of his wings.

“I sense you’re here to request your favor,” Kalavar said as he bent his head down towards them. “What can I do for you?”

Drusilla told him about Rajat, the Flind, the gnoll shaman Fang, and the gnoll warband marching on Trademeet.

Kalavar considered her words for a moment before answering. “I will do this for you and the favor I owe you will be paid.”

“That’s fair,” Drusilla agreed.

“Well, shall we go kill some gnolls?” he asked, lowering his great bulk down, allowing them to climb on his back.

The Brunch Club failed to hide their excitement at being invited to ride into battle on the back of a dragon. As a large crowd began to gather around them, they scrambled up Kalavar’s scaled hide. When the dragon leapt into the air, they scanned the crowd, hoping the smug Schittman would see them.

They clung onto Kalavar, watching the ground speed past them in a blur. After a few hours they saw two columns of fifteen gnolls marching side by side. The flapping of the dragon’s large wings alerted the warband to their arrival. The gnolls burst into a discordant harmony of yips and howls as they scrambled for their bows and spears.
The gnolls’ arrows were largely ineffectual against Kalavar’s thick scales. Only one managed to pierce the tip of his wing, but it did minimal damage.

Kalavar landed in front of them, drew in a deep breath, then exhaled a swirling bolt of lightning that crackled and popped toward the gnolls. The lightning arced from gnoll to gnoll down the right column, killing all fifteen and leaving the Flind severely wounded.

Though in bad shape, the Flind still held command over the rest of the gnolls. “For the honor of Yeenoghu!” he shouted as he hurled his spear at Kalavar. The remaining gnolls hurled their spears and shot their arrows. Some of them managed to pierce Kalavar’s protective scales, but he ignored them.

Feeling emboldened by her mighty ally, Salys slid off Kalavar’s back and fired her own lightning bolt at the Fang and the Flind. The Fang seemed to take the brunt of the damage. The Flind, though badly wounded, shook off Salys’s attack. Salys realized she could not climb back up onto Kalavar, so she scurried behind him and used his massive leg for cover.

Drusilla stood up and fired a Guiding Bolt at the Flind, burning him, and causing him to glow with a purple aura, making it easier for the next attacker to strike him.

Jory, not wanting to miss out on the fun, ran down Kalavar’s back, slid down his curving tail like it was a staircase banister, and landed in front of two gnolls who were trying to knock their next arrows.

With a flurry of kicks and blows, Jory stunned them both, then ran behind Kalavar to hide by Salys.

“This is so much fun!” he said, taking a deep pull of mead from his bota bag. He offered it to Salys.

“Damn right it is,” Salys agreed, taking a swig from the bag.

They both ducked as Kalavar’s tail swung above their heads and slammed into the stunned gnolls, bludgeoning them both to death.

The dragon then advanced, lowered his head to the ground, and ripped the Flind’s arm off with his teeth, before eviscerating him with a large, sharp claw.

Elora, Diesa, and Drusilla all took aim at the Fang. Diesa’s crossbow bolt missed, Elora’s arrows pierced the Fang, injuring him further, and Drusilla’s guiding bolt delivered the fatal blow.

The remaining gnolls, frightened by Kalavar’s awesome presence and demoralized by the slaughter of their brethren and leaders fled into the woods. Diesa and Jory chased two of them down while Kalavar took care of the rest.

They piled the corpses in a heap, leaving them for the scavengers of the forest.

Our tale will continue in Episode 44

Episode 43 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 042 “Jory The Willing”

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Welcome to Episode 42 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

After seeing the army of gnolls determined to “burn it to the ground”, the brunch club began discussing how to best defend the city of Wheaton. Saberhagan sent a message to Solania and Kalavar, unsure of whether it would arrive on time or be responded to.

Looking for inspiration, Salys headed to the library, where she got the runaround from the librarians. One rambled about the logistics of incantations, and Salys continued onward to find Devon, who agreed to send her message of warning to the council and mage college.

Back in Wheaton, the party convinced the Mayor to plan to evacuate the citizens of Wheaton, and to encourage able-bodied men to help prepare the town. With some persuasion, the mayor agreed to let the brunch club attempt to commandeer cannons from the pirates with the help of captain T’hard.

Much to everyone’s surprise, the pirates did not concede to the idea of their cannons being taken for the good of Wheaton. Ilia, mincing no words told Tahard to fuck off.

A battle ensued, with Jory trying and failing to jump onto the pirate ship, and nearly drowning. The pirates tried to flee, and in a split-second decision Salys decided to teleport to the ship with Jory in tow, who willingly agreed to be transported.

Portaling onto the pirate ship, they saw Drusilla’s spiritual weapons pluck Ilia’s eyes from her sockets she crumpled to the deck of the ship, dead. The battle between Salys, Jory, and the pirates quickly accelerated.

Back ashore, the remaining members of the Brunch Club convinced Tahard to commandeer a nearby ship, and sailed after the Rod’s Curse.

