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Welcome to Episode 25 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 JP Black and in the DnD campaign this story is based upon, I play Drusilla Galanoodle, a Cleric of the Raven Queen.
Now I invite you to picture yourself in a cozy, torch-lit tavern, ale in hand, gathered around a table with your closest comrades, waiting to hear the next chapter in the tales of… The Brunch Club.
But first, a quick recap of our previous episode…
In episode 24 The Brunch Club returned to Elnor to collect the bounty on the two Hill Giants. They then sold the hill giant penises they used as proof of their kills to a local alchemist. Drusilla was approached by a messenger inviting them to a fancy gala thrown by the Widow Tiroll to take place the next evening. They met a gnome jeweler named Nedna who told them the necklace they found in the woods was worth two thousand gold pieces. Salys made a date with Nedna’s grandson, Tuft, for later that night. With a few hours to kill before Salys’s date, the women decided it was time for a spa day and dragged Vorjhon along.
Episode 25, “Spa Day”
The Brunch club walked through the doors of Puddle Rocks Spa into a well appointed lobby. Tall, potted plants alternated with comfortable looking chairs along the walls. There were fountains on either side of an ornately carved wood counter with gold leaf decorating the handsome scroll work. Ethereal flute music seemed to be playing softly all around them.
“Wow! This place is fucking fancy,” said Diesa, still tipsy from the jug of wine she drank during lunch.
A tall, broad-shouldered woman smiled at them. “Hello,” she greeted. “My name is Miriam. Are you here for our services today?”
“Hell yeah! Spa me!” said Diesa enthusiastically.
“Ahem, yes,” said Drusilla, stepping in front of Diesa and walking to the counter. “We have a free afternoon and were wondering what services you have.”
“For all five of you?” Miriam asked, looking at Vorjhon with an expression of doubt on her face.
“Yes, all five of us,” Drusilla answered.
MIriam’s face brightened. “Well,” she began, “if you have the entire afternoon, you can partake of all of our services and still have time to relax in our exclusive enchanted rain room.”
“What are your services?” asked Elora.
“We have the best masseuses and masseurs in Elnor,” Miriam said with pride. “Our hair salon is excellent, and we were the first spa in the city to offer enchanted manicures.”
“That sounds excellent,” said Drusilla. “We’ll take all the services and the rain room.”
Miriam led them through an inner door into another room. While the fountains and ethereal music helped mask the busy street noise of Elnor on the other side of the lobby doors, the sounds of the city completely disappeared when Miriam shut the door of this new room behind them. The room was large, clean, and lined with cedar panelling. There were several cozy looking chairs with end tables arranged in conversational semi-circles throughout the room. The cedar walls had several doors which led to cozy, dressing rooms where they could change into robes and store their gear.
Vorjhon struggled to take off his armor in the small room. When he stepped out, the four women were already lounging in the chairs sipping mimosas. Salys and Diesa had the hems of their robes pulled up and tucked under their terry cloth belts so they wouldn’t drag on the floor. Elora’s and Drusilla’s robes fit them perfectly.
“Oh my,” Salys said when she saw Vorjhon.
Drusilla, Elora, and Diesa turned and laughed at the sight. His robe was stretched tight at the shoulders and wide open on his chest. The belt barely fit around his waist and was tied in a small square knot with the loose ends barely showing. A towel under the tight belt served as a loin cloth to hide his private parts.
“C’mon, Vorjhon,” Salys teased him. “You’ve been tossing around giant dicks all morning. Don’t tell me you’re shy now!”
“That was different,” said Vorjhon. “Those weren’t mine.”
“Maybe the size comparison’s making him feel self-conscious,” said Drusilla.
“Does your dick have scales?” Diessa asked, before downing the rest of her mimosa.
“Ew,” said Elroa. “That’s probably why you don’t see any half dragonborns anywhere.”
“Can we change the subject please,” urged Drusilla. “I’m trying to find my happy place.”
“Changing subject is fine with me,” said Vorjhon as he sat down carefully to keep himself covered. He quickly drank the mimosa that was waiting for him.
Miriam brought them another round of mimosa’s and asked them what kind of massages they wanted. “We offer relaxation, deep tissue, and detox,” she told them.
“Diesa will have the detox,” they all said in unison.
When the rest of the women picked their massages, Miriam asked Vorjhon, “and for you, sir?”
“I don’t mean to offend you,” he began cautiously, “but do you have anyone on your staff strong enough to give deep tissue massage through dragonborn scales.”
