After some resupplying ShadowStrike met a man at the bar who was lamenting that his favorite piglet was kidnapped by a dragon last night.
As he was coming down from Doppel, we opted to buy his remaining pig and follow his steps back toward Doppel to see what happens.
- Mystery of the Tiny Dragon
ShadowStrike bought a piglet named, “Trenton” from a farmer who swears that one of his pigs was stolen by a “dragon”. This allegedly occurred north of Shabat.
The party goes to look for this pig stealing “dragon”
Group of dwarves heading south into Shabat express concern about tension between dragonborn and human kingdom (Etz) in the Disputed Lands (DMZ). Humans captured by dragonborn on island. Dwarves are leaving because trade has been suffering.
Dragon turns out to be a morose or distressed pseudo dragon. It shows up the first evening and entices the party to follow it as it flits from scrubby tree to scrubby tree in the plains. Follow it to a clearing with hob goblins abusing a elf.
To provide a distraction, Arc’teryx sings a country song “Sammy, the pig, got stolen by a tiny dragon”. Accompanied by juggling ho’shos between himself and his mage hand.
Rescued Valan, the elf, researcher at great library at Doppel. His psuedo dragon, Gertrude was pleased that he did not die. He researches the upper outer planes (good religious planes). Looking into extra planar activity in the area.
Valan identifies previously seen idol as god from somewhere else attempting to gain influence in the realm. He writes a letter of introduction to Edmond in Doppel, a scholar of the lower outer planes.
An excerpt from the personal journal of Arc’teryx
The Adventures of Trogdor
Chapter 2 – A Pig Walks Into a Bear…
News travels fast when you talk to an eye-witness. An old man in a bar in Doppel told some strangers that a dragon stole his pig. A big dragon, with wings, and eyes, and big scales. Maybe it was big, maybe not, but the rest was true for sure. And it stole Sammy the pig, that much was indisputable.
The man, a farmer, was walking his pig between Doppel and Brut. Nobody asked why. But he was. Then all of a sudden, WHOOSH! SQUEEEE! Sammy was gone, never to be seen again…
After hearing the man’s tale, ShadowStrike was SuidaeStricken. He simply had to investigate this absurd small-town happening. He managed to convince everyone else that it was worth looking into. Everyone except Arc’teryx, whose idiotic grin nearly split his head in two, and whose frantic scribbling was barely legible to himself… He already knew this tale was worth retelling.
The party first came up with a plan, as always. As there was nothing to kick, punch, burn, stab, steal, or read, it took a while to figure out a reasonable course of action. But finally, the team put two and nothing together and got two. The dragon ate a pig, so the party would simply acquire a pig, and then use it as bait to find the dragon. The problem then became where to find a pig to use as bait… and, well, they knew of a farmer who had recently lost a pig to a hungry dragon. Many men who walk around with pants have more pants at home. Maybe this farmer had at least one more pig. As it turns out, he had another pig, Trenton, who the party vowed they would take only for safe keeping. What better place to keep a sure target for a dragon attack than in the capable hands of five violent adventurers, two of whom are part dragon? Well in any case, ShadowStrike bought Trenton the pig from the bereaved farmer for a single silver coin and an empty promise. “We’ll keep him safe.”
The party wasted no time, departing the city immediately and headed north along the road to Brut, well before sunset. On their way, a bunch of Dwarves told the party of two Dragonborn and two humans that Dragonborn and humans didn’t… get alone. Like, there was some territorial dispute, or war, or something? They left rather discomfited, probably debating amongst themselves if what they just saw was an illusion, or perhaps part of their drunken Dwarven imagination. Sometimes even Dwarves don’t trust their memories.
Come evening, and after a long series of debuts of solo instrumental pieces Arc’teryx had been working on, no dragon was yet seen. Until at least, when Arc’teryx tired of playing his own favorite songs, a winged figure cast a shadow over the adventurers. Smartly, Arc’teryx and Trogdor strategically separated themselves from the unknown threat, while the rest of the meatbags stood stock still like chickens awaiting the axe. Spared by sheer luck, and with stupidity traded up for bravery only in delusional hindsight, the humans and Gnome were first to greet a small pseudodragon, who would employ an aggressive form of telepathy to trick them into offering him aid at the cost of less than nothing.
