Tales of the Brunch Club 001 “It Starts In A Tavern”

Illustration of two elves and a gnome meeting in a tavern

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Welcome to Episode 1 of Rescued By Dragons. A recap of a weekly Dungeons and Dragons campaign my friends and I play in Portland, Maine.

If you haven’t already done so, please listen to last week’s introductory episode to learn  about the idea behind this podcast, the world our story takes place in, and the player characters.

My name is Dominic White, and I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, pint in hand, huddled around a table with other travellers waiting to hear the ongoing tales of the party of adventurers that would become known as… The Brunch Club.

Episode 1: “It Starts in a Tavern.”

Elnon is a wilderness country. It has a few towns and a major city along its coasts where people live in relative safety, but the unsettled places between those pockets of civilization, even the roads, are filled with danger.

It was on one of these roads that Elora, a copper skinned, black-haired Wood Elf with a longbow slung over studded leather armor, met Salys, a red-headed, green-eyed Forest Gnome. She wore purple robes and carried a leather satchel, and a dagger in her belt.

Deciding to travel together for safety, they learned a little bit about each other. Salys, being charismatic and talkative, was the first to tell her story. She was from Root Run, where an odd encounter imbued her with wild, uncontrollable, magical powers. She was on her way to Elnor, The City of Magic, in hopes that its immense and famous Crystal Spire Library would contain information to help her tame her newfound sorcery.

Elora did not have much to offer her new friend. She could not explain why, but she had no memory of her life prior to a week before. She knew her name was Elora. She knew she was from the Bloodwood to the North but it was dangerous to go back for some reason. She knew she was a Ranger. And she knew she could shoot a bee off a flower from 600’ feet with her longbow. 

Salys suggested helpfully that there might be some information at the library that could tell her how to get her memory back, so they decided to take the long journey to Elnor together.

They arrived at the village of Sturgeon at the same time as a light snow. In a small but crowded tavern they ate dinner, drank drinks, and relaxed. A 5’1″ silver haired Lunar Elf with porcelain white skin approached their table. She wore black chainmail armor adorned with the emblem of a raven high on her chest and a silver shield slung across her back. She stared at them wordless through black eyes.

Salys and Elora asked the Lunar Elf what she wanted. She awkwardly but with a haughty tone, asked if she could sit with them as it was the last empty chair in the tavern.

She introduced herself as Drusila Galanoodle, a cleric of the Raven Queen hailing from an area known as the Swamp of Sorrows.”

They fell into conversation and learned that Drusilla was on her way to Elnor as well. She hoped to find answers within the great Library about a recent pestilence that visited her homeland. It dried up the abundant swamp and killed almost all the inhabitants, including all of her family. Meeting another traveler who shared their destination, and knowing there is safety in numbers, they invited Drusila to travel with them. She accepted. They agreed to share a room at the tavern and  to leave first thing in the morning for Wyhill, a two day walk from Sturgeon and the next stop on the way to Elnor.

Elves and a gnome in a tavern fantasy illustration
“May I sit here?” the Lunar Elf asked, “It’s the last empty chair.”

The next morning the light snow had turned into a blizzard. With the weather too bad for travel they checked out some of Sturgeon’s local shops to try to find anything useful for their journey.

In a small building attached to a smaller house, they found a friendly local dwarven blacksmith named Nick Lobach. They looked around his combination forge / shop for a little while, but quickly realized they couldn’t afford anything. As they were getting ready to leave a stout woman came into the shop from the house. 

She introduced herself as Nick’s wife, Mindy, but her introductions stopped as she noticed Salys and looked closely at her for a brief moment. “Oh my!” she gasped, “You’re Salys Garrick, the Hero of Root Run!”

“Um, yeah, I guess,” Salys replied with uncharacteristic bashfulness.

“Oh my! We don’t get famous people in our little shop very often! Wait till I tell my friends about this! Nick! Why didn’t you tell me we had a famous hero in our home?”

Nick shrugged apologetically at both Salys and his wife. 

After Drusilla and Elora got some amusement out of their friend’s embarrassment they bid their goodbyes to the Lobachs and continued shopping for provisions. 

With their shopping done, Drusilla suggested they get out of the cold weather and go have brunch. Salys and Elora confessed they did not know what brunch was. Drusilla assured them they would enjoy it. 

They headed to the only other Tavern in town, the Black Lamb. It was empty when they arrived, The bartender had an unwelcoming look on his face, as though he was annoyed to see customers so early. Elora’s brisk tone when ordering drinks did not make him any more welcoming. “That’ll be one gold” he said as slid them their glasses.

“One gold for 3 drinks?” asked Drusila, shocked.

“Each,” the bartender replied.

Salys, with her friendly, charismatic demeanor, asked if they could somehow get a more reasonable price for drinks and food.”

The bartender noticed their armor and weapons and made them a deal: If they promised not to go poking around, they could clean out the infestation of large rats in the basements in exchange for free drinks.