Vorjhon thought her smile looked mischievous. It made him slightly nervous.
“Oh, I have just the masseur for you, don’t you worry.” She called out in a louder voice, “Barry! You’ve got a customer!”
The set of double doors at the far side of the room swung open. The hulking form of an eight foot tall, four-armed, gorilla-like creature filled the doorway as it stooped low to fit under the door jamb.
“Holy crap!” Elora laughed. “It’s a girallon. Vorjhon, you are so dead.”
“Barry, this is Vorjhon,” Miriam said, introducing the dragonborn. “He wants the ‘smash and fracture.”
“Wait. The what?” said a startled Vorjhon.
“Okay,” Barry replied. “Did he sign the waiver?”
“Oh, I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Miriam said nonchalantly.
“Waiver?” Vorjhon whimpered.
“C’mon, Cupcake,” The girallon said as he picked Vorjhon up and tossed him over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes. “Barry’s gonna take real good care of you.”
“Oh man,” said Salys. “He’s not coming back.”
Miriam paired the remaining Brunch Club members with their massage partners. “When you’re all done you can relax in the rain room until your hair appointments,” she told them.
Salys was the first one done with her massage. She felt relaxed and limber while she followed her masseur to the rain room. Salys paused in the doorway for a moment to let her brain fully comprehend the sight before her.
The door did not open to a room. It opened to what looked like an ancient elven forest. Trees dotted grassy meadows criss crossed with flowing streams and smaller shallow brooks. Clouds of steam floated through the air. The sound of rain was the only thing she could hear, even though it was not raining in the room.
There were a few people around that she could see. Most of them were laying in the grass, or gliding back and forth lazily on swinging benches that hung from the large tree branches. Salys noticed no one was talking to each other. Paper lanterns filled with what looked like fireflies floated slowly through the air, providing the only source of light. Despite the lack of bright light, it looked as though there were acres of forest to explore.
“Wow,” Salyls whispered.
“We hear that a lot,” the masseur said. “Feel free to explore. You’ll be notified by a sending spell when it’s time for your hair appointment.”
Salys stepped into the room. She turned to thank the masseur, but no sound left her lips.
“Once I close the door,” he told her, “the only sound you’ll hear is the rain.”
Salys nodded as he closed the door. She looked around at the forest, absorbing its tranquility. She wanted to explore but decided to sit by a small stream near the door and wait for her friends.
Elora was the next to arrive, followed by Drusila and Diesa. The rogue was walking much steadier now and her eyes seemed more focused. “When they say ‘detox’, they mean ‘detox,’” Salys heard her tell Drusilla before the door shut and muted their voice.
They laid on the grass with their feet in the water. They listened to the rain and let the stream wash over their feet. They lost all sense of time but started to feel like they had been waiting for Vorjhon for a very long time.
Elora stood up. She made a walking gesture with her first two fingers, telling the others she was going to explore the rain room. They nodded, but did not get up to join her.
They heard the door open and looked up to see Vorjhon and Barry. The giant girallon hugged the dragonborn tightly. It appeared to wipe tears from its eyes. “Thank you for everything Vorjhon. That really helped,” he said in an earnest voice.
Vorjhon reached up and patted him affectionately on the shoulder. “Have faith, my friend,” he told Barry with an optimistic tone, “I’m sure you will see her again soo. It was pleasure to meet you.”
Barry smiled, wiped another tear from his eye, then closed the door behind the dragonborn.
Salys, Drusilla and Diesa stared at him with astonished expressions on their faces. Salys mouthed the words, “What was that?”
Vorjhon waved his hand in the air to indicate it was nothing and joined them on the bank of the stream, placing his feet in the water.
They couldn’t tell how much time they sat there enjoying the steamy air and the sound of rain all around them. Eventually Vorjhon looked at his companions and mimed shooting a bow and arrow, asking where Elora was. They all shrugged and stood up to go find her. They walked in the direction they saw Elora go earlier. Diesa spotted her first. She was standing up, swaying back and forth, staring up at one of the glowing paper lanterns which hovered a few feet above her.
They approached her. Vorjhon tapped her on the shoulder and waved. She turned around slowly and smiled. Her pupils were so large there was only a sliver of iris visible around them. She turned back toward the hovering lantern and began swaying again. The others looked at each other with quizzical looks. They stared at the lantern trying to see what was so interesting about it. They saw nothing.
Each of them heard their own name spoken to them telepathically, followed by the words, “it is time for your hair appointment, please proceed to the salon.”
