Campaign of the Month: March 2013
Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age
Anna Lynn's Story
For the past year, Anna Lynn has been touring the kingdoms. She has performed for the amusement of many kings. She has been getting bored and complacent as she begins to feel like a court jester. The court she most recently visited was that of King Naricimas. Standing in the middle of the court she bellows out her song. The king seems happy and claps eagerly awaiting the bard’s next ballad. Anna bows and starts to sing another. She allows her mind to drift away falling on more exciting times. She sings and remembers when she was out roaming with a team of adventurers out to find gold and glory. Day dreaming about the amazing things she had seen made today’s performance feel even more monotonous. How she longed for adventure.
During the performance, a wererate gets into the palace walls. Yelling guards and screaming royals briefly startle Anna. Regaining composure, she jumps into action overzealously trying to slay the beast. Looking around she spots her opportunity, jumping onto a tapestry and makes ready to leap on to the beast’s backside to clunk him over the head with her lyre. In doing so the tapestry rips sending Anna flying into the rope cord for the rod iron chandelier. Struggling to grab hold of the rope, she twists and contorts, binding herself and inadvertently pulling the rope free, and flying upward attached to the rope as the heavy metal crashes down onto the beast. The court guests, in a frenzied panic, and not sure what had just happened, run out of the court, leaving Anne dangling and confused.
Looking downward Anne can see the wererat is dead and she is still trapped by the rope.
Belgae was in the palace of King Naricimas. It was not his favorite place to be, as most palaces were not. However, he had some business with Captain Jorydam of the guard. The Captain often called upon Belgae for his talents as a scout and slayer of undead. It seemed that the Captain was concerned that there was a growing unnatural presence in the area and he wanted Belgae to investigate.
Before Belgae could complete his conversation with Jorydam, a commotion broke out amongst the courtiers. Quickly the 2 run out to investigate the cause of the ruckus. Belgae sees this large wererat and watches as this bard rushes into action in an apparent attempt to slay the beast with a magical instrument. Belgae pulls a silver tipped arrow out of his quiver and looses it just as the bard leaps onto a tapestry. The arrow strikes true and the rat collapses just as the tapestry rips, sending the bard sprawling into the ropes holding the large chandelier causing the structure to fall on top of the rat and the bard to end up swinging in the ropes.
When the apparatus fell, it broke away the arrow from the werebeast, leaving a crushed corpse behind. Belgae drew another arrow and shot at the ropes holding the bard, splintering the rope and discharging the bard and dropping her in a heap on the floor. Belgae, turned to the Captain and invited him back to the office. Neither of them quite ready to believe all they had just witnessed.
Nilkka had been following Anna Lynn for some time now. Traveling from kingdom to kingdom selling her brew for the money to continue following her favorite Bard. She already held three autographed photos of Anna Lynn tucked beneath her tattered tank top and close to her breast. She had heard rumor that Anna was getting restless and looking for adventure. Nilkka loved adventure, for surely where there is adventure (with a Bard) there is brew and where there is adventure with Nilkka there is smashing.
After having tallied up her sales for the day of her disturbingly pink brew, Lyserødtbraü, the buxom brewer sent word to her family for deliveries. There was just enough time left for a few pints and a trip to the court of the King to see Anna Lynn perform. In her excitement Nilkka ordered four pints of the local stout and impatiently swung her legs on the bar stool as she waited. She tossed her coins down as the bar keep slammed her pints in front of her on the bar. Too excited to be bothered with tasting the brew, she gripped the pint handles two at a time in each hand and chugged. Nilkka finished, foamy stout running down her chin and dripping into her cleavage. She knew she was being eyed by the other patrons, but didn’t bother to acknowledge them. She wiped her mouth with the back of her wrist, let out an appreciative burp, winked at the bar keep and hopped off the stool. Four pints wasn’t enough to keep her away from Anna Lynn, and though she wobbled on her landing, she stayed upright and moved toward the court.
Anna Lynn was pitch perfect as usual, even if she looked a bit bored. Nilkka, being quite small and ragey, pushed and shoved her way through the court to get the best look at Anna possible. As she made her way through the crowed, bosoms first, she realizes Anna is no longer singing. She is instead clinging to a tapestry angling to ride a wererat’s back in an attempt to slay the beast. Nilkka reaches for her rat smashing pipe and begins to move forward, but is side swiped by two much larger men. Nilkka’s tiny legs couldn’t reach them before their arrows had been shot through and through, killing the wererat.
But where was Anna?
Nilkka looked up.
Swinging from the tapestry ropes.
Nilkka ran towards the bard, arms outstretched mouthing the words, “I’ll catch you…” As she swerved to determine her position she noticed one of the larger men readying an arrow to shoot the rope and release Anna Lynn. “Noooooo…..” She couldn’t get there in time to catch Anna as she fell, or to even be a soft landing for her. Nilkka cursed her tiny legs and ran faster towards the heap of tapestry, rop and bard. She reached Anna just as the two larger men left the scene.
