Gather round and here tell the tall tales of the not so tall Tom Burrowell. Gentleman at large (especially after Elevensess), wanderer, and net-wealth-reallocation-consultant. The perfidious overlord Ben had tasked the hero to ensure two bumbling big-folk didn't get themselves killed while saving the world. It was clearly to be a tall order in more ways than one. For when Tom awoke at the appropriate hour for first-breakfast, he found the other two clods had left without him, and at the ungodly hour of 9am no Less! Off Tom sprinted, for what if they got themselves into trouble while he wasn't there to ensure all nearby treasure was properly accounted for? Around the corner he ran, right into a terrifying battle between some Goblins, Bhargests (howling evil hound-beasts) and the afore mentioned reckless big-folk.
Tom Burrowell's keen eye for friends in need quickly saw the opportunities presented by the situation. Of course, he would help the needy urchin by rushing off to save the villagers.... for a finders fee. 25gp per head should account for sundry expenses incurred. Meanwhile, no doubt the big folk should be able to see to the monsters? Why, if Tom kept his eye out, he could surely identify and enhance local opportunities for synergistic earnings before idiots took it. That is, no doubt there would be treasures to loot on his path.
In a cruel twist of fate, it transpired that an earlier adventuring party must have looted the first chest yesterday. Tom was so overcome with grief that he slumped down and started absently eating a muffin while pondering his misfortune. Only the urchin tugging on his arm, and reminding him the villagers would pay for a rescuing, shook him out of it.
So Tom secured another 25gp finders fee and then, out of the corner of his eye, spied the bejewelled haft of what had to be a magical axe in a nearby chest. Ignoring combat once more, he purloined it. For some reason, some Goblins took exception to his larceny. Next thing he knew, The air about him was thick with arrows. He saw darkness. When he awoke from his fainting spell, one of the human fools was using Magic to heal him. Unwilling to be so rude as to point out his error, he feigned heavy injuries. Injuries incurred, of course, in defending the big-folk's backs from ambushing goblins.
In fact, it was at this point the unlikely group seemed to bond, the glue being provided by the comforting lie that Tom Burrowell was there for the team. Quickly, the heroes dispatched the last Bhargests. So quickly Tom determined to have serious words with them all later, as they committed the unforgivable transgression of leaving a treasure chest on the field.
He would have to tread carefully though. One of the bumbling bigfolk was some kind of warlock. If our brave hero was not prudent, he might be cursed to life as a toad. No doubt a safer one than at present. However, reputedly all their breakfasts, elevensess, brunches, lunches, teatimes, suppers....and nightcaps were sadly lacking in crumpets and tea. And a hobbit hole in a swamp? Forget about it.
As he backed away from the warlock slowly, he bumped into the other big-person. Before he could apologise/lighten the human's pockets... The cheery warrior Avric uplifted Tom Burrowell's mighty magic axe, cast a discerning eye down its magic honed edge... and declared it a fair trade for the dented and well worn shield he was magnanimously gifting his diminutive friend. Tom was speechless. Potentially he had underestimated his new "allies"?
Worse, Tom had just about got the tea brewed and a good sandwich made up when the Warlock announced they must make haste to Rellegars rest. After a number of days uncomfortable travel, they surprised a number of goblins guarding the entrance to the underground complex. The head goblin threw the key in the water. The big-folk replied by immediately laying waste to four goblins sent to waylay them in a dazzling volley of arcane blasts. While Tom busied himself liberating a healing potion from a nearby chest, he gave an appreciative look over the the mess they made... Still, perhaps they best not over-tire themselves as something big seemed to lie in wait with the fat chief goblin?.... just around the narrow corner.
And so it proved to be a vicious fight at the narrow bend, their way barred by the fat-goblin and some tentacled monstrosity. This was getting them nowhere and goblins were even more prone to tidying up loose valuables than hobbits. What if they cleaned out those treasure chests? Inspired to action, Tom deftly rolled trough the undergrowth. Ample distraction was provided by the cries of pain and desperate fight for survival by his human friends. Brave and resourceful Tom Burrowell nearly got the key and opened the door underground but he was waylaid and knocked back by the chief goblin. Avric Axethief, you had one job.... Tom, well Tom had to admit he had taken the odd scratch here and there.
In fact he was so weak from loss of blood that he almost considered sharing the loot with the other two, just to save the inventory weight. No of course I jest, dear reader. He took a breather and resolved to wait on the next healing potion, he was sure there would be one carelessly left lying around in a hidden, buried and locked chest. Onward to part two!
This was something different. Ben's birthday present was Descent second edition: a tile based dungeon crawler by Fantasy Flight Games. It pits a team of heroes vs an overlord, who controls monsters and gets to use evil power cards against us. So a kind of board game D&D. There is a persistent campaign system where we get to customise equipement and skills. The distinguishing factor between this and either D&D, or other Fantasy board games I've tried, is time. Time to get the objectives done when monsters can refresh and there are often turn based loss conditions. We won game one easily enough, since no doubt the point is to make us overconfident. Game two.... we lost with me getting knocked back and unable to complete the objective on the last turn. This means part two of the map will have us at a time disadvantage.
Hope the world can save itself.
Good fun was had by all over beer and snacks. Can't wait for session two.
Thanks for reading.