Chapter 42 “Jory the Willing”

Jory and Salys stood back to back on the deck of the Rod’s Curse, each panting with exhaustion. Wind howled around them, spraying the cold ocean mist into their eyes. The sails of the Rod’s Curse slowly burned, the smoke swirling into the wind

Salys was badly hurt. Blood coated her leathers, and one hand gripped the wound at her side, caused by the cannon blast she had intercepted. She stood defiant, her narrowed eyes locked on the three pirates that stood before her, readying themselves to attack.

Not a moment later, they sprung into action. The closest of the pirates lunged at Says, jabbing at her with his glave. A second burst forward, using both hands to swing his sword at Salys’ head.. Salys ducked, the glave colliding with the mast behind her and sending a barrage of splinters exploding into the air.

Salys’ eyes glowed green as she glared at the pirate standing in front of her. He yanked his glave from its lodging in the mast. Salys screamed as a cascade green wall of magic energy shot from her fingertips, a magic missile slamming into the pirate’s chest. He recoiled, barely able to regain his balance.

From the stolen ship below, the remaining party members could hear the calamity, but were unable to see what was happening aboard the pirate’s ship. Drusilla gasped as she saw a glow of green emanating from the deck, surely generated by Salys. A man’s scream permeated through the howling wind.

“Elora!” Drusilla shouted, turning back toward her companions. “You look like you could use a shot!”

Drusilla reached into her pack, quickly tossing a potion to Elora. For a moment, she stared at the potion, confused. It was clearly not a healing potion, and the liquid inside was divided into layers of brown, silver, and grey that flowed together. After a moment of examination, she realized she was holding a climbing potion.

Quickly, she uncorked the potion and threw back the gritty liquid, grimacing as she swallowed.

“Could have used a chaser,” she said, winking at Drusilla. The elf then sprung into action, scrambling up the mast of the ship with ease. Elora sat herself on top of the mast, balancing as she calmly pulled out her bow. From her new vantage point, she could spot two pirates circling Salys, exchanging blows.

She took a calm, steadying breath, aiming at one of the pirates, and releasing.

On deck, Salys braced herself. The pirate she had just shot with her magic missile had survived the blow. She gulped, unsure of how much more fighting she would be able to withstand. The gnome was bloodied, weak, and quickly exhausting her magical abilities. She braced herself for the counter attack.

The enraged pirate wiped a fistful of blood from his mouth, taking a step toward Saly and drawing his dagger, “I’m going to kill you, ye nasty little -”

These were the pirate’s last words. With an unexpected thud, an arrow lodged itself deep into his skull, rendering him unable to finish what was likely to be a most distasteful insult Salys scrambled backwards, turning to see where the arrow had come from.

“What the…” she whispered. Over 150 feet away, she could make out Elora’s shape, perched atop the mast of a ship. In neighborly fashion, Elora waved to Slays before reaching for a second arrow. From Salys’ point of view, it looked as though Elora was aiming right for her when she released her shot.

Salys stood ridgid, cautious not to move. Moments later, she heard a man’s pained gasp emanate from behind her, and the sound of a man’s lifeless body crashing onto the deck of the ship.

Feet away, Jory began running toward the pirate nearest him, using the mast to pinwheel himself toward the haggard man. Jory used his wayward momentum to haphazardly slap the pirate flat across his cheek, saliva spraying from the pirate’s mouth on impact. He grunted in surprise.

The pirate looked at Jory, his brow furrowed in confusion as if to say, “did you really just bitch slap me in a pirate fight?” Jory took advantage of the pirate’s shock, driving his foot into the pirate’s locked knee. The pirate fell to the deck in agony, temporarily stunned.

“That’s for the time you said my pancakes sucked!” Jory shouted, spitting on the pirate.

The fight aboard the Rod’s Curse wore on, Salys continued casting magic spells against her attackers while Jory levied callous punches against his once captors. Although their efforts failed to kill the pirates, they did serve a critical purpose – distracting them from the deadly onslaught of arrows that picked them off, one-by-one.

Moments later, Salys and Jory stood surrounded by dead pirates. Jory ran to the hatches, quickly securing them in case other pirates lingered below deck.

The stolen ship with Tahard and the remaining members of the brunch club soon caught up to the Rod’s Curse. Climbing aboard the pirate shi, the group quickly spotted Salys and Jory. The pair was covered in blood, and it was unclear whether it belonged to their comrades or foes.

Drusilla, Diesa, and Elora ran across the deck of the ship toward their companions, who cheered at Elora as she approached.

“Incredible shooting!” Jory shouted, kicking one of the dead pirate bodies in the side for effect. He took a swig from his Boda Bag and grinned.

Elora smiled as she approached them, “All it took was a little bit of liquid courage!”

Tahard and his crew began searching the ship for the remaining pirates, eventually declaring that they had found no remaining pirates aboard the Rod’s Curse.