Nilkka stood above Anna’s head and bent down, hooking her arms under Anna’s. As she began to pull and lift Anna Lynn from under the heavy tapestry, Anna began to move. Nilkka couldn’t hold back her enthusiasm for being so close to Anna Lynn, let alone being the one to take the credit for saving her from the crippling tapestry ropes. Nilkka smiled and giggled and unhooked her arms, dropping Anna Lynn back to the ground. She clapped and threw herself to the ground landing bosom to face on Anna and frenziedly hugging her. Anna Lynn kicked her feet and mumbled something about being unable to breathe. Nilkka pulled herself away and moved to the side of Anna reaching out a hand to help her up.
“Thank you.” Anna Lynn said with a smile as she brushed off her clothes and looked down at Nilkka.
“Anytime Anna Lynn, anytime. You should be more careful. Tapestries are nothing to play at lightly. Why, those ropes are as big around as my wrists. They could have smothered you.” Nilkka replied.
“They could have…?” Anna said questionably.
“Good thing I was here.” Nilkka rocked back on her heels and nodded her head, proud to have rescued her most favorite Bard. “I’m Nilkka Bitter. Buxom Brewer and Rat Smasher… now Tapestry Rescuer as well.”
“Anna…” Anna was cut off.
“Anna Lynn, I know.” Nilkka interjected.
Anna looked about and collected her magical items and straightened her clothes. Nilkka picked up her fallen rat smashing pipe and tucked her autographed photos back into place (she didn’t want to seem like a crazy gnome). The two women smiled at each other one looking up the other down. Oh yes, there was going to be an adventure!
Delaana lifted her head of the table at the sound of a very loud belch. At least she thought it was a belch, her head was still swimming from the… six? seven? tankards. Her heart was still broken and her mind still jumbled. As her eyes cleared, she watched a ridiculously tiny pink-headed gnome let out another belch that made her ears ring. The gnome wobbled off the stool and somehow keep walking. Delaana watched the tiny being stuff something down her shirt until a wet slap of a sound turned her attention back to the table she’d been resting her eyes on.
A young, flat-chested wench stood before De, tray in hand, other hand saucily on hip. “That rag be for you, paladin, or what looks to be a paladin. We don’t see many of yer kind drinkin’ as you do. Might proud you kept it down. You look a sight worse than me granny after a six-day bendah after her last wee one left the roost. Wipe the spit off yer face and I’ll feed you a warm one. The coin you’ve already paid fer yer drink will cover the rest.”
The rolling r’s of the lass sent spears of pain spiraling between De’s skull. She began rubbing her temples and nodding, trying to keep up with whatever she was being told. Dirty. Drunk. Spit. Got it. Clean up. Sure.
The wenches eyes widened and she put her free hand to her mouth and whispered, “Oh darlin’, you be havin’ horns. Take the rag to me washer room. I donna think this be the best place to be adverstisin’.” She pointed to the room and walked away, muttering “a demon holy one, what do this world be comin’ to.”
De lumbered to her feet, every ounce of her body feeling leaden and tired. She trundled to the washroom. As quick as one can without the help of a properly trained squire, she took of her armor and washed her face. Glancing briefly in the mirror, she laughed. She didn’t look bad, she looked terrible. Wiping down her pits and chest, she at least felt refreshed. Armor back on, De stood straight. If she couldn’t stand proud, she could at least stand tall. Exiting the wash room, the serving lass waved at her and pointed at the table where a plate of food waited her. Suddenly ravenous, she walked over. Unexpectedly, a loud belch, a familiar loud belch sounded at the bar. Slowly, disbelieving, De’s head swiveled towards the sound. That little pink thing was back. And those belches were accompanied by a sweet trill of giggles as the laughing bard plucked at her lyre. A bard. Here!
Quickly grabbing her plate, Delaana carried it to the bar, situating the bard between her and the small pink thing. As she began eating, she motioned to the barmaid for a round for herself, the wee pink one, and the bard. The barmaid rolled her eyes, but brought the drinks. As she plunked them down on the counter, the bard asked “We didn’t order anymore drinks!” The barmaid pointed at De, “but she did. So ye be drinking them or no, they be paid for.”
“Thank you… paladin?” The bard’s head tilted, questioning what she saw. Delaana nodded, no desire to explain any answer other than yes. “My name is De, and pardon the intrusion to you and your friend, but I was hoping you knew a certain song, and if you did, if you’d play it for me.”
“A request, then! Of course! I am Anna Lynn, performer extraordinaire and I know 89.5% of the songs in the kingdom! Name your tune.”
De felt her eyes go wide as saucers. Anna Lynn. Adventuring bard. In this dunghole tavern. De downed her drink in one go and motioned for another. “Do you know The Blacksmith’s Bargain? It is a favorite of mine.”
“Do I know it? I can sing it and accompany it upon my lyre. But what an odd request!”
“My…” De’s voice broke before she could finish her sentence. “My parents were blacksmiths and taught me some of what they know. They’ve passed and I miss them terribly.”
“In that case, I shall play not the dirge version, but the one of celebration for their memory.”
De watched Anna Lynn gracefully walk to the hearth and prepare to sing. Grabbing her tankard, De moved to a closer table, whispering to the kind lass who had helped her earlier, “please, keep the drinks coming.” Sighing heavily, the wench nodded, and clapped De on the shoulder. “I’ll wake ye in a few hours.”