They agreed and were let into the basement down a ladder through a trap door behind the bar. 

“How bad could a few rats be?” mused Salys as they climbed down the ladder.

They bartender chuckled to himself as he closed the door above them. 

The basement was filled with sealed crates and dusty barrels. It was dimly lit by torches, but being elves and a gnome, could see in the dark just fine. Drusila and Elora pulled out short swords. Salys raised her hands in front of her. A shape moved quickly from behind one barrel to another. They saw another shape move behind one of the crates. 

A rat, three times larger than expected, emerged from the shadows. “Leave this to me,” said Drusilla confidently. She got down on one knee, and a look of concentration fell over her face. She reached her hand out to the large rat and began speaking to it in what sounded to Salys and Ellora like random squeaks and grunts. The rat halted its approach and stared at her for a brief moment. 

Dursilla and the rat locked eyes briefly and she smiled slightly with self satisfaction and relaxed her tense posture for a moment. Suddenly, lunged at Drusila and pierced her armor on the forearm with long, sharp teeth. 

Rat on crate sketch

A second rat lunged at Elora, but missed. A third and fourth rat made their attacks, taking large bites out of Salys’ leg and another bite again piercing Drusilla’s armor. Elora and Drusilla stabbed at the rats doing some damage with their swords. Salys raised her hands as her green eyes began to glow. Magical missiles shot from her hands and disintegrated some of the rats. The remaining vermin attacked once more, but the women dispatched them before they could do much more damage. They looked around the basement, behind the barrels and crates, and when they were satisfied all the large rats were dead, headed back up to the bar.

Before ascending the ladder Drusilla muttered a barely audible prayer and a purple light glowed around her wounds, healing them. She then did the same for Salys.

The bartender kept his word and provided them with free drinks for the afternoon. He did look at Drusilla funny when she began ordering food traditionally served for breakfast even though it was well into the afternoon. On their way back to their rooms they agreed that the bartender was suspicious and hiding something in the basement, but decided that they should get an early start in the morning if the weather cooperated. They also agreed that the concept of brunch was outstanding.

It was still snowing in the morning, but the wind had died down enough to begin their journey to Wyhill. As late afternoon neared the road turned a bit and they soon found themselves walking next to a river, with a dense forest on the other side of them. They talked about when they should  consider making camp for the night when they were set upon by a group of six bandits who had been concealed behind the forest’s trees.

One of the taller bandits wore slightly more patchwork leather armor than the others. He appeared to be their leader and stepped forward.

“The road is a dangerous place for ladies,” he said with confidence, but no charm. “I’ll make you an offer. Give us any coin you have and your weapons in exchange for your pretty lives.”

Ellora’s arrow sinking into the shoulder of one of the bandits announced, that though they were outnumbered, they would not be taking them up on his offer.

Salys managed to kill one of the bandits with a salvo on magic missiles. Drusila did not draw her sword, but spoke a prayer out loud beckoning a sacred flame to descend from the sky and sear another of the bandits where he stood. Elora drew her shortsword as she could no longer effectively use her bow when the bandits closed in on them. As the groups traded blows, the women were able to kill half the bandits, but had already suffered a dangerous amount of damage.

The apparent leader of the bandits moved near the unarmored Salys, ready to strike her with his sword, but before he attacked, his eyes grew wide in terror. He paused briefly before fleeing back into the forest. Salys turned to notice an unnaturally large crocodile had emerged from the river and was racing towards them. He possibly smelled blood and was hoping for an easy meal.

Before the crocodile could get any closer, a silver-scaled Dragonborn in polished chainmail armor leapt from the woods and intercepted the beast. On one arm he wore a kite shield with a painting of a dragon upon it. His other hand gripped a heavy looking warhammer. Unfortunately his hammer blows glanced off the crocodile’s thick hide and the reptile struck the dragonborn with a powerful bite and a terrible bludgeoning attack with its tail. 

Despite the dragonborn’s struggles against the large crocodile, he had managed to stop its advancement towards the three women. Salys and Drusilla used the moment of confusion to get the upper hand on the remaining bandits and killed them with sacred flame and magic missiles before they could follow their leader into the forest.

Elora noticed the dragonborn had fallen prone and the crocodile was bearing down on him with open jaws filled with flesh-ripping teeth. She took careful aim with her longbow and killed the crocodile instantly with an arrow into the brain through its open mouth.

She saw the dragonborn rise to one knee, catch his breath, and place his hands over his wounds which healed from his own touch.

With satisfying irony Salys and Drusila looted the corpses, robbing the dead bandits of their coin. 

After healing, and feeling as though they gained valuable experience, they contemplated where to make camp in a seemingly bandit-infested forest. But first, they needed to decide what to do about the mysterious dragonborn who came to their aid.

The tale will continue next time in Episode 2.

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!