ACT I, ADVENTURE 1: Pub Crawl
A D&D Adventure Set in Far Realm
Lord Humbolt, and his Daughters
Lord Humbolt was a fixture in Far Realm. Most believe he came in the first colonial brigade. As he will attest to if asked, many of the fortress’ fortifications were built with “these own Celn hands”. But Lord Humbolt was not to be trifled with as our story unfolded. This is not Cillandar, or Cellione where justice is swift but most would consider fair. Provided one acknowledges the King’s rule and the Flame’s faith. Humbolt had risen steadily in the politics of the colony and his many dealings, both business and personal were then intertwined in the fabric of the place. He was therefore a hard man to deal with, but a hard man to stay away from. His daughters however were hard to stay away from too. Beautiful Celn women were and still are hard to find in the colonies after all.
Wrong Bed, Wrong Time
Each and every one of them were asleep. In a comfortable bed . The most comfortable bed they’d slept on for sometime. That is of course except for Master Thrak, who was sleeping in a bushy pile of straw and no doubt back then, he was glad for it! They were, they would later say, in blissful peace. They were in a rare state, out there among the isles of dread and savagery. As so often seemed to happen to them though, their world was shattered and quickly too. A splintering sound erupted in each of their eardrums.
Their eyes were barely able to pierce the darkness, but each, in their own way, could see a monster clawing at the chamber door, splintering it into many pieces. Next to them, the most angelic creature each had ever seen awakened in fright! She or he sat up, gasped, stared at the chamber door. For Morn, he would recount that a thick muscled arm reached through one of the gaping holes it had made. Some beast’s claws curled over the edge of the door as it comes off it’s hinges and bursts out into the room. Two giant, crimson eyes came into view, followed by fangs and giant teeth that glared in the light of the candle by the bedside. Spittle flew from the beast’s mouth and it’s mouth snarled. A demonic voice roared, “She is mine!”
You turn towards your loved one. You have only moments to react. And as you do so, you realize that you aren’t the only one! Through the door jam, you can see other creatures, breaking into the doors of other rooms. Beasts with wings and tails, slithering on tentacles. The Darkening has come just as the superstitions have foretold! You will be dragged to Ket tonight, deep into the cold abyss. And so will the others around you! But where are you? And why does your head hurt so much?
They would learn later that there were seven of them, which of course we now know there must have been. Seven, that night, must have foretold the dread that awaited them all, but none of them saw it of course. It was still a time of secrets. They were simpletons, street urchins and performers, entertainers and thieves. They were nobodies. They longed for more, but a life in Far Realm sometimes led to riches and sometimes led to pain and survival. And thus far they were getting much more of the latter.
There was Morn, the Lighted One. Although the Kill’s Devil Rum had took his senses from him then, he knew one other, Inara Goldpetal. A bard by trade, classically trained, yet classically untrainable. There was Andril, the wizard, he who first awoke and struck his foe so decisively with a magic spell that the beast fell upon the chamber floor asleep! Even then was Andril a powerful mage! The rogue, Ariea, who was often impulsive and hot-tempered , and Nuni the druid, whose raven became the personal property of Governor Canton for a time. And hidden in their rooms in the Glass is Half Full Inn, tolerated for coin was a child of Ket, Madeline, although that was not then known. Finally, there was Thrak. Sleeping in the strawed beds of the stable for a copper earned for the isle meat he offered in the back alleys of the less reputable bars, he was then but a creature of the wilds.
Each of these nobodies fought their demons, so to speak. Morn would later recall the insectile creature with mandibles dripping and oozing slime. As the battle waged on, Morn began to see, of all the things he could see in the heat of this battle, a beard appear on the face of his enemy. He tugged on it and yanked the thing backwards as it whelped, “Ouch!” He would have laughed at the absurdity there if the thing weren’t about to strike down the one he cared for so much!
And just as the monsters were about to strike their killing blows, and a bowler hat materialized on the head of a demon near the rogue, up the stairs of the inn walked another beast, larger than the rest, hoofed and clawed, with spikes running down it’s back and fangs stretching out in an angry roar! It wore skulls around it’s neck and armor plates in the shapes of tear drops. On it’s necklace of trophies though were seven skulls, each one a decapitated version of their own! It spoke! “She is mine! Do you hear me! She is mine! She is…. My…..blood!!!!!!
He pointed at them each, holding aloft a rod, bejeweled with more white skulls …and they knew no more! Their eyes closed.
The seven awoke only a few minutes later to the sounds of clanking and shouting. A man, wearing armor in the shape of tear drops was standing over them. He looked familiar. In fact, he looked like the Captain of the Guard. It was Master Humbolt! He turned to the six children who had disobeyed him, each with their heads bowed standing before him, trying to keep their nightgowns covering themselves on such a cold night. He began yelling and cursing as only the Captain of the Guard could!