Jory turned to the group, whispering, “We should check below deck. Knowing this ship, there’s bound to be plenty we can loot.” A step ahead of him, Diesa pulled a handful of blood-covered coppers from one of the pirate’s pockets.

Drusilla stood up from over Ilya’s lifeless body. “Ah, there it is,” Drusille exclaimed, holding up a sending stone. The party set to examining the other pirate’s wears.

Minutes later, Elora looked up to notice Jory gazing out to sea, his lips curled into a grin and his eyes glistening.

“Jory, are you alright?” She asked, standing slowly.

Jory sniffled, wiping his nose. “I’m… free.” He said, beaming. The halfling took a swig from his Bota Bag, and tossed it to Elora. Her reactions swift, she caught it and cheered for Jory.

“You guys really did it. You got rid of the pirates,” he continued in disbelief.

“Well, it was circumstantial…” Diesa started as Drusilla nudged her in the ribs. Elora handed the Bota Bag to Salys, who raised it ceremoniously.

“To Jory!” She shouted. “The Willing!”

“To Jory the Willing!” The party echoed, saluting their liberated companion.

It wasn’t long before a sense of urgency set in. The party made haste searching the ship, scanning for whatever gold, potions, and munition they could find aboard the Rod’s Curse.

In the Captain’s Den, Elora and Drusilla swept through Captain Santiago and Iliya’s belongings. The bed was unkempt, several furs strewn across it. Drusilla grabbed one of them, only to set it down with a grimace on her face – they reeked of musk and ale.

Empty bottles were strewn throughout their chambers, and papers were scattered atop Captain Santiago’s desk, but none seemed to glean knowledge of the treasure of Bonlodier. Elora knelt down to peer underneath the bed, spotting a large wooden chest with a lock on it wedged underneath.

With a grunt, Elora dragged the chest out from under the bed. It was an old, ornate chest with brass hinges, stained green from time and salt air. Elora examined the lock.

“Drusilla, could you get Diesa, please?” she asked of her comrade.

Minutes later, the dwarven rogue followed Drusilla into the room. “I was beginning to think we weren’t going to find anything interesting on this damn ship,” Diesa said, shooing Drusilla and Elora away from the wooden chest. Diesa took the lock into her hands.

“Hmm,” she whispered to herself. She ran her fingers slowly around the chest, appreciating its construction. The dwarf smirked as she felt the extra mechanisms built into the back hinges of the chest.

“Nice touch,” she whispered under her breath. Diesa drew an oiled pouch from her pack, unfurling a set of thieves’ tools. She eyed the various picks, making a pointed selection.

Sliding the pick into the lock, she knelt close to the chest, her ear beside the lock as she listened for clicks and felt for moments of tension. In a matter of moments, there was a resounding click as the lock popped open.

Cautiously, Diesa reached around the side of the chest, pressing down on the mechanism she had identified in the back. She lifted the lid, first noting that the chest was indeed wired to shoot a crossbow bolt at any unsuspecting thief.

With caution, she extracted the bolt, examining it closely. It appeared to be dipped in a poisonous liquid, and she excitedly placed it inside her quiver. .

Drusilla and Elora watched over Diesa as she pulled the contents of the chest out one-by-one, examining each with greedy excitement. She uncovered 15 precious gemstones, a potion of Greater Healing, a flask of mysterious oily liquid, as well as a quiver of lethal-looking crossbow bolts.

Tahard knocked on the door, taking the women off-guard. “Excuse me, but if you’re done looting this ship, we should get going. I would encourage you to turn over any ill-begotten possessions.”

The group exchanged awkward glances, and to their surprise, Diesa cleared her throat. “I-I did find something, actually.” She stepped toward Tahard, reaching into her pocket and withdrawing a fine letter opener. She extended it to him, and he took it cautiously.

He looked from the letter opener to Diesa, who eyed him innocently. “The… mayor had a very similar one in his office.” He shook his head, exasperated. “Damn pirates.”

Once back in town, the group quickly offloaded the cannons and weapons from the ship, instructing Tahard’s crew as to where to position the cannons around the town. The guardsman quickly recruited six able-bodied townsfolk, gathering them around one of the cannons.

Tahard stood beside Jory, crossing his arms. “Alright, listen up! Jory here is going to teach you all to shoot a cannon. He may look like just a tiny drunk halfling, but he’s earned his grit on the battlefield. Give him your respect.”

Jory took a swig from his Boda Bag, facing his pupils. He cleared his throat, and an awkward silence permeated the frigid morning air. Diesa gave Jory a nod of encouragement, mouthing “be tough!”.

“This…. Is a cannon.” Jory stammered, gesturing at the cannon. “The key to a cannon, you see, is to use it in such a way that you don’t die.” Jory was slurring, but the townspeople nodded at his instruction, attentive. Diesa rolled her eyes.

