September 30 2015

The Cotton Homunculus – by Greyhaven – narrated by Asclepius, Margaritte and Cordelayne Valkaris

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a great story from Greyhaven, entitled
The Cotton Homunculus
Joining me in this podcast are Cordelayne Valkaris, as Jariel, and Margaritte, as Bronwyn.

Background music by Smartsound

It is a constant source of amazement how seemingly innocuous little things can turn out to be very troublesome. When faced with the extraordinary, no matter how small, it is often best to conduct an appropriate investigation to properly understand what you are dealing with. You may find the result surprising.

Permit me to illustrate this by example, by telling you about a little handkerchief that young Bronwyn once found in Brittany.

When visiting the Hidden Vale a favoured haunt of ours is the Hearth of Britannia tavern in Kingsport. It gives us an opportunity to catch-up with our good friend Jarial “Brightstaff” and his sidekick, Ned, Farmer Burniston’s son. These two likely lads are often found propping up the bar and helping drain the establishment of whatever exotic imported ales are on offer. I can remember one evening at the tavern in particular which turned out to be more eventful than expected…

Three hearty tankards of ale arrived at the table, delivered with a flourish and a cheeky wink from Megan who always looks after us well. These were traditional rim-surpassing brews with large foamy heads trickling over the sides and pooling on the table top.

Very much a young man of action rather than words, both of Ned’s hands shot out and grabbed the nearest tankard with the lightning speed of a hungry praying mantis. Whipping the drink to his mouth, he continued to guzzle down the liquid as though his very life depended on it. Considering that this drink happened to be “Old Clobber”, one of Scrattock’s brewery’s finest with a reputation of disconnecting you from your senses in short order, gulping it down may not have been the wisest course of action.

Jarial noticed the look in Bronwyn’s eyes.

“Don’t worry Bronny, you can have some of mine,” he said. “Only a small mouthful, however. If you copy Ned we will be scraping you off the floor!”

“Great!” She beamed, and took a hearty swig.

The reaction was immediate. To the hardened connoisseur, Old Clobber makes your cheeks tingle as the tongue gets to grips with the surprisingly broad and robust flavour. Young Bronwyn however suffered the experience of a true novice; that is to say feeling an almost physical attack on the brain, very similar to being clobbered on the back of the head. Yes, it was a well-named drink.

Leaping off her chair she half spluttered and half snorted out the offending brew.

“Crikey! What the hell is in that stuff?” She gasped. “Oh God, it’s even coming out of my nose!”

Shaken, she sat back down and pulled out a handkerchief to wipe her face. Immediately I grabbed her wrist.

“What is this you have?” I enquired.

“That’s a flashy one Bronny!” said Jarial, intrigued. “Did you steal it?”

What had caught our attention was the fact that Bronwyn’s handkerchief had a border pattern in a strange glowing pink thread.

“No I didn’t steal it! I found it!” she chided Jarial. “Nice though, isn’t it??”

Bronwyn laid the handkerchief out flat on the table so that all could appreciate the pattern properly.

“Too posh for a street urchin like you!” laughed Jarial.

Bronwyn stuck her tongue out at that (even though I have warned her not to do this many times!)

Then something strange happened. As we were all admiring the handkerchief’s craftsmanship, the thread pattern changed colour from pink to blue and then back again!

“Whoa! Did you see that? It’s not done that before!”

Now this is where my note about investigating the extraordinary becomes pertinent. Luminescent thread may be a beautiful and a sought after material, however it is not of any great interest in itself. Such a thing is commonly found in a Shardfall region, for those brave enough to collect it. Thread that changes colour is another matter entirely. That is evidence of warped Shardfall magic, or other magic entirely. Such things need proper examination to determine the nature of the enchantment and any likely danger it may pose.

“Ok people, it appears that young Bronwyn has found herself a magic handkerchief!”

“Cor! I always wanted one of those!” enthused Bronwyn, then her expression changed. “Is that good magic or bad magic?”

“Well, let’s find out shall we?” I said and cleared the drinks off the table to make some room.

“Everyone be quiet and watch the handkerchief. Oh, and Bronwyn…”


“No fidgeting – it is most distracting!”

“Would I ever??”

The colour change illustrated that the enchantment was active. Next came the dangerous part – to examine the potency of the magic and determine if it was benign or malicious. Naturally, you cannot get an enchantment to reveal itself by gentle coaxing. Especially one that spends most of its time dormant. No, instead it must be commanded, with as great a force as you can muster.