Elora did not seem to not to hear the message from the sending spell, or she was choosing to ignore it. Drusilla and Vorjhon took her by the arms and led her away. Whenever they passed beneath one of the glowing lanterns, Elora’s eyes followed it until it was well behind her.
When they finally exited the rain room and could be heard, Salys said, “What is wrong with her?”
“Elora,” Vorjhon said, “Are you okay?”
Elora looked at the dragonborn for a moment, smiled, then stared at one of the sconces on the hallway wall.
She walked toward it. “Lamp,” she said.
“Uh, yeah, lamp,” agreed Diesa.
“Laaaamp,” Elora said, slowly, almost reverently.
“All right lamp lady,” said Drusilla, taking her arm again. “Let’s go get your hair done.”
When they got to the salon, they sat Elora down in a chair. Her gaze floated back and forth between the lanterns and candles in the room.
Miriam was there to greet them.
“Do you know what’s wrong with our friend?” Salys asked Miriam.
“We found her like this in the rain forest,” said Drusilla.
“Oh dear,” Miriam, said. “It looks like she got a hold of some moondust.
“Moondust?” Vorjhon asked.
“It’s a drug made from the pollen collected off a specific kind of moth. It makes you feel very relaxed and attracted to bright lights.” Miriam told them. “It’s a popular party drug among Elnor’s younger citizens.” Seeing the look of concern on her customer’s faces, she added, “It’s perfectly harmless. It usually lasts six to eight hours.”
“Who gave you the drugs?” Diesa asked Elroa.
“Cute guy in the forest,” Elora replied dreamily, never taking her eyes off one of the lights in the room.
“Nothing we can do about it now,” Drusilla said. “Let’s get her in a chair.”
Miriam told them the enchanted hair styles and manicures would last for 48 hours and encouraged them to get as creative as they wanted.
Salys had her bright red hair pulled back tight, half way across her head. Then it fanned out long and wide behind her,like billowing flames.
Each of the sorceress’s thumbnails was painted with a miniature representation of her, made of little squares. The image moved and shot fire bolts from its hands, which sailed across each finger until exploding on her pinky nails.
Drusilla got hair extensions lengthening her hair to her waist. Her stylist enchanted it to have it continuously billow, as though being blown by a gentle breeze, even indoors. She got a raven head painted on each middle nail, with black wings which stretched out over her other nails and flapped up and down in perfect synchronization.
When the stylist asked Elora what she wanted for her hair and nails, she simply replied, “Lamp.” She gave her a fancy beehive hairdo with an enchanted glowing gem, set in the middle. Each fingernail was decorated with a lantern with a light that flickered, like real flames.
Since Vorjhon had no hair, his stylist used a paste, wool cloth, and cotton cloth to polish his scales until they shined brightly. A stylized image of the Dragon God, Bahamut, glided across his nails from one hand to the other.
Elora momentarily took her eyes off one of the lamps to look at Vorjhon’s gleaming scales. “Shiny,” she said.
Diessa got purple nails and an updo, held in place with a dagger.
After their hair and nails were done, Miriam told them they had an hour remaining on their appointment and could finish it in the rain room if they wanted.
“Hey Elora, wanna show me who gave you the moondust?” Diesa asked her as they headed to the rain room..
“Suure!” said Elora. She took off her robe and handed it to the dwarf.. “Let’s go,” she said, walking naked down the hallway.
The rest followed.
They walked around the rain room for about twenty minutes. Elora pointed to a very handsome man sitting cross legged atop of a grassy mound. His head was tilted back and his mouth was open slightly. He stared, unblinking, at a lantern hovering above him. Scattered around the hill were several other people sitting or lying down, staring upwards, also transfixed by the floating lanterns.
Drusilla smiled and winked at her companions as if to say, “Watch this.” She conjured four glowing orbs of light and made them circle above the moondust infected people. Their heads moved in circles, following the floating orbs.
Diesa made a motion with her hands, telling Drusilla to move the lights away from the hill. As Drusilla did this, the people all turned around to follow them with their eyes. When all of them were looking away, Diesa snuck up on the moondust dealer and slipped her hand into his robe pocket. He never noticed she was there.