After several hours of explaining, gesturing, and poorly fielding clarifying questions, the townspeople seemed to eventually have a… loose grasp of the concept.

The remaining party members stood with Tahard in the town square, discussing their plans with the guard. They agreed to use Drusilla’s unique plant growth skills to create difficult terrain around the East and West entrances to the village. Quickly, she set to creating an overgrowth of dune grass to either side of the village, sure to slow anyone trying to pass through.

She turned around, surprised to see a group of villagers standing behind her, looking dismayed.They carried packs over their shoulders, about to head that direction from town.

“Oh, um, you might want to go around that way,” she shrugged, laughing nervously.

“Thanks a lot,” one of them muttered, shaking their head at the overgrowth now blocking their path to Elnor.

Wheaton bustled with activity for the remainder of the day. Women, children, and the elderly could be seen evacuating the town, while those who stayed behind took command from Tahard and the Brunch Club. Some villagers were stubborn, observing that they had survived the last gnoll attack, and had no intentions of fleeing a second.

The day was spent planning, scouting, and arguing over options for battle, debating each detail of their plan exhaustively. By nightfall, there was no choice but to eat, rest, and prepare for battle against the gnolls and their Flind leader.

The group headed for the Redfin Fishery, and were relieved to find the restaurant still operating for the evening. “We’ve got a fresh goose,” the owner notified them, and the group agreed it would make a fine, potentially last, meal.

They ate somberly, each member of the group lost in thought. Suddenly, Drusilla stopped chewing. From the corner of her eye, she spotted a flash of white passing by the window of the Redfin Fishery.

“My God, I think it’s the goose.” She pushed her plate back, suddenly self-conscious of their meal choice.

Scrambling, Drusilla stood up from her chair and made her way out of the restaurant, determined to chase down the chaotic bird.

“Goose!” She called after it, racing into the street.

Back in the restaurant, Salys stood. “I’ll get Saberhagan,” She said, darting from the building.

Out on the street, Drusilla reached the goose, exclaiming after it. “Please, stop!”

The goose stopped, looking back at Drusilla and lifting his beak into the air. He honked several times, loudly, as if to laugh at the elf.

“What are you playing at?” She asked, exasperated.

Across town, Salys reached Saberhagan’s, sweating and out of breath. She burst into the sunspot.

“Saberhagan!” She yelled. “The goose… it’s going to sound weird, but it’s here. We just saw him. Just now. Can you… can you help us? You have to see this!”

Saberhagan was only briefly startled by Salys’ abrupt entry, as he was mid-licking his paw. He looked at Salys, “Well, I am very curious about this goose. Let’s go.”


Outside of the Redfin Fishery, Drusilla continued her attempts to level with the Goose. She sighed in relief as Saberhagan approached. The feline sat for a moment, evaluating the goose.

“This is… odd. This goose is definitely magical, but.. I can’t get a level on it.”

“Do you think he’s a threat?” Salys asked, eyeing the goose.

“I think it’s just… a very odd, magical goose. It doesn’t seem to be harmful.” He stood, slowly approaching the goose, which stood with its head tilted, eyeing Saberhagen.

“Erm, hello there Goose. My name is Saberhagan. I am a wizard, an awakened cat. I don’t know if we have some bonding there,” his tail twitched. “I would appreciate it if you could, erm, cease harassing my friends. They are also quite powerful.”

The goose looked at him, silent for a few moments. “HONK.” It responded. Saberhagan sighed.

Jory slipped a hand into his pack, withdrawing a chunk of stale bread and setting it in front of the goose.

“So uh goose… if you want to have some fun, you should join us tomorrow. There’s going to be a lot of gnolls here, and you could really mess with them. They might try to hit you and kill you and they won’t be able to and you will have a great time.”

The goose wiggled its hind feathers, tilting his head to the other side. Reaching into his pack, Jory retrieved a new spatula, handing it to the goose. He took it in his beak, holding it momentarily before thrashing his long neck and tossing the spatula into the distance.

The goose approached each of the party members, eyeing them one-by-one. He released a dismissive honk and, without further adieu, continued on his way.

Unsettled, the group returned to the Redfin FIshery to finish their dinner, passing uneventfully until Diesa went to wipe her hands, noticing a fine handkerchief in her pocket. The handkerchief had golden thread sewn around it, and an unrecognizable name sewn into it.

“Do you guys… recognize this?” She asked, looking at the group. Elora exclaimed.

“My handkerchief!” She reached for it, snatching it from Diesa’s hands.

“I swear… I didn’t take it. I mean… I like it, but I didn’t even know you owned this thing.”

Elora shrugged. “It isn’t worth anything, I wouldn’t peg you as one to take something without value… But, I think there may be some fuckery afoot.”.

In the distance, they heard a honk.

As the sun rose the next morning, so did the brunch club. Jory and Diesa made haste to meet the village blacksmith, who had stayed up through the night to make grapeshot to help protect the city. They graciously collected grapeshot to arm the cannons.