It was my voice of command, cracking like a whip and slicing through the murky tavern atmosphere like a hot knife. The poor tavern customers, out enjoying an evening drink and a bit of cheeky banter, were all stunned into silence with many turning towards us to see what was happening.

The handkerchief twitched!


Words of Power delivered in an irresistible combination such that no magic can ignore! The handkerchief leapt into the air and twisted around, changing shape before our eyes to form a little cotton man-shaped “homunculus”. There was a collective gasp from the tavern punters as the creature landed back on the table spitting and snarling like a cornered feral cat.

“I thought so!” I addressed the handkerchief directly. “You’re a nasty little fellow aren’t you?”

Poor Ned took one look at the creature, a look at his empty tankard, and then another look at the creature before grabbing my ale and guzzling that down as rapidly as his first. After wiping his mouth with his forearm he quickly lost consciousness and tipped over in his seat, crashing to the floor. Two “Clobbers” and you are out!

This sudden noise gave the magic cotton creature a shock and it flew across the room like a startled bat towards the window, zipping over people’s heads as they tried to duck out of the way. Ricocheting off Farmer Burniton’s bald-patch the flying handkerchief missed the window and hit the adjacent wall, stunned and just inches away from freedom.

My legendary reflexes had already sent a dagger spinning blade-over-hilt towards the creature, however even I had been outmatched by young Bronwyn! Only fourteen (and a half as she is constantly reminding us) she had reacted with near-impossible speed, grabbing her small shortbow and quiver in a blur of limbs, and sending one of fletcher Colletus’s finest “True-sight” arrows coursing through the air to catch my thrown blade. Both dagger and arrow struck the homunculus simultaneously, pinning it to the tavern wall, and sending it into wild frenzy, thrashing about trying to escape.

Young Bronwyn was jubilant, “Ha ha! Who can hit a flea in the eyeball from 100 paces?”

“JARIAL!” I barked.

This proved unnecessary as my friend had already leapt to his feet to chase after the creature. More than just a simple apothecary and alchemist, Jarial had also mastered the basics of fire magic. With flames spewing from his palms he grabbed hold of the animated handkerchief which promptly set alight and let out a deafening screech. Jarial pulled the burning creature off the wall in an effort to minimise damage to the tavern.


Quick as a flash, and not a moment too soon, Jarial did as I directed and the little screeching fireball was launched out into the evening air. A mere fraction of a second later there was a loud “BANG” as the homunculus exploded releasing the chaotic magic from its binding physical matrix and sending it dissipating into the atmosphere. Everyone in the tavern dived for cover as the resultant shock-wave sliced through the bottles and glassware behind the bar, showering the poor proprietor in broken shards and a variety of different liquors. A picture of his eminence, Lord British, which had never had a particularly secure hanging, rocked from side to side before falling to the floor with a crash.

There was a moments silence whilst everyone checked that there were still in one piece before it was rudely interrupted by my young protégée.

“That was brilliant,” enthused Bronwyn. “We only came in here for a drink and a chinwag, and we get exploding handkerchief monsters as well! I think this place is great!”

Fortunately, everybody had escaped with only a few minor cuts and bruises here and there, (although many swore that what little remained of Farmer Burniston’s hair was a shade or two greyer than it had been before). I gathered everyone around to explain what had happened.

“I am really sorry about that, it appears matters got a little out-of-hand. I must be losing my touch in my old age! I am truly surprised at the level of pent-up power that was confined in such a small thing. Rest assured the Order will pay for all the damage sustained.” Which was a statement much appreciated by Abbott, the proprietor, and he gave me a grateful nod in acknowledgement.

“What we had here was a simple handkerchief embellished with a pattern in thread taken from a Shardfall region.”

“That would explain the glow,” interjected Jarial.

“Quite so, but not the colour change or the vicious spitting behaviour! Shardfall magic, you see, might have energy but not focus nor sophistication. What we have witnessed is likely a combination of magics! Indeed, I suspect that an entity (or any number of entities) of a dark magical nature has died within the confines of a Shardfall region and the evil released has combined with the Shardfall energy!”

That provoked a bit of murmuring as people speculated about the implications. I ignored all that of course and continued:

“Yes, the Shardfall provides the energy and the source of black magic provides both focus and malicious intent! Not something we want released upon the world. We have seen what a small amount of decorative thread can do – just imagine what an entire garment made out of the material is capable of!”

