Campaign of the Month: March 2013
Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age
Nilkka Bitter's Story
Nilkka pulls up a chair next to a bar stool and climbs up to sit at the bar. Her hair is pitch black with a strange hand print of pink at the front. She hiccups and asks the bartender for another pint of Lyserødtbraü. She is surrounded by pub patrons of incredible size, but that doesn’t confront her. She sits, vibrating with less and less rage as she drinks her brew and eyeballs her surroundings her hair becoming pinker. The bartender, a tall, ugly human brings her pint to her. He stops and stairs for a moment.
“Hic…What?” Nilkka slurs.
“What’s with your hair?”
“Oh. Hic… Let me tell you that tale!”
Nilkka takes a deep breath and composes herself, sliding one booted leg under her butt to sit higher for her story. She begins with a mischievous glint in her eye.
“It begins, not long ago. I mastered this here Lyserødtbraü and was ready to bring it to the masses. I hitched a ride into town with my clan and hit up the first pub I came to. My family had little faith in me, but I was determined. I even washed my apron for the occasion. My sales pitch was hic perfect. My brew was perfecter.”
The bartender wiped the counter and rolled his eyes, but stayed in front of Nilkka and nodded her story on.
“The problem with being a beer merchant, is you have to be willing to drink the beer. The problem with being me, is I have to drink a lot of beer. And, you may have noticed hic I’m small.”
More patrons came to the bar to listen to Nilkka’s tale.
“Anyway, I was on my fourth pint of Lyserødtbraü when the pub owner finally decided to buy my kegs. I was hic thrilled. I may or may not have stood on the bar and danced a ragey jig. Then, I may or may not have jumped to the ground to frenzily hug the patrons surrounding the bar tasting samples of my brew. In doing so, I may or may not have bumped a particularly angry magic user in a dark cloak. In my attempts to frenzily hug away his pain, I hic sort of hic smashed his foot with my clodhopper boots, breaking a couple of toes. Apparently the dark clocked magic user didn’t take kindly to this – DESPITE the FRENZIED HUG part of the attack and he decided to play keep away.”
The patrons laughed.
“It’s not hic funny. I’m small, but not to messed with. I smash rats with pipes! Anyway, hic, as his hand rested on my head he said something … magicy hic. As I attempted to fight back I was picked up and pulled away. I kicked and wailed and eventually was set free. I gathered myself and was ready to fight with my rat smashing pipe, but the hic magicy man was gone. I ordered another pint of my newly sold brew. I climbed onto the stool and stared forward waiting for my pint. There in front of me was a mirror, and there in the mirror was my face – red with rage, and there in the mirror was my onyx hair – WHITE where the hic magicy man touched me.”
The Bartender continued to wipe his counter, and the patrons continued to watch Nilkka, curious as to why her hair is currently PINK, not white.
“Oh. Right. I’ve come to learn that as I drink, my hair turns pink. The more I drink, the more the pink. hic HA! That rhymed. I’m a poet. The buxom poet brewer with rage issues to boot! I left that pub and hitched a ride with my clan to the next town, and here I am. Hey, you haven’t seen a particularly angry looking magicy hic man in a dark cloak, have you? When my hair is white again, I’d like to smash him… and then hic get smashed.”
There was laughter and cheers, and another pint was bought for Nilkka. The crowd thinned. Nilkka shifted the legs under her butt and rested her bosoms on the bar. She pointed towards the bartender about to say something and fell asleep, her hair slowly fading to white.
“Finally, a place where I can go to work”, Tormach thought to himself as he entered the pub. He has been following a tall man in a dark cloak for some time now, narrowly avoiding detection along the way. In the market hours before, he was casually walking around while looking for something of value to ‘borrow’ from its owner. A tall, older man wearing a dark cloak caught his eye as soon as he saw him. Tormach watched as this man bought some items from a merchant. As he extended his arm to pay, a silver medallion reflected the sunlight. It looked to be some sort of magic talisman, one that can command a great price.
Having decided upon his mark, he began to follow him. After the man made his purchases, he walked around in the forest and appeared to perform some sort of simple ritual. Tormach watched from behind a large tree and debated if he should try to pickpocket someone proficient in using magic. The silver talisman is simply too much to pass up, and he continues to follow the cloaked man as he departs the forest and approaches a pub. The man enters, and after a few moments Tormach enters as well and takes a seat near him.