From there, they went to the Sun Spot, hoping the new day would give them a fresh opportunity to scry on the Fang. Saberhagan made an attempt, but failed to see anything of value.

He sighed, reporting his fruitless scry to the Brunch Club.

“I guess we just assume the worst,” Salys said, setting out to man their posts.

Outside, a light snow was falling, and a strong wind blew through the village.

“Great,” Diesa muttered, scowling into the wind. Jory and Diesa stationed themselves at the cannons, while the others positioned themselves on the rooftops.

Hours passed with no sign of the gnolls. It was bitter cold, and they shivered as each scanned the horizon, keeping watch for the approaching gnolls. By midday, there was no sign of the gnolls. The wind began to die down.

Minutes felt like hours, and it was eerily quiet. Eventually, the sun dipped beneath the horizon and night fell.

“So… do we set up watches?” Diesa asked, confused. The party and the town guard began taking turns sleeping and keeping watch for the gnolls.

The watches passed, but the night was uneventful aside from the bitter chill. Poking a small fire, Salys turned to Elora. “What if this was just a red herring? Maybe… it wasn’t Wheaton they were going to burn to the ground.”

Elora considered this for a moment, shrugging. “I don’t know.”

“Pip, can you go scout?” The owl huffed and took off. About twenty minutes passed before he returned, a mouse in his beak scrambling. He tossed his head back and swallowed it whole.

“Didn’t see anything. Found a mouse though.” He reported.

The next watch passed uneventfully, and soon day had broken once more. There was a permeable silence, and it was clear the townsfolk were becoming more and more unsettled.

Confused, Salys set to visit the Sun Spot, where she found Saberhagan curled atop his favorite bench.

“Quite a rigorous battle we’re having, isn’t it?” He purred. Salys looked at her feet, sheepish.

“Yeah well, I guess it’s a good thing, right?” She responded. “Do you think… you might be able to try scrying on the Flind again?”

Their companion nodded, and set to his newest attempt at scrying on the flind.. Minutes passed before his tail twitched and his ears perked.

“I see the Flind! They… they’re still marching.”

Salys looked at him, quizzical. “Still? They should have easily made it here by now. Do you… do you see anything around them? Or, what direction they’re headed in?”

“I… think they’re heading west.”

“Oh, my God.” Salys exclaimed, “thank you!” she yelled as she sprinted out of the Sun Spot, rushing back to town to meet with her companions.

Breathless, Salys relayed the news that the gnolls were not approaching Wheaton.

“But, what would he want West of here? He’s an elvish Druid that seems to want something to do with Elora… how does this advance his motives?” Asked Drusilla. Elora pulled out a map, unfurling it in front of the group.

With Tahard, they gathered around the map, speaking animatedly about his potential plans.

“It could be a distraction? What if they know we can scry?” Drusilla asked, and the group considered this momentarily.

“What if,” Jory started, “this has absolutely nothing to do with us?”

“What?” the rest of the group asked, incredulous.

“That’s preposterous.” Drusilla responded, and the group continued to debate ways in which the situation must, in fact, have to do with them.

“Guys – there’s something out there.” Tahard pointed out to the distracted group. They turned, looking out to the field.

In the distance, an elk stood, motionless and staring at the town. His form began to morph, changing from its woodland form into the tall figure of a man.

“Elora!” He shouted, his voice projecting magically.

“Uh. What?” Elora asked, slowly stepping away from the group and toward the field. Her companions scattered, taking guarded positions to protect their friend. Jory and Diesa ran to the cannons, and Drusilla and Salys climbed to the rooftops for a better vantage point.

Rajat’s booming voice continued, “You’ve been to the other plane, and you hide in this town while the entire Western coast of Elnon will burn. Why are you keeping these secrets?”

“I… what?’ Elora yelled, shocked.

“You’ve been to the Silven plane, and you returned. I felt you come back months ago.”

“I have no memory!” Elora shouted, but Rajat couldn’t hear her.

“You have been willfully ignoring me, I’ve sent messengers and you have been burning and destroying them! Just tell me how to get back.” Rajat scanned the area, evaluating each member of the Brunch Club.

“The gnolls are set on a course, but they can be stopped. All I request is your knowledge. Get me back to the home plane. Find me, or stop the gnolls.

“If you want our help, just ask for it!” Jory shouted.

“Trademeet burns in two weeks!” He shouted, pacing.

Elora hesitated, and then began walking toward Rajat.

Our tale will continue in Episode 43

Episode 42 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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 041 “Pirates & Portals”

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Welcome to Episode 41 of the Rescued by Dragons fantasy fiction podcast, Tales of the Brunch Club:

My name is Brian Messmer and I am not only your storyteller but the dungeon master behind the homebrew Dungeons and Dragons campaign this adventure is based on. Please join me as I tell the tale of how my players, and the dice, ruined and improved my perfectly laid plans.