There was a collective gasp as this point sank in. The mind might concoct all manner of scenarios including ones where the evil material was being worn at the time it became aroused! Could such a thing corrupt the wearer, transforming a person into a maddened creature hell-bent on violence and destruction?

For all we knew, there may have been many glowing garments sold. And the high prices charged for such a special material would ensure that most would end up in the homes of the nobility . (Or worse still: Royalty!)

There was obviously not a moment to lose.

“So, Bronwyn – it is imperative that you tell me where you found the handkerchief so our investigation may commence.”

“OK matey,” she said innocently. “But before we start, I think that you should better have this other one!”

With that she reached into her pocket and pulled out a handkerchief that was completely pink and glowing.



Aye, all manner of fun and games ensued I can tell you. And the more we investigated this corrupted Shardfall cotton, the stranger and more dangerous things became…

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September 28 2015

A Not so Random Encounter, Chapter 4 – by Blake Blackstone – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the conclusion of this wonderful story from Lord Blake Blackstone, entitled

A Not so Random Encounter

Background music by Smartsound

Chapter 4

Thoren sat straight up from his dead sleep. He could not decipher whether the screams and sounds of carnage were dream or reality. The battle cry of trolls and their trained imps snapped him from that blissful fog. Still half drunk from Baldrith’s “Special Reserve”, a fermented mixture of Coldwater Waxerby Eyes and Deep Cavern Frost Shrooms, his hand instinctively found “Reckoning”.

The double sided ax was his closest friend and a firm handshake between the two was sometimes a little too welcomed. Thoren laced his fingers through the custom fit, spiked knuckles welded to the hilt and lept to his feet. For less than an instant he debated getting suited up. The sound of gurgling laughter from imps faces buried in human flesh superseded the deliberations. Naturally, Sugesh was already steadily pegging the ice imps with arrows as Thoren burst out of his tent. As the warrior charged towards the enemy, he couldn’t help but notice the beauty of the black imp blood when it splashed and imprinted onto the pure white snow. As his ax made its way through the already half-dead imp’s neck, the head easily detached from the torso. The wings twitched and fluttered while the body continued to run around. Much like a farm hen, except the head screams out demonic curses before it bleeds out. As he made his way towards his next foe, he hummed the words to an ancient dwarven hymn, “There is Beauty in the Chaos”.

~~His mother was the religious one and his father the “activist”. Chaos was ingrained in them. They refused to see the logic in any type of Order due to the blatant corruption of all the races, especially the elves. Family dinners were always accompanied with a quick prayer unto Chaos by the matriarch of the family. His father would then ramble on about how Order only feeds the bellies of kings and rulers and Chaos provides bread to all.

At night his mother would sing them a hymn that was passed down through the generations:
There is Beauty in the Chaos,
Look What It’s Done For Me.
Darkness dwells in Order,
And Only Serves to Control Thee.

Thoren would later grow to form his own set of confused beliefs.~~

Out of the brisk, clear dawn of a new day, a powerful lightning bolt appeared out of nowhere, throwing the warrior back from his charge. He was unharmed but the four imps the spell was targeted towards were melted into gelatinous blobs of smoldering tissue. Before he could scramble back to his feet, one of the half-sized demons was upon him. Its razor sharp claws quickly dug into his shoulder, seemingly chipping into the bone. As the beast stretched its wings and began to lift Thoren into the air, an arrow pierced through one side of the imp’s head and exited through the other with a bloody crunch. Thoren was dropped back to the ground causing the air to evacuate from his lungs. The tears in his shoulders made it hard for him to lift his axe but he willfully managed. As he strode forward yet again, he could hear Lord Baldrith’s booming voice uttering his favorite three words, “In Vas Mani”. A resurgence of strength raced through the fighter’s body and instantly sealed the wounds in his shoulders. The wizard, woodsman, and warrior all worked in precise and graceful concert with one another, easily dispatching the rest of the imps.

The trolls were an entirely different matter in and of themselves. Thoren turned towards the giant beasts, still humming his hymn.

As Thoren drew up Reckoning, and turned towards the trolls, he saw her. The monster had gaped a hole through the basement hatch where the children were hiding. It drew her out by the waist and flashed a half-witted smile towards Lord Baldrith.

