January 25 2017

Harvest of the Shattered Moon 1 – by Andartianna – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the first instalment of a wonderful story from Andartianna. It is entitled
Harvest of the Shattered Moon
Background music by Smartsound

Chapter 1, “Beer, Banter, and, Bonfires”
Here upon this hellish fury, death and darkness, hatreds worry. He the demon of the night, evil desires, wicked frights. Tearing apart a human chest devouring its tasteful flesh. Rejoicing in its wicked deed and loving what it is like to feed.

Zazeriz thumped her head hard on the bed’s headboard waking herself up from a nightmare. So hard in fact she could hear the footsteps of Boniface coming to her room. A delicate knock rapped on the door to the room and a beautiful alto voice came through the wall.

“Is everything alright in there?” Boniface asked.

“I am alright my friend. I see that it is almost 5 am and time to start working on the current batch of beer. I will dress and meet you downstairs in a moment.” Zazeriz said through a slight yawn.

“Are you still having the nightmares about that place far away?” Boniface asked.

“I am indeed as always. It is no matter. The dreams will likely haunt me for eternity in one lifetime or another. Do not worry. I will come out shortly and you can help me forget in the work.” Zazeriz replied.

Boniface trilled and Zazeriz could hear her footsteps walking down the stairs. Zazeriz began changing into a pair of her traveling clothes. Today she would wear a dark blue clothing set. It was one of her favorites when working with Boniface. Zazeriz had managed to imbue it with a Shield of Air, which was very helpful in repelling the water and other materials used to make beer. There were no mirrors in Boniface’s rooms above the Bilge and Barnacle Tavern, so Zazeriz reached into her pouch and took out a travel mirror she had with her. She looked at her reflection. The mirror showed the same face that had always looked back at her: dark hair, skin, and bright green eyes. Zazeriz never aged, which was a gift from her home planet.

Zazeriz put the small mirror back into her pouch and headed down into the tavern where Boniface was waiting. The tavern was usually a very lively place at night, but at just before 5am it was empty save for Boniface who was seated at the long table in the center of the tavern. Zazeriz moved to take a seat across from Boniface. The table was filled with various herbs and supplies needed to make beer as well as some food Boniface had placed before them to eat for breakfast. Hot steam was rising from the porridge set out in front of Zazeriz.

Zazeriz began to eat the porridge. She found that, while it was warm, it was rather tasteless for her liking so she reached into her pouch for a health potion and poured its contents into the bowl.

“You always like your porridge so sweet. I don’t know how you can eat it that way.” Boniface said.

“Well it’s not as if my teeth will rot out, so I can have it as sweet as I desire.” Zazeriz said.

“Indeed you are blessed with an incredible rate of rejuvenation. Speaking of which, have you saved your focus to cast Soothing Rain all day?” Boniface asked.

“Saving? You jest Boniface. You know I can cast the spell all day when I am not defending.” Zazeriz said.

“Very good. If you are done eating we can go around the back and start working.” Boniface said.

“Yes, I think I have had my fill. Let us get to work.” Zazeriz said.

Zazeriz followed Boniface around the back of the tavern. In the early sunlight, the visibility was still low so Boniface had set up her brewing vat near the lamp post behind the tavern. Boniface’s beer was renowned across the world. She had spent many years perfecting her beer’s quality and taste. The secret ingredient that made her beer better than anyone else’s was the reason Zazeriz traveled to Etceter each year. Boniface used the water from Zazeriz casting Soothing Rain to mix the beer. The water from the Soothing Rain helped make Boniface’s beer taste better, refresh the drinkers, and allow them to drink more, which made for great sales.

Zazeriz began whirling her hands casting up large puffy white clouds above the brewing vats Boniface had set out. Spells after spells after spells for hours on end, Zazeriz filled one vat after another and Boniface mixed the herbs and boiled the hops. Soon the aroma of beer wafted all around Etceter. The first batches of this year’s beer had cooled by the time the sun was setting.

Boniface had hired Felicia, the local beggar, to help cart loads of beer up to a giant bonfire on a hill overlooking the wharf. Here at the bonfire, the entire town gathered to celebrate the end of the harvest season. Even the sometimes grim Ezb Krohon, the village blacksmith, was drinking and smiling. The night quickly passed with singing and dancing and plenty of beer. Zazeriz lay down on the edge of the encampment and gazed up at the moon in all its’ fractured glory. She could hear the singing in the background, which ever so slowly lulled her into sleep.

Chapter 2, “Morning, Mourning, and Master?”
In the morning when the solar energy starting beating down on Zazeriz face, she slowly opened her eyes and stretched out her arms to wake herself up. She sat up and looked around the now extinguished bonfire. Some of the villagers were still curled up next to their flasks of beer. Zazeriz scanned the area to see where Boniface had ended up. After a moment of not finding her, she stood up and headed back to the Bilge and Barnacle Tavern. Surely Boniface had returned home and she could wish her a good year.

As Zazeriz climbed down the steep hillside towards the tavern, she marvelled how lucky she was that the beer had no negative effects on her body. The rest of the townsfolk would likely have a fairly strong hangover from the liquor. As she neared the tavern, she noticed the front door was partially open. It was very early in the morning, which made it fairly unlikely that Boniface had left the door open for customers. Perhaps she had been so drunk she forgot to close it properly when she had entered.