But first, a quick recap…

In episode 40, the Brunch Club intercepted Captain Santiago and the last two surviving pirates as they fled from a failed assault on the gnoll encampment. The group learned from the battered pirates that they managed to kill a few gnolls before the Flind smashed their cannon and annihilated the rest of their crewmates. When the pirates insisted on continuing toward town, Jory revealed who he was and chased Santiago down. The Brunch Club killed the remaining pirates. Drusilla took a single sending stone off Santiago’s body.

They dragged the bodies off the trail into the woods, hoping hungry owlbears would consume the corpses. Three animated scarecrows emerged from the trees and began dragging the bodies away. The Brunch Club destroyed them and took one of their burlap heads hoping it would help Saberhagen scry on whoever sent them.

In his scrying bowl, Saberhagen saw the image of Rajat giving orders to the Flind in front of a twenty-strong Warband of gnolls. “Burn it to the ground” was his final command before he transformed into an elk and galloped away.

Chapter 41 “Pirates and Portals”

Saberhagen’s inner sanctum was filled with the type of anxious quiet that precedes a powerful storm. Each of the room’s occupant’s silently contemplated the news the wizard had given them.

Drusilla was the first to speak. “We should evacuate the town,”.

“How?” Elora asked. “We’d leave the townsfolk exposed on the road. They’d be easy targets.”

“Can we teleport them to the library?” Salys asked Saberhagen.
The cat shook his head. “No. Without a library card, they’d be disintegrated the moment they stepped out of the teleportation circle..”

“Wow. I don’t even want to know what their late fees are like,” muttered Diesa.

“I could,” continued Saberhagen, “transport them a thousand miles away to a remote desert location, but I don’t think they’d like that since I’ve been using it as a litter box for quite a few years.”

“Wait a second,” Salys said, squinting at Saberhagen and thinking about their first time in his inner sanctum. “Is that where you sent the dead gnoll we interrogated after the first Wheaton attack?”

The cat nodded and Diesa chuckled.

“Why don’t we send a call for aid to Kalavar and Solania?” Salys asked.

“Would it get to them in time, and would they even answer it?” Jory wondered, and looked towards Saberhagen for his opinion.

The cat let out a sigh of resignation. “Elnor has little regard for Wheaton, and I would never assume I know the inner workings of the mind of a dragon.”

“We know they’re coming this time, we could always fight,” Drusilla said.

The group looked at her and weighed their odds against twenty gnolls and a Flind, even if they had Wheaton’s able-bodied citizens fighting alongside them.

“The Rod’s Curse does have cannons,” Elora said as a hint of optimism crept into her voice. “That would even the odds.”

“Hells yes!” Diesa exclaimed. “I vote for killing the rest of the pirates and taking their cannons.”

“Um…” Jory began cautiously, “As far as the town knows, that’s just a ship in port. If we go kill them and steal the cannons, we’d probably be arrested for murder.”

The rest of the party considered Jory’s point, as well as their other ideas, and formulated a plan. Saberhagen would teleport Salys to the Library where she would try to get a message to Solania and Kalavar. The rest of the Brunch Club would ask Mayor Gladstone for permission to commandeer the cannons. On their way to the Mayor’s, they would send carrier pigeons to Elnor just in case Salys’s message didn’t get where it needed to go.

“All right! Let’s do this!” Salys said eagerly as she stepped into the center of the teleportation circle in Saberhagen’s inner sanctum.

When the remaining members of the group descended the stairs into the Sun Spot’s shopping area, Drusilla noticed a gleaming round shield. It had a pristine black finish with delicate silver filigree along the outer rim. “A shield with a minor protection enchantment,” Saberhagen told her.

“If this isn’t the time for an upgrade, I don’t know what is,” Drusilla said as she counted out the hefty amount of gold for the bulwark.

They stocked up on healing potions as well in preparation for the impending battle.

“You gonna fight with us again?” Elora asked Saberhagen on their way out.

“Mmmm… I don’t like the odds,” the wizard said, unapologetically, before jumping the steps back up to his inner sanctum. “I’ll be in the aforementioned desert waiting this one out.”

The mayor listened to the Brunch Club’s warning, as well as their plan, and request to board the pirate ship. He looked exasperated and worried but kept a pragmatic demeanor. He dashed off a quick note on parchment and handed it to an aide. The aide had a worried look on his face and left the office with haste.

“I will order all able-bodied citizens old enough to lift a sword to get ready to defend their home. All others will begin evacuating immediately,” Mayor Gladstone told them decisively. “I have just sent orders to the Captain of the Guard to commandeer the cannons from the Rod’s Curse, and let him know you will be meeting him at the docks right away to offer your assistance.”

They thanked the Mayor and hurried to meet the Captain at the docks.

After a flash of light, Salys found herself standing in the Crystal Spire Library. She nervously looked at her hand and was relieved to see the library’s sigil glowing beneath the skin of her palm. Reassured she would not disintegrate, she stepped confidently out of the teleportation circle.