Drusilla left three floating orbs above the group, and used the other to help coax Elora back toward the exit. Before they reached the door, Salys stopped and pointed to an area of the room that was thick with steam. Behind the cloud, they could just make out the form of some kind of creature. As they got closer, they could see it was sitting on top of a pedestal about fifteen feet off the ground. It was a winged, impish beast, about the size of a gnome. It was chained to the pedestal by one of its feet. It opened its mouth and exhaled a large cloud of steam over their heads. It exhaled another steam cloud at seemingly random intervals. The creature looked down at them. Even though it looked like a devilish goblin with long ears and a pointed hooked nose, they could see a sad expression on its face, and the look of hopelessness in its eyes. Drusilla felt bad for the pathetic creature, but knew she should find out more about it, before she decided if she should help it.
When they returned to the dressing rooms, they found their clothes had been washed and pressed. Their armor, shields and weapons were clean and polished.
“What was the creature chained up to the pedestal in the rain room?” Drusilla asked Miriam as she paid for their spa afternoon.
“That was a mephit,” Miriam told her. “Elementals with nasty dispositions. Fortunately, we’ve been able to retrain them and put them to good use.”
“The one we saw looked so sad,” the cleric said.
“Don’t let them fool you,” Miriam said with no trace of empathy. “They’ll burn your face off if given half a chance. But they are looked after, and we treat them well, as long as they behave.”
Drusilla was not satisfied with the answer, but decided not to ask about it any further.
The refreshed and relaxed group left the spa and headed for the Elfsong Tavern to get dinner before Salys’s date with Tuft.
Elora sat between Vorjhon and Drusilla. She held her hands up to her face. Her palms were faced outward so she could stare at the glowing lanterns on her fingernails. She held one hand in front of Vorjhon. “Look, lamps.” she told him.
“Yes, very nice, Elora,” Vorjhon humored her.
She held her hand in front of Drusilla’s face. “Look, lamp.”
Salys waved when she saw Tuft enter the tavern.
He smiled when he saw her, but his smile faded slightly when he noticed the rest of The Brunch Club was also there.
“Hi,” he said when he approached the table. “I didn’t know you were all going to be here.”
“Don’t worry,” Vorjhon said reassuringly. “We are just finishing our dinner. We won’t intrude.”
Salys stood up. “No need to rush. We’ll go find our own table. Good night guys, don’t wait up!” she said with a wink as she led Tuft away by the hand.
The Brunch Club watched as Salys and Tuft sat at a small table on the other side of the tavern, out of earshot from them.
“What do you think they’re talking about?” Drusila asked.
“None of our business,” said Vorjhon.
They watched Salys and Tuft stand up and head for the door.
“They haven’t even had a drink yet.” said Drusilla. “Where do you think they’re going?”
“Probably somewhere to fuuuuck,” said Diesa.
“I’m going to follow them,” Drusilla said as she stood up.
“Leave them alone,” said Vorjhon. “She’s a grown gnome. She can take care of herself.”
Drusilla had already left the table and was headed out the door.
“What do moths do in the dark?” said Elora, still staring at her fingernails.
Drusilla followed Salys, using all the tricks of stealth she had learned from watching Diesa. She kept her breathing slow and quiet. She only walked when they did, so the sound of their own footsteps would mask hers. She kept to the shadows, confident she would be hidden in the darkness, like a raven in the night.
“Why is your friend following us?” Tuft asked Salys.
“Ugh, I have no idea,” Salys said apologetically.
“She’s really loud,” he said.
Salys called Pip to her. He landed on her shoulder. “Go poop on Drusilla,” she commanded.
“Fuck yeah!” Pip said happily and flew off toward the cleric.
The snowy white pygmy owl was easily visible against the night sky and Drusilla was able to sidestep his payload.
“Hey! He almost got my clean armor!” Drusilla yelled at Salys.
“Go home, Drusilla! You don’t have to act like our mom every night,” Salys shouted back.
Drusila huffed, and trudged back to the tavern.
Salys and Tuft walked back to his jewelry store, in which he and his grandmother lived above. Tuft unlocked the door and let her in. “Would you like some tea?” he asked while relocking the door. When he turned around for her answer, she surprised him by wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him close for a long, slow kiss.
“Later,” she said. “Right now I want you to show me your bedroom.”
“Okay!” Tuft grinned happily.
“Just don’t mess up my hair,” said Salys as she followed Tuft up the stairs.
Our tale will continue next week in Episode 26
Episode 25 was written by Dominic White and based upon a Dungeons and Dragons campaign created by our dungeon master, Brian Messmer.
Valuable contributions to the story were added by the role playing of:
- Bethany Powers, who plays Diessa
- JP Black, who plays Drusilla
- Liz Raychard, who plays Elora
- Anna Flemke, who plays Salys
- Dominic White, who plays Vorjhon
- And Brian Messmer, who plays everyone else
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!