~~The blurred images of bright pink and purple flowers at his bedside made him chuckle. Was it Sugesh playing a joke or had this new “friend” Baldrith given him the best high he had ever experienced? He would come to know how the flowers got there, but for now, the pain from even the slightest of movement would fade him back into the darkness.

While he slept, he could hear her playful voice singing the nursery rhymes of The Weeping Seven. Even though he didn’t believe the teachings, the songs soothed him. Sugesh would stop in from time to time and give him a pep talk. Baldrith, or his wife, would bring in concoctions and force them down him. But she seemed to be there almost all of the time and came to be missed when she was not.

Before he could even hold his consciousness, they were introduced.

“My name is Isabella and I am nine years old. My mom and dad are Lord and Lady Baldrith of Wizard’s Rest. My daddy says you might be a mean man and if you wake up to tell him. So that’s what I’m gonna do.”

As the time past, he came to know the child. Her favorite color, pet, and food. He heard numerous stories about princesses and pirates, sometimes the same ones three times over!
She discussed watching her father’s magical experiments. He even got to hear the young princess’ thoughts on fashion. “Never mix pink with green”.

The constant jabbering sometimes went on to annoyance, but never to a bother.~~

Baldrith began preparing another spell. Sugesh planted an arrow deep into the elk antler, plate armor. It pierced the beast’s shoulder but did not weaken its grip on the child. Isabella screamed as the troll reached his fingers into her mouth. Thoren felt a wave of both guilt and adrenaline rush through his body. Baldrith could have cast on the trolls that were battering away at the hatch. Instead, he likely saved the young warrior’s life. Twice!

A scream, a crunch, a tear, and then a gurgle.

Baldrith collapsed. Sugesh’s eyes narrowed and his draw swiftened. Thoren’s grasp on his battle axe, body, and mind all became one in the same. The screams of horror drowned out as his pace quickened. Time around him seemed to slow.

The razor sharp blades of his ax exposed the inner workings of troll bellies. Its two stomachs rolled out onto the trampled snow, drawing with them all organs above the belly button. It laughed as it fell to its knees, dropping her head and her body along the way down. By the time this horrific scene played out, Sugesh had turned the other troll into a pincushion. The rogue stood over the monster, watching as it twitched and bled out.

The farewell to Lord Baldrith, and his quaint village of Wizard’s Rest, did not go as expected. The gift Thoren had made the little girl burned with her in the pyre that night. The two adventurers rode off, smoldering embers slowly fading away in the distance.

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September 28 2015

The NBTT is Verifying its Cast List of Play Actors

Hello everyone! Stile Teckel here with a request!

It’s been on my to-do list for some time to add into the cast section of the website, those that have performed in plays, live in game. Furthermore I had been keeping a list to do that and… can’t seem to find it (unusual for me!).

As a result I am working from memory (and with some help) to try to figure out all who belongs on that list!

At this time I show the following New Britannia Theater Troupe members have performed as an actor before:

Cast - Play Actors

Doctor Shroud
Duke Greagoir
Lady Adnor
Lord Baldrith
Sir Stile Teckel
Static Gazer

If you should be on this list and are NOT. PLEASE contact me, comment to this post, or let us know in some fashion so we can get you added.

Whether a voice actor, writer, music contributor, or any other role you have ever played it is important me to include you in our cast listings as a member of the Troupe. So please contact us even if you don’t care if you’re listed personally! You can visit the FULL casting lists by role in the cast section of the website.

Thank you!

Ankh Quill

Category: Plays | 2 Comments »
September 25 2015

Echoes From the Caverns 09-25-15

Hello Everyone! Here is the news for September 25th, 2015. Hope you are enjoying Release 22!

  • Play Release 22 Now!
  • FireLotus Release 22 Dance Party!
  • R22 Patch Notes
  • Release 22 Screenshot Gallery: Fishing
  • Jakup White’s Map of World
  • Wanted: Athanil of Bear Tavern
  • Q4 2015 Schedule Update
  • Tavern Rap by Brian Vesper
  • Rough Stone Building Blocks
  • Autism Awareness Charity Events
  • SpeedTree Contributes Autism Awareness Puzzle Tree
  • Stone Crypt
  • Elven Homes
  • 38 Day Countdown for Fall Reward & Sale Expirations
  • Auto-Canceling Monthly Layaway Payment Plans
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • This Week In The News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Games to Back

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September 19 2015

Echoes From the Caverns 09-18-15

Hello Everyone! Here is the news for September 18th, 2015.