She looked down each of the long rows of shelves that spread out around her in a concentric circle, with her at its hub. Far down one row, she saw what looked like an elderly wizard leafing through a stack of books. He had several more books stacked by his feet. Two open books floated next to him at waist level.

“Excuse me,” Salys called out as she rushed up to him. “I need to get a message to Solania or Kalavar. It’s very important. Can you help me?”

The wizard looked at her but seemed to answer a completely different question. “If you don’t get the incantation right, you will not be able to control the demon once you summon it,” he told her sternly.

“Um, that makes sense,” Salys replied. “But I don’t need to summon a demon. I need to get a note to Solania or Kalavar.”

“Summoning spells are tricky!” the wizened librarian insisted. “You. Must. Get. The incantation. Exactly. Right!”

Salys let out an exasperated sigh and left the wizard to his books in search of a more helpful, less insane, librarian.

She saw a figure in the distance down another long row placing books carefully on the shelves. As she approached she realized he was smaller than the other librarians – her size, in fact.

A sense of hope replaced her frustration when she saw this librarian was a young gnome. “Can you help me?” she asked him.

The gnome turned. His eyes opened wide, and his head jerked slightly in a startled movement.

“What?” asked Salys, feeling suddenly self-conscious.

“Oh, uh sorry,” the librarian said. Embarrassment made his cheeks flushed. “We don’t get many people like you in here.”

“Gnomes?” Salys asked.

“Young gnomes,” he smiled. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m Devon.” He held out his hand.

Salys took it and smiled back. “I’m Salys.”

“Aaand what can I help you with?” Devon asked after an awkward moment of silence.

Salys jerked her hand away, realizing she’d forgotten to end their handshake. “I need to get a message to Solania or Kalavar right away.”

Devon listened to her story. The happy expression on his face gave way to one of serious attention. He wrote down everything she told him and promised he would do his best to get the message where it needed to go.

“Wait!” Salys called to him right after they started hurrying in opposite directions. “What do you know about wild magic?”

Devon smiled. “Quite a lot! And what I don’t know, I can find in here!” he held his hands out, indicating the volumes of information in the library.

“If I make it back, would you teach me about it?” Salys asked.

Devon smiled hopefully. “It would be my honor.”

Salys smiled and hurried back to the teleportation circle.

The Brunch Club stopped at Druron’s blacksmith shop to warn him about the upcoming attack, and to request as many pounds of grapeshot he could make for the cannons.

Salys caught up to them on their way to the docks to meet the Captain of the Guard.

Three guards were waiting for them. Elora, Drusilla, and Salys recognized the Captain as T’Hard, the commander of the town watch in Boughmoor.

He introduced the two soldiers with him as Damien and Jollup.

Drusilla introduced Jory and Diesa to T’Hard and then asked him, “What brings you to Wheaton?”

He turned and looked toward the west as if he was hoping to see across a great distance. “Boughmoor’s been abandoned,” he told them. “The bad dreams started coming back about a month after you left, and with the spectre of the Bog Hag lurking nearby and no one willing to hunt it, the people eventually started to leave.”

“I told Vorjhon we should have gone back into the bog,” Elora said. Drusilla and Salys did not bother to acknowledge that wasn’t exactly how their exit from Boughmoor went down.

“What about Anne and Cooper, Ulrich, and Raif Brenton?” asked Drusilla.

T’Hard let out a long, sad sigh. “Anne took her own life soon after her daughter’s… I don’t know what to call it. Death? Possession? Transformation? Anyway, Cooper left town shortly after that. Brenton stayed behind until everyone got out safely and as far as I know, Ulrich is still there. He said he’d put down too many roots to leave.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Drusilla said softly. Her voice then grew more cheerful. “But I’m glad we have you here to help us now.”

“Let’s get this party started,” Elora said as she placed her Phoenix Arrow on her bow.

The eight of them approached The Rod’s Curse. A number of pirates were buzzing about on deck, looking like they were moving with haste. When they reached the gangway, Captain T’Hard announced to the pirates on deck that the cannons were to be commandeered for the defense of Wheaton per order of the Mayor.

Illia, the first mate, peered down at them. “Fuck off,” she snarled, then kicked the gangway off her ship, sending it crashing onto the dock. A couple of sails dropped and the Rod’s Curse began drifting away.

Damien tried to leap the short distance to the ship but fell short. He grabbed onto the gunwale and started pulling himself up. Drusilla, remembering the effectiveness of her plant growth spell in her greenhouse, cast it on the seaweed beneath the ship in hopes of slowing it down.

Salys attempted to burn the sails with a firebolt but it merely shot through the sail leaving only a small hole with smoldering edges, doing little to slow the ship.