“Cassy! Katey! Kelsey! Chelsea! Jennifer, Alexandra! I have warned you about these pirate louts! Why must you disrespect me so! Now do you see what I must do!” He turned to Morn and shook his head, “An Order of Silver no less, such a waste. Now do you see that I must take these scoundrels to the High Inquisitor? Just like the last ones. Your silly potionmaker will be sent to him as well this time, I don’t care how valuable he is.”
“Looks like we had more than just bad Kill Devil’s Rum,” thought Adril. And although her head was bowed, Alexandra winked at him through her hair, smiled and puckered her lips. Her father turned to leave and she quickly lowered her head once more.
“Package them up for their journey back to the light!”
Justice, in the Elvish Fashion
The party is clasped in the magical irons of the guard. Handcuffed, they are marched down the main avenue of the town. The wind blows fiercely. It is a strong gale and two of the moons are in full glow lighting the central courthouse. Palms sway. Rumor was a fierce storm might be on it’s way. It certainly looks like that might be true.
Finally, they are marched up the steps of the courthouse where a very groggy elf, was standing in a large chamber. They knew this to be the place of Inquisition, where prisoners were held and sentenced. The elf was none other than the governor of the colony himself. Canton, they presumed was awoken in the middle of the night and he didn’t look happy about it.
“Why have you awoken me Humbolt? I am not amused here!”
“Sir, My Lord, these louts were found stealing from the Royal Treasury. They have unregistered magical devices and this one in particular …” Humbolt, has the gear brought before Canton and casting a spell reveals some of it is magical in nature! He continues. “My Lord, as Captain of the Guard, I move to have them Inquisitioned immediately as per His Majesty’s Far Code!”
“Not so fast Master Humbolt. They are indeed in sufficient criminal negligence to be Inquisitioned,” Canton looked curiously at a conch glowing light green with magical energy, “ and yet, there are ways and means here in Far Realm. We cannot be so….,” he turned to the group, “hasty.”
Standing there, explaining in detail the party’s crimes, Humbolt wants the book thrown at them. Several of them attempt to protest, but Humbolt is incensed, as much as Canton is irritated. He suggests that one of them , he suspects Morn, used a love potion to seduce his daughters as well.
“Interesting….love potions have been a serious problem as of late.” Canton recalled a report Humbolt had brought him earlier that week about men who had disappeared after visiting a bar in the docks region. He continued. “Lord Humbolt, a word please.” Oddly, Canton has found a raven hidden amongst the robes of the druid. As he rifled through their gear, he picked it up and soothed the bird with elvish magic. The druid looked at him menacingly.
“If you hurt her…”
“Hush, urchin.” Stroking the creature, he walked with Humbolt to an antechamber. Little did he know though, that Nuni could hear through her familiar.
Humbolt spoke first. “The disappearances lately have stalled commerce. Use this lot as a scapegoat, and kill two birds with one stone!”
“I wish to settle this in the elvish fashion, Master Humbolt, surely, you can see that is what is best. You know I can not win the prize myself. The prize will be given to a charitable beneficiary. There is as you know, another section of Far Code, Master Humbolt. And as you will soon see,” he pats Humbolt on the shoulder, “you should leave the island politics to me.”
Canton walked out of the antechamber and approached the group, tied by manacles hand and foot.
“There is one final opening in Taryn’s Bane. The contest begins in earnest tomorrow’s eve. As a registered member of Far Realm, I offer you once and once only: Fate, or Chance? Your decision must be unanimous as there is only one team left needing sponsorship.
The party answered unanimously, but not without animosity!
Canton smiled and petted the bird again which cawed loudly at his touch. “I see. Well then you now have a chance to control your fate. Should you win the Contest and earn top honors in Taryn’s Bane, you will be given amnesty for the crimes you have committed heretofore. Should you not, you will be inquisitioned publicly, immediately following the contest. Good night, and Master Humbolt?”
“Yes, my lord,” said Humbolt.
“My servants will acquire the items you claim these criminals have stolen from my treasury. Of course.”
“But…Of course. My lord.” Humbolt stormed out of the courthouse. Just before getting there though, he tripped, and fell upon the slick floor. A mouse ran from his trousers and disappeared in the shadows outside.
The party was then taken to a cell, outfitted with magical ankles that will not let them leave Far Realm.
“Well, were they worth it?” Asked Thrak, the lizard man. Who reached into his sack for a late night snack.
“Who do you mean?” asked Inara.
“The Captain’s daughters. Were they worth it?”
“Oh, I’m not telling,” whispered one of the other’s voices in the darkness. “But it will be when I stick my blade in Humbolt’s spine.”
And they slept. Or tried to. Few snore as badly as a lizardfolk barbarian with a bad hangover.