  • Island of Storms
  • Blood River Settlement
  • Very Large Creatures: Dragons
  • Fauns
  • Craftable Fishing Trophies
  • Release 22 Grand Tour Quest Reward: Steampunk Goggles
  • Autism Awareness Charity Drive
  • Dyeable Witch Hat
  • Spider Wall Decorations
  • 45 Day Countdown for Fall Reward & Sale Expirations
  • Monthly Layaway Payment Plan Extension
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Games to Back

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September 17 2015

A Not so Random Encounter, Chapter 3 – by Blake Blackstone – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a further chapter of this wonderful story from Lord Blake Blackstone, entitled

A Not so Random Encounter

Background music “Caring”, by Smartsound

Chapter Three
Although he would never admit it, Thoren was enjoying the simple and slow paced life at Wizards Rest. He and Sugesh had been on the road for quite some time and probably needed to slow down before ever leaving Ardoris on this crazy adventure.

Sugesh seemed happy for the first time in a long time, just tinkering with his bow and tracking some wolves, learning to ice fish under Baldrith’s direction, or simply sitting, watching, and charting the movements of Daedalus.

Lord Baldrith was an extremely interesting being in his own right. Mostly it was just his family that made up the settlement of Wizards Rest but there were all sorts of odd folk that would pass through on occasion. One memorable evening, an entire troupe of actors filed through on a moment’s notice, turning what seemed to be a quiet ice fishing hamlet into a bustling festival of feast and fornication! A much needed relief to Thoren, who was still not able to travel long distances, but could find a little warmth in the chilly mountains with one of the actresses. Of course, the most beautiful of all the ladies found their way into Sugesh’s tent, but this was par for the course. Baldrith’s stories from around the fire put Daedalus to sleep, welcomed in the new dawn, and for a time, made everyone forget the cataclysm that they now lived under.

Baldrith was always somewhat reserved, no matter the task, but on the other hand seemed to simply enjoy the celebration of life. Whether it was casting a line, hosting a feast, watching the fairer sex dance around a bonfire, or nursing a hard-headed warrior back to life; he had mastered what a lot were searching for- “to be”. Nothing more, nothing less, simply “to be”.

Weeks, possibly months had passed, and even Sugesh was ready for a change of scenery. While sharpening arrowheads by the fire, Sugesh asked “Do you feel strong enough to ride?”

Thoren answered, “Yes.” Even though it still hurt to walk.

Sugesh monitored the progress of his “brother” but would not have even asked if he didn’t think that Thoren’s pride wouldn’t carry him through. “Then we should leave at daybreak tomorrow.”

“Sounds like a plan, we’ve lost too much time already.” Thoren was happy to get moving again but had grown fond of the old mage that had chanted him back to life.

“Maybe someday we can make our way back here for a visit that doesn’t include any broken ribs. I’m sure Lord Baldrith might take us in again?”

“Doubtful….At least not the likes of you two!” Baldrith’s laugh echoed and filled the valley. “Next time it’ll cost you some fine gold pieces to harass those poor girls of the theater troupe…. You think they travel around for free?”

“Of course not sir! Somehow they ended up with all our gold except for two pieces I stashed in my socks!”, Thoren bellowed.

Sugesh shook his head in disgust, “They didn’t charge me a thing for their private performances.”

The quick-witted banter trailed off into the night; the three men realizing that their paths may never cross again, but a lifelong friendship had been born.

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September 17 2015

Zoe’s Travels: Braemar – by enderandrew – narrated by Margaritte

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. Today I am delighted to welcome Margaritte to the microphone; she will be bringing us another wonderful story from enderandrew, about the continuing travels of Zoe Marie the Bard.

Background music “Revisiting” by Smartsound

Zoe’s Travels: Braemar
By Zoe Marie the Bard

Pete told me I should visit Owl’s Head. It was the largest city in the Vale and was home to the Fire Lotus tavern. I intended to take his advice in due time, but I also like to wander off the beaten path from time to time to discover the unexpected. So instead I took the Kingsroad south to see where it would take me.

A few times on the road I heard hungry wolves howling and began to question taking the less travelled road, but as the sounds were behind me I pressed forward with haste. Eventually I came across Braemar. I was quite grateful to see the lights and fence that represented civilization.

