In light of recent events that include my own travel through an underwater tunnel, I’ve resumed our estranged pen pal relationship. I’m on the other side of the mountains.
I’m traveling with the strangest of companions- Dar-Wynn, a singing, flying, humanoid feline brewmaster (if you bought that the rest is probably going to sound reasonable), Konrad, a cleric that’s saved my life at least twice, Yalandra, a gnomish sorceress, and “Lead Tiger,” a professional recommender of violence.
We’ve signed onto the employ of the town of Covenant, which appears to be ruled entirely by a dragon. This isn’t usually up for debate, but this notorious monster has had its brains scrambled with that of an average pussy cat. Their militia now counts myself among their most competent, which, by itself, is a disaster, but coupled with the dragon-sized kitten roaming their property, clearly categorizes them as completely fucked.
To make matters more absurd, the people are blissfully unaware of their plight. A circus bear took over the town during our meeting with the reagent (during which Lead Tiger explained the finer points of three-sectioned-staves), and we had to lure it back to its circus at the expense of our fish and bacon. I’d love to end the story there, but we found its handlers screwing each other under a wagon. I’ve finally found worse parents than my own! The same doofuses bet us 50 gold that we couldn’t make better beer than them, which is great, because I made better beer from my bladder after finishing theirs.
The mission of establishing trade cannot be completed if we leave the newly-discovered villages in ashes. We went to the dragon’s cave, based on advice from the cat. As dumb as THAT sounds, the cat can speak draconic, which our translator understands. The cat also appears to understand Common, so we’ve had trouble discussing the re-appropriation of its grotesque accumulation of treasure- at least in front of it. I can’t find it in my heart to kill the cat and doom the villagers. The dragon must be restored.
The dragon owns a compass that can lead us to a wizard who can resolve the brain-swap. Unfortunately, the dragon also has his own security network, including a cult of morons that think a man-eating lizard is a god. The first denizen of this cult was an actual Sphinx that asked us a riddle: What do humans love more than life, and dragons both need and fear?
I’ll wait while you solve that one. If I haven’t been eaten by a dragon, sacrificed by cultists, or convicted of murdering amateur actors, I’ll send the answer in the next letter. We did eventually answer it and get inside the dragon’s cave.
The dragon-cult did not receive us warmly, despite our intent to restore their patron. Lots of waiting-room-this and don’t-steal-all-that. We all had to give the crazy cultists a gold piece each just to walk in the door. We eventually managed to explain the situation to a man calling himself “Favorite Man” (named by the puerile dragon), who led us to a ridiculous dragon lounge full of gold and treasures. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, know that dragons and their servants are fairly sensitive to the removal of said gold and treasures. Even a threat from a cat carries weight if you assume it will eventually turn into a dragon.
My companions managed to bargain with the dragon for expensive-looking equipment (including Lead Tiger, who actually found his sectioned staff). I got a slap on the wrist for almost taking some gold and unsuccessfully peering into a crystal ball. If my future is that cloudy, I have far bigger problems than the dragon-cat. Still, there was treasure enough to solve most any financial problem. Reclaiming it could fundamentally alter reality for Covenant, or any other city. We left the dragon’s cave with the compass.
Finally, we arrive at the comic relief. That’s right, the circus bear, nor the dragon-cat, nor the fact that I walked out of a dragon’s treasure-room with less money than I went in with aren’t the punchline. I also shot an amateur actor.
A day after departing Covenant, we came upon a clearing containing orcs, deeply set upon some kind of religious ritual. They had a mostly-naked woman tied to a table, and were waving a dagger over top of her. It was only after I’d already fired a mortally-wounding arrow that we realized they were putting on the world’s most inopportune play. I do speak orcish, so the fact that their orcish was gibberish might have been a clue, but who takes chances when lives are at stake? Fortunately, my companions were able to heal the poor orc and explain the situation.
I think we’ve all been in an “orcish-sacrifice” situation before (this might be my third), but the real shock came to me right after I fired the arrow. The defender of this bizarre display of theater was some kind of talking deer, who tried to gore me with his antlers. Since we DID get the confusion cleared up, we’re now following this eerie mutant in hopes of a better route to our wizard.
Do look in on my mother. My situation is promising, if precarious.