As he analyzes the situation, Tormach watches as a gnome makes her way through the door and struggles to mount a stool at the bar. She seems to be attempting to sell the bartender beer and drinks plenty to prove how good it tastes. The woman is loud, and begins to drawn a crowd around her. The cloaked man stand and walks towards the door, having to slowly push his way through the people surrounding the gnome. Thinking that this will be his best moment to swipe the talisman, Tormach positions himself behind the man.
As they make their way past the short woman, she suddenly leaps onto the bar and just as quickly falls flat onto the floor. Her boot catches the mans foot, causing noticable pain. She seems to apologize with a rough yet passionate hug, but it does not please the man. He places his hand onto her head and begins to chant some magic words. Tormach pushes his hand under the mans cloak and tries to grab the talisman. Somehow, the man knew that Tormach was attempting to steal it. He quickly removes his hand from the gnomes head and secures his cloak around himself. Fearing that he will be the victim of some cruel magic, Tormach quietly slips out of the pub and into the nearby forest.
Bryn Mawr sat in a small pub, poring over the well-worn tome in which he recorded whatever bits of song, lore, and information, he deemed important enough to bring back to his brothers, the Lorekeepers of Forge. He absentmindedly toyed with a small stack of dwarven coins on the table. A pub wasn’t the best place to study his notes, but ale and food helped ease his homesickness a bit, and it was a good place to hear a local tale. It had been quiet enough, though, up until recently. The noise coming from the bar had grown steadily, and a small crowd had gathered around a boisterous gnomish alewife who was apparently hocking her latest brew.
After finding himself rereading the same paragraph three or four times, Bryn resigned himself to getting no more reading done, and closed his book with a sigh. “Gnomes,” he muttered, shaking his head. Still, he couldn’t be too put out—after all, ale was involved—and from what he could tell the woman was delivering quite a pitch. It must have gone well; suddenly, the gnome was hugging every patron gathered around the bar. Bryn was glad he had opted to sit where he did.
The celebratory mood changed abruptly when the gnome drunkenly embraced a patron who clearly didn’t like the attention. The hooded man verbally accosted her, then uttered a few carefully chosen words in an old tongue. Bryn wasn’t certain exactly what he had said, but he knew enough to recognize it as a curse. He stood quickly and intercepted the man as he made his way away from the scene.
“What was that about, lad?” Bryn asked, positioning himself between the man and the door.
“Out of my way, dwarf,” shot back the man, reaching for something under his cloak and attempting to move past him.
Bryn moved to block him again, this time planting his boot squarely on the foot he had seen the man favoring on the way out. The man stifled a yell in response. “You laid a curse on that woman. What was it?” Bryn narrowed his eyes and began shifting his weight onto the foot that had the other man’s pinned.
“She drinks too much,” he hissed through clenched teeth. “It could be the death of her. Now get out of my way!” He punctuated the last statement with a shove hard enough to unbalance the dwarf and move past him. Bryn didn’t bother pursuing him. He grabbed his book and his pack from where he had been sitting and began flipping through some of his notes. He was far from an expert on curses, but knew enough of the dwarven healing traditions to maybe mitigate one. Hopefully his notes contained a chant or a prayer that might help.
Bryn Mawr made his way over to the throng of pub patrons who stood gathered around the young gnome woman lying before them on the floor. As Bryn pushed his way past them and knelt by her side, he noticed her hair and complexion growing paler. He flipped through his book of notes again and laid his hand upon her head, uttering any incantations he thought might help. Her eyes fluttered, rolling back in her head, and she began to lose consciousness. Bryn desperately tried a few more incantations, and desperate to keep her conscious, grabbed the nearest tankard and splashed it on her face. The gnome came-to with a start, her face and hair soaked with the strangely pinkish brew she had not long earlier been selling. Color began returning to face, though her hair bore a distinct shock of white. She angrily pushed the gathered crowd aside, and Bryn Mawr retreated to a table to compose himself.
He slumped down in a chair, relieved the woman had come to. He leaned back, and opened his book again, his thumb still holding the last page he had hurriedly read while trying to revive her. A broad smile split his face. Below his thumb was a folk remedy for dwarves interested in returning color to their graying hair.