A rather curt guard named Halmar quickly asked where I was from. He wanted to know if I was an outlander or had recently travelled through a portal to the south. I assured him I had not. Then he asked if had seen others who had. I informed him again I had not. I could tell by his demeanor and scars that he was a seasoned Knight from Norgard. How did he come to this quiet corner of the Vale?

I learned that he alone protected the once sleepy village, but no one had been sleeping as of late. Nightmares and attacks had become the norm. People spoke of an aggressive and organized group of cutthroats calling themselves the Red Sash Bandits. As if that weren’t enough, people had been attacked not only by wolves but also the walking dead.

They had but one farmer who fed Braemar, Seamus Olgard, and now he was scared to work his fields. Their hunter, Bodan Koren, did not seem optimistic that he alone could keep the wolf threat at bay.

Flynn Gibson was all too quick to agree to give me lodging in exchange for a performance. He was trying to provide an escape from the pervasive fear in his tavern. But he confided his stock was running low. He asked me to carry word in my travels to other towns to see if anyone had ale to spare.

I knew most ships had stopped sailing into Kingsport and I suspected that was the cause, but I could not reveal that bit of information without betraying the trust of the smugglers who arranged my transport to the Vale.

As the night wound down and the patrons filed out, I went upstairs to try and get some sleep. I was tired from traveling so fast. But as I closed my eyes, all I could dream of were the howls of wolves.

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September 12 2015

Echoes From the Caverns 09-11-15

Hello Everyone! Here is the news for September 11th, 2015.

  • The Fortress at Hilt in Nightshade Pass
  • Autism Awareness Charity Drive
  • Musical Jam Session
  • Hangout of the Avatar – Release 21 Postmortem
  • Finn Staber at Unite 2015
  • Nightmare “Mount” Telethon Reward
  • Ornate Brass Darklamp
  • Skeleton Decorations
  • Stone Dragon Statue Decorations
  • 52 Day Countdown for Fall Reward & Sale Expirations
  • Monthly Layaway Payment Plan Extension
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Games to Back

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September 10 2015

A Not so Random Encounter, Chapter 2 – by Lord Blake Blackstone – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next chapter in the wonderful story by Lord Blake Blackstone, entitled

A Not so Random Encounter

Background music by Smartsound.

Chapter 2

Quickly the kabut table was cleared of anything that was valuable and the two made for the back door before any more bandits could stumble in looking for a game. Thoren made it onto his horse with a push from Sugesh and a muffled groan. Sugesh leisurely mounted his steed and they were off, weaving their way through the worn streets of Corosen. The toll bridge was not a problem this time as Sugesh’s arrows caught the “attendants” off guard while they puffed on a bowl of freshly ground mandrake root. In pain, Thoren muttered out “Aren’t we gonna get the tolls?”.

Sugesh didn’t find the humor in this either and slapped Thoren’s horse into high gear over the bridge. Dawn would soon be upon them and both knew they needed to get as far away from Corosen as possible before the sun peeked over the mountains. Shock waves jolted Thoren’s core, seemingly taking two of his ribs and popping them out of, and then back in, place with each gallop. Most of the time Sugesh enjoyed a little bit of the pain that Thoren would get himself into with his ill-designed plans. But this time seemed a bit more serious.

After pushing the horses until they could go no further, a stroke of luck presented a creek in front of them. The morning sunlight beamed down upon them. Into the water and downstream they went, trying to throw off any tracking dogs that may have caught their scent. Sugesh was a woodsman from birth and judged the distance they needed to cover the sounds of the panting of the horses. For the first time he got a glimpse of the new blood, streaming from his partner’s mouth, over the already dried blood. The front of Thoren’s tunic seemed to have been dyed from bright green to an odd deep blue.

Before the elf could help his friend, Thoren pushed his way off of the horse and fell to the ground. Staring up at the sky, and with shallow breath, unconsciousness overtook him. He slipped into a deep, translucent dream.

~~The wind blew through his long beard as he levitated high above the Plains of Righ Inis. He watched as the lumberjacks did their work, chopping both trees and the skeletons that made the maple gathered so precious within the walls of the cities. A foggy figure of a boy followed behind picking up the leftover pieces of bark and twigs. Thoren knew who the boy was. He knew that boy would take those scraps back to town and trade them for a loaf of bread, and if the cooks felt sorry enough for him, a cup of soup. The haunting memories of his childhood flooded over him, knotting his gut and forcing him to look away from the scene below.