As Diesa and Elora fired arrows, Jory sprinted along the dock and made his own attempt to jump onto the Rod’s Curse. He also fell short but was able to grab onto Damien’s legs before plunging into the ocean. Damien maintained his grip on the side of the ship.

“You little halfling shit,” they heard an angry woman’s voice say above them.

They both looked up at Ilia, peering over the side, recognition in her face as she stared at Jory. She kicked Damien in the face, knocking him into the frigid ocean near Jory.

Salys ran along the dock trying to keep up with the ship. A door opened upwards from the side of the hull. The pirates slid a cannon through the port and fired. The cannonball did not hit Salys, but the immense concussion of the close blast knocked her unconscious.

Captain T’Hard growled with frustration. He sprinted along the dock and successfully leaped aboard the deck of the Rod’s Curse. Ilia whirled around to face him.

Two crewmen shot crossbows at the dock. Ilia screamed at them. “Ignore them, get the rest of the sails up!” she commanded as she parried a sword thrust from T’Hard.

After the crossbow bolts stuck in the deck at his feet, Jollup shouted, “I’ll get back up!” and ran toward town.

Drusilla hurried to Salys’s side and revived her with a healing spell. The cleric then summoned a spectral raven that appeared on the ship’s deck and began attacking Ilia, who was starting to get the upper hand on Captain T’Hard.

At the base of the ship, Damien’s chain mail was pulling him under the water. With Jory’s help, they made it to a ladder on a nearby piling. Exhausted, Damien told Jory to go ahead without him. The halfling scurried up the ladder to rejoin the fight.

With the sails now fully up and the Rod’s Curse ready to clear the dock completely, T’Hard found himself flanked by Ilia and another pirate. He inflicted deep cutting blows on Ilia but was tiring, and had taken some serious cuts himself. As he raised his arm for another attack, he heard Elora shout, “Don’t be a hero, T’Hard!”

“You know what?” he shouted back, “Good idea!” He leapt from the ship and landed safely on the dock before the ship sailed past it.

Salys, newly healed and very angry, cast a lightning bolt into the smoking cannon at the rear of the ship. She couldn’t tell if the cannon was still usable, but the loud, agonizing screams of the two gunners from below decks filled her with a feeling of vengeful satisfaction.

The small fires Elora’s Phoenix Arrow and Salys’s firebolt had started in the ship’s sails began to grow larger and hotter as the ship picked up speed. Despite the burning sails, the ship was now nearly out of reach. Most of the crew had taken cover below the gunwales, leaving only the helmsman for Elora to target.

“No! They’re getting away!” Jory shouted, panic and frustration rising in his voice, “What do we do?”

“Shit shit shit shit,” Salys muttered to herself, weighing her options. “Jory!” the sorceress shouted suddenly. “I can portal us onto the ship!”

“Just us?” Jory asked.

“Yes! You’re the only one small enough I can take with me. But you have to be willing!”

Jory looked back and forth between the speeding ship and the tougher members of the group they’d be leaving behind. He took a large swig of mead from his wineskin and answered, “Yes! I’m willing!” and made his way as quickly as he could into the sorceress’s arms.

Salys opened a portal in front of them and pulled Jory through behind her. In an instant, they found themselves on the deck of the pirate ship. Their appearance startled the crew. Before they could charge the diminutive intruders they were startled again by an agonizing scream. Everyone on deck saw the horrible sight of a spectral black raven pluck Ilia’s eyes from her sockets as she crumpled to the deck, too far gone to save.

Seeing the horror on his former crewmates’ faces, Jory stepped forward and said, “Santiago’s dead. Illia’s dead. You’ll never find the treasure without them. You might as well give up.”

“Fuck you, drunkling,” the pirate at the helm shouted back. Before the others could attack, they were again startled by two hatches being flung open. Two burned, smoking, angry pirates crawled up from below decks and charged at Jory.

Jory was able to take them out while Salys fired a barrage of magic missiles at the other pirates. They managed to wound a few, but they were still outnumbered, and the remaining crew began to close in around them.

Back on the dock, Drusilla healed Captain T’Hard.

“I think they’re slowing down,” said Elora as she took another shot at the helmsman, even though he was barely visible.

Drusilla noticed a fast-looking twenty-foot sailing skiff on the other side of the dock. “Can we commandeer that?”

“Yes,” said T’Hard.

“Great, can you sail?”

“No,” T’Hard grunted, shaking his head and grimacing from his wounds.

Jollup arrived back at the dock with five more town guards.

“Can any of you sail?” Drusilla shouted as they approached.

After one of them raised their hand, they all piled into the skiff, pushed it away from the dock, and chased after the Rod’s Curse, hoping Salys and Jory could stay alive for just a few more minutes.

Our tale will continue in Episode 42

Episode 41 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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 038 “Honk”

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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.

Tales of The Brunch Club 037 Beyonce Gnolls

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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!

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

Listen Here

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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!

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

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Listen on YouTube


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!

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

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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.


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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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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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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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!