Zazeriz entered the Bilge and Barnacle and a very frightened faun came running to her. Streams of tears were coming down her face. “Snip-snip, whatever is the matter? Where is Boniface?” Zazeriz asked.

“Mistress Zazeriz, I found the tavern unlocked and no trace of Master Boniface within. I know that the bonfire was a good time, but Master Boniface had promised to meet me here early to help with a problem. I did not see her when I woke up on the hill, so I walked throughout the town looking for where she had gone. That is when I found this fractured moon talisman left in the tavern and no other trace of Master Boniface.” Snip-snip said.

Zazeriz took the talisman from Snip-snip and looked it over for a minute. A novice understanding of the world would make people think that the talisman was a picture of the fractured moon. Zazeriz, however, knew differently. It was a fractured talisman of the Shuttered Eye. A cult of necromancers had inhabited a tower in the far southwest corner of the continent. Upon Zazeriz’ many years of travelling, she had stumbled across the Tower of the Shuttered Eye while trudging through swamplands of the West Veiled swamp.

“Snip-snip, has Boniface had any new customers from Ardoris or Soltown recently entering the shop?” Zazeriz asked.

“Yes, Mistress. Master Boniface sold some of her last barrels of last year’s beer to a merchant from Ardoris. The woman said she had an import business in Ardoris and would like to have regular shipments sent to her. Master Boniface sold her a few barrels, but refused to sign any contracts for a larger supply. I asked Master Boniface why she had not sold the woman more goods and she told me that not knowing the person she could not designate future shipments for her.” Snip-snip said.

“Do you happen to know the woman’s name?” Zazeriz asked.

“I did not hear her say her name to Master Boniface, but I did overhear that she owned Ardoris Imports.” Snip-snip said.

“Thank you for the information, Snip-snip. You will need to take care of the tavern while Master Boniface is away. I will send word to you if I find her. I’m going to look in Ardoris for clues about her disappearance.” Zazeriz said.

“Thank you Mistress Zazeriz, I will take care of the Bilge and Barnacle as if it were my own. Please hurry and find Master Boniface. She is a good person and I would hate anything bad to happen to her.” Snip-snip said.

July 19 2015

Special Presentation to Asclepius on behalf of The Caverns Guild

Im a bit ashamed at myself that this has not been done sooner and I am glad to be rectifying the situation by taking care of it now!

I hereby as Guild leader of The Caverns Guild and with agreement and consent from the guild, grant upon thee honorary membership in our family!

Baron Asclepius

As the Guild leader of The Caverns Guild when I put forth the question to the guild about how they felt about doing this, I very promptly had a lot of people not only saying yeah do it, but I felt there was an undertone of “Stupid damned question Stile”.

Many members of the guild just by the nature of friendship, helping out friends, and wanting to understand friends interests have helped out with many of the projects that you work on in your role with The New Britannia Theater Troupe, Lord Baldrith, and Myself. I list Lord Baldrith specifically and not others on our projects, as he is a formal member of The Caverns Guild as well! Although right now he has a very understandable stronger focus on getting Wizards Rest organized (and doing an amazing job!!!).

Even beyond that your partnership with myself in projects has been instrumental in me being able to spend more time with the guild at a time things were very hectic and moving quickly. Since then moving them onto your own plate and taking them on as your own role. Sort of becoming my replacement for many of the job duties I did and working side by side with Lord Baldrith in my stead. Allowing me to take on a smaller role and just jumping in on the larger issues while handling the day to day things yourself with Lord Baldrith. Thusby in all reality contributing as much to The Caverns Guild AS many of it’s members!

While I cannot award Lord Baldrith an honorary membership in the guild since he is already a member I can grant you one! I have never tried to recruit you into the guild simply because being your friend and having your trust and loyalty I know how strongly you give it. You already belong in a guild and so long as that can work that is where your trust and loyalty lay and I have always respected that.

The honorary program we have though is something I had started thinking about back during kickstarter and when I was still contemplating what I would want in a guild. I knew I wanted it to be something for exactly this sort of situation. Since then only two others have been given. One to The Mad Hermit and the other to Sir Frank. There are most definitely other people that should be offered one and someday I shall do so. They are however meant to be rare, very meaningful, and very carefully given out.

Their nature is meant to be genuine in that you are considered a full member with no obligations. Visit our sites, use our forums, vote on our decisions. Alternatively do not say hi for a year or two and then drop in and well make sure you’re fed and have a room for the night! For that very reason they shall not often be given out more than one in any short period of time!

So while there may be others who are on a list it is definitely way past your time and sorry to be a bit slow on it. If you get a chance swing by the new guild website at http://www.thecaverns.net/guild and poke around, just so you know what we can offer you if you ever need a hand. Not to mention your a large part of the reason I have had the time to do a new guild website! You should see what your work accomplished *winks*.

You already know where the forums are and as soon as I have a chance you’ll find you have additional access to the guild member section. If you find yourself needing a place to drop a house, Neath still has some lots available. Just let us know and we’ll light some candles for you and get the paperwork filed.

Damned, thats a long winded speech.. I hope no one is offended if I use this as a template for future inductions!

Ankh Quill