As he turned away, he found himself in a tavern seated next to Sugesh. Beautiful barmaids and wenches served the bustling and over joyous crowd. One in particular caught his eye and he instantly recognized his object of affection from a time far past. She didn’t seem to notice him or even know who he was, which punished him like the million times he had been punished by her before.

Sugesh sat quietly beside him like he normally did. Sugesh did not take drink or anything that altered his reality for that matter, so naturally he abhorred these types of establishments. On rare occasion, for some reason or another, Thoren was able to talk Sugesh into joining him. This particular night he dragged him here with the promise of drunken women who would straggle in from the Celestial Festival to continue their drinking. Sugesh only had one true mortal weakness and it came by the way of the fairer sex. As Thoren’s vision blurred from too much mead, he tilted his head back to finish the last swig before calling for another.

Staring into the bottom of an empty mug, he could feel the sensation of falling backwards. The wooden floor of the tavern didn’t catch his fall, but rather it seemed as though he had jumped from the tallest mountain peak in Novia. Instead of onto wooden planks, he crashed down atop a funeral pyre. This scene was all too familiar. He recognized the people gathered around mourning a terrible loss. Thoren’s mother was there and standing beside her was a strapping warrior trying to appear strong whilst a tear slipped down his cheek . The smell of burning incenses, ceremonial reagents, and wood filled Thoren’s nostrils~~

Groggy and in pain, Thoren slowly rolled his eyes out of the back of his head and saw Sugesh and a tall wizard standing over him. The wizard was slowly swinging a censer filled and burning an unknown concoction over Thoren, chanting spells in a foreign tongue.

“Where are we?”, Thoren asked.

“You have found your way to Wizards Rest, my friend.” The old, towering mage answered with a smirk. “Make yourself comfortable, it doesn’t appear you will be leaving anytime soon.”

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September 10 2015

Zoe’s Travels – Soltown – by enderandrew – narrated by Lady Adnor

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. Once again I’m delighted to welcome Lady Adnor to the microphone – she is bringing us a wonderful story by Enderandrew, entitled

Zoe’s Travels – Soltown
Background music is “Lover’s touch” by Smartsound

Zoe’s Travels: Soltown
By Zoe Marie the Bard

Shortly after leaving Ardoris I met with a courier on the road looking for me. My presence was requested in Soltown to perform at Soltown Inn. This was the first time my services had been commissioned ahead of time for another town. I had already planned on exploring more of the Perennial Coast, so a trip to Soltown made sense.

I am always excited to visit new places, but I’ve never had an eager audience waiting for me. I traveled with haste. That excitement abated and quickly melted into a somber tone when I reached the village.

There was a weary guard named Stanley on the road coming in. I could see immediately in his eyes that he had witnessed things that cannot be unseen. He told me of a recent battle at Solace Bridge. The fort and surrounding homes were burned. Many lives were claimed both by the fire and the undead.

I found refugees up the road in makeshift tents. They still seemed to be in shock. A few looked up desperately at the sound of my footsteps only to look down with heartache and desperation. They seemed to wait for loved ones that may never be coming back.

I made my way to Soltown Inn to talk with Richard, the proprietor. He explained that he sent the courier before the attack. While Soltown is a small village that largely keeps to itself, its residents have a healthy love for music. He makes it a point to bring in as many different bards as he can to entertain his guests. Initially he wasn’t so sure a performance was still appropriate.

I suggested my usual fare might not, but perhaps there was something I could do. His tavern could fit most of the village if people packed in tight, but it wasn’t just the villagers I wanted to perform for. Richard helped round up his guests and anyone he could find, and together we all walked down to where the refugees were camped.

For a night we all sat together under the stars around a fire. I sang soothing songs of hope and healing, but interspersed my performances with moments of reflection. I invited the displaced residents of Solace Bridge to share their favorite memories of home.

One of those residents was a kind woman named Linda, surrounded by her beloved cats. She had just lost everything, but was passing out bark bread to everyone gathered. Richard ran up to his Inn and returned with mead to share with the crowd.

That night I learned that Soltown tries to live quietly on their own, not unlike Braemar and the villages of the Hidden Vale. But Sequanna’s influence of love stretched beyond Ardoris into the rest of the Perennial Coast. Here this private village had welcomed in others with open arms and open hearts. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

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