Random Free Story – 3-11-18 (The Tricksters’ Game)
I have really dropped the ball on this bi-weekly story thing. I should have known as soon as I decided to schedule a ‘thing’ it would immediately flop. My apologies to anyone who is actually reading this blog. I won’t make any further promises without hedging them, so… instead of a scheduled ‘Free Story Friday’ blog post, this is now the ‘Random Free Story’ blog post.
This story is the result of my first attempt at customizing some content as a D&D DM. Our group is playing the D&D Adventure module: Lost Mines of Phandelver. Circumstances have led to an ongoing theme of really bad luck (aka rolls) for one character, so I decided to incorporate something into the story to accommodate for it. The Trickster’s Game is my opening hook for my players. It is meant to bring them in on the intrigue, while allowing them to exercise their anti-meta-gaming skills. If you don’t play D&D or RPG, I’m sure that last sentence was a foreign language. Suffice it to say, it’s all for funzies!
Enjoy. And if you are a D&D player, feel free to steal for your own campaign. Drop me a comment if you do.
P.S. – No promises, but I may be dropping more things list this in here.
*The images below are not mine. They are from the Internet & used as illustrations for the characters/items in the D&D Module. Copyright is unknown.
Symbol of Beshaba
Holy Symbol of Tymora
The Tricksters’ Game
A Dungeons & Dragons: The Lost Minds of Phandelver Story Arc Introduction
by J.D. Beckwith
A vision of a room coalesces for the dreamers. The entire party is present. They sense each other, but cannot speak, and their vision is not guided by their own will. They can only follow what is shown to them. It is unnerving, but not exactly threatening. They float as if slightly overhead and observe the surroundings.
Halia Thornton, owner of the Phandalin Miner’s exchange, sits in her small common room near the fireplace. She sips a mulled brandy while staring out the window at the lightening storm that rages, thinking thoughts unknown to the observers. She clinks a very expensive looking wedding band on her widow’s finger against the glass in her hand. Her head turns as she hears a knock at her door. She finishes the drink in a quick swallow and gets up to answer it.
The viewpoint changes to follow her, hovering just off to the side. She sounds gruff when she opens the door and says, “Yes? Oh, hello Sister, what brings you to my home this late on such an inclement evening.”
Sister Garaele, Acolyte of the Shrine of Luck is standing outside, a bit wet, but holding a sodden cloak to the side. “May I come in?”
Halia frowns. “I was just about to retire, actually. Can this not wait until morn…” She suddenly gasps, head tilted back and eyes rolling to show the whites for a second.
Garaele smiles. “That is you, isn’t it Beshaba?”
The posture of Thorton’s body changes from its normal stiff and proper to lithe wariness. When she speaks again, it’s with the same voice, but drips with condescension. “Yes, dearest sister.” She looks Garaele’s form up and down. “My, you do choose the ugliest of mortals to use as your vessels. Look at that nasty scar! Bad luck, that.” She laughs sinisterly, then whip-like changes to a threatening and demanding tone. “Why are you here?”
Garaele, immune to her rapid demeanor changes, simply continues to smile. “I’m always curious when you are playing near my affairs.” Having not yet been invited in, she pushes inside, forcing the other woman back. She drops the wet cloak on the porch and closes the door behind her.
“Your affairs?!” Beshaba’s host growls. “This one is my affair. I’ve been watching him for some time now.”
“Indeed? Interesting.” She smirks a knowing smile. “But don’t worry, he’s not the one I’m interested in. It’s one of his companions.”
“Oh. Well, maybe I should see what I can do about those as well then?”
“Ah ah ah, sister dear.” Garaele waggles a finger at her. “Do remember the last time you tried to interfere with one of my chosen.”
“You did NOT win that fight, you self-aggrandizing bitch!”
“I got what I wanted in the end, but no matter.” She crosses her arms and leans against the door. “You know, that does give me an idea. We haven’t played each other for any decent stakes in quite some time. Are you up for a game?”
“What!?” Beshaba barked a laugh. “Over these?”
“Why not? But if you want higher stakes, why not Phandalin as well?” She lifts a hand and points at Beshaba’s nose. “Loser… leaves this party — whatever’s left of it, or course — and the town, alone for… oh, let’s say, the next 200 years?”
“Intriguing notion…” Beshaba’s eyes squint in conniving thought for a moment. “Alright, sister, I’ll play your little game.”
“Excellent!” Garaele stood up and claped her hands together. “May the best goddess win!”
“Oh, I intend to!” Beshaba grins at her sinsterly, the switches to a stern face once again. “Now leave this place! I have plans to make.”
“Hmmph.” Garaele grunts a laugh. She turns and opens the door. The cloak on the porch jumps to hover above her head as she walks into the rain. “Goodby sister. I’ll call on you again soon to set the bounds of our little wager.”
She flicks a hand and the door slams just an inch from Beshaba’s face.
Beshaba growls. “Bitch!” She turns back toward the room, and snaps both fingers in the air.
There’s another gasp from Halia, who seems to return to herself with fingers held aloft. She stumbles a bit, clutching her head. “What the…” She yells, “Denilya! Denilya where are you!”
“Yes, mistress Thorton?” A diminutive woman steps through the door from what appears to be a kitchen.
“Pour me a drink. And be quick about it!” Halia takes a seat in a nearby chair. The lighting and rain have picked up again outside.
The vision starts to fade as the observers recede from the shared dream. They hear one last fading command from Halia to Denilya as they return to their own dreams. “And tell that buffoon to get in here. I’m tired of waiting on him!”
Each of the observers are soon swept up in their own dreams as their nights rest continues. By the morning, the vision is faded and mostly forgotten except for the vague feeling of angst, as if something or someone is watching and manipulating.