The pseudodragon’s first act of deception was to lead the party into a trap, through a thicket in the forest, directly into conflict with hobgoblins holding hostage one mysterious elf. Arc’teryx’s quick thinking gave the team the element of surprise. Using half of his available magical energy, he conjured an illusory army of dancing piglets and a Mage Hand to accompany him in a music and dance routine so outrageous even his allies were caught off guard. The song was an original, titled “Sammy the Pig Got Stole by a Tiny Dragon.” It was an acoustic, melancholy piece, completely incongruous with the glamorous showgirls piglet dance. Sander gave himself away by stepping on the loudest branch in the entire forest, and it took even the monk a few extra swings to land a good punch. Hobgoblins are, on occasion, very well armed and armored. Sander opted to simply set several bolt-like twigs free to their forest home, rather than trap them in the chests and skulls of some stinky hobogobos. A healthy portion of the murder inflicted upon these creatures came the Dragonborn pair’s fire breath. There is a little known fact: one does not simply walk out of Mordor.
The goblins destroyed and the elf set free, the party was free to interrogate the former captive. The dude’s interests lay far, far away from reality as Arc’teryx was taught it, so the bard’s attention settled on his empty hands, which moments ago held one Trenton the pig. His query to the group yielded a gruesome revelation. Gerty ate Trenton. Feeling morose, Arc’teryx wandered nearby, at the edge of the clearing, improvising and piecing together a fast paced, rhythmic, somewhat sullen rhyme accompanied by his tambourine drum, that he would later call “Dragon’s Gotta Eat.”
While the adventurers did not return to Doppel to inform the poor farmer of the death of his second pig by the same dragon, they did stop by a different farm at the request of Arc’teryx. On a whim, he decided to purchase his own pig companion, who he named Abercrombie, and who he felt deserved, and would play, a critical role in the epic tale of the Firebarian Trogdor, after the death of two of his kind along the way.
Abercrombie happily squeaked and grunted and munched on rations, safely nestled in Arc’teryx’s pack, head out and observing the road behind the party as they marched toward a cave, led by the devious and deceitful Gertrude. The cave was described to the party by the elf they had saved, apparently of interest due to activity surrounding a deity of sorts attempting to worm its way into the world. The group was there partly to investigate, but mostly to interfere, because getting on the bad side of gods sounded pretty great. The party noticed from pretty far off that the cave entrance was guarded, and assumed that the cave was thus also populated. The guards ahead, again hobgoblins, were deemed unworthy of life, unanimously. Arc’teryx again enthusiastically volunteered to act as a distraction, while the rest of the team engaged in some ridiculous rock scaling antics to get into combat positions. How a nearly seven foot tall firebreathing dragon man climbs over boulders unnoticed mere meters away from a supposedly sentient, conscious creature is beyond reason, and yet, so it was. Trogdor is not restricted by sensible, natural reality or physics.
When the time came, Arc’teryx strode confidently on two legs toward the hobgoblins, adorned in a fairly realistic bear costume, Abercrombie held aloft, making relatively bear-like noises. To his satisfaction, the hobgoblins seemed taken in by his ruse, and believed him to be a bear with a pig. To his unjustified surprise, they immediately attacked. Fortunately, their aim was as awful as their perception, and they missed badly. Arc’teryx’s allies then rushed to his aid, besieging the unsuspecting hobogoobers with all manner of fast moving pointy and blunt things. The Dragonborn again employed a combination fire breath tactic, in addition to the bard’s pelvic thrusting and genius insults, that left the goblins unable to withstand the assault of bolts, fists and staves by the humans. Once they were vanquished, the adventurers had a few moments to rest and plan their assault on the cavern.
more to come