Laconblade 01

Laconblade

Part 1: Introductions and Trials

2023 JAN 14

In the city of Abaloop, former Capitol of the Lochinvar Kingdom, Roxanne Pebbles, a female Dwarf and amateur Cleric, and Ailuin Darunia, a male Aquatic Elf with aspirations of being a Magus, meet at the city’s Adventuring Guild building. As the two introduce themselves a third individual arrives, a Vanara Monk named Babuk Ishka, followed shortly by two Ratfolk Rogues, Rizzo and Marcrat, who may or may not be a married couple.

The five of them are all new recruits to the relatively new Laconblade Academy for Adventuring and each collect passage on the last airship of the day. Roxanne is extremely nervous about riding in an airship, so downs a potion to ease her nerves. Once they have all received their tickets a woman exits the back room and introduces herself; she is Tacca, a Vishkanya, and she is to be their first day mentor. She leads them out of the front entrance and toward the Airship.

Ash she reaches the corner of the building a large man in dark robes bumps into her and some of the group notice that he lifts a coin purse from her pocket. Babuk and Rizzo begin to pursue the man while Ailuin informs Tacca of the incident. Tacca tries to feign surprise but Ailuin sees through her performance and deduces that this is all a test.

Rizzo manages to sneak up behind the man while Marcrat shouts and distracts him, giving Rizzo the opportunity to snatch the coin purse without the man noticing. Rizzo is so sneaky, however, that his new companion, Babuk, doesn’t realize he has taken it, and leaps from a nearby rooftop to tackle the man from above. A brief fight ensues in which Babuk draws the man’s attention, deftly dodging his attacks, as Rizzo faceplants into a wall and Marcrat accidentally kisses the man while trying to make a flying assault.

Roxanne, in a drugged state of unawareness, eventually catches on that there is a dispute when Rizzo calls to her and proclaims that the large man said something rude about Dwarves. She uses a Filth cantrip, which covers the man in a layer of filth.

Ailuin intervenes and informs everyone that this is simply a test and the fight quickly draws to a close. They proceed to the airship and arrive at the academy shortly afterward where they are given a brief tour of area before being shown to their dorms and asked to attend to the Orientation.

At Orientation the entire student body is sorted into groups of six. Roxanne, Ailuin, Rizzo, Marcrat, and Babuk are the last sorted, along with a ghostly pale Aasimar who is introduced as Aelifer, a student who has had trouble finding a group, are all assigned to the same group.

 

2 Years Later

After training in their own respective fields, and working together in the training grounds, the group is tasked with their first contract. They are handed a sheet of paper with a Contact and some basic information, then left to their own devices.

They seek the contact, Gilbert, at the tavern in Petrichor who seems to be excited to be participating in a contract. Gilbert informs them of disturbing noises coming from behind a locked door behind the tavern and he leads them through the back door outside. Rizzo and Marcrat manage to unlock the door and enter, searching for traps along the way. Roxanne and Aelifer stay back in case any traps are activated.

Just inside, Rizzo and Marcrat find a pit trap. Rizzo jumps the trap but falls into another pit trap on the other side of it. Ailuin manages to throw him a rope and pull him to safety. Marcrat triggers the first pit trap and it falls out, leaving a 10 foot gap to cross.

Uncertain of the depth, Roxanne tosses a rock into the trap. It falls and clacks about 5 feet below them and the group surmises that the pit has an illusion to make it appear bottomless without actually being threatening.

Roxanne and Rizzo detach the pit trap door and lay it across the pit to create a walk way. Everyone crosses and find themselves in a dead end. Rizzo notices a breeze and finds an illusionary wall. On the other side of the wall is a 30 foot drop to the floor below. Rizzo realizes there are small hand holds the whole way down and tries to use them to climb, only to realize that they are actually a vertical spear trap that nearly impales him.

Rizzo and Marcrat manage to disable the trap while Roxanne and Babuk tie knots in a rope. Ailuin hammers a piton into the floor and ties the rope on and everyone climbs down with ease.

 

End Session 1

2023 Week 4

New Posts

  • None

News

First post of the new year. There isn’t much to say except that I am thinking about upgrading my site again so that I can use plugins. It annoys me to no end that I can’t use simple plugins… it also annoys me that if I upload an XML it automatically posts every single post from that file. I can’t figure out how to make it not do that so that I can sort through them and post only the relevant ones.

I have started a second campaign in Pathfinder as the Dungeon Master and I intend to post regular updates under the new Roleplay category in the menu. I also intend to post regular updates from the other campaign in which I am a player. I started posting them a long time ago on a different site that has ceased to exist and I wish to transfer those to this site… which is why I am annoyed that I can’t sort XML posts before they’re published.

Books

I have finished my first book of 2023!

He Who Fights With Monsters Book 3 written by Shirtaloon and narrated by Heath Miller. I will get around to sharing a Mini-Review soon… I hope

Six – Play

This post is a participation in The Weekly Six Sentence Story Challenge hosted by Denise over at GirlieOnTheEdge

This week’s word is:

Play

  • To engage in joyous and recreational activity
  • To take part in a game or sport
  • A dramatic work for the stage or broadcast

The Breach

“Breach, breach, the doors have been breached,” the young man yelled as he flung himself over the barricade and hunkered down behind cover, “we are being invaded, all hands on deck!”

“I am not detecting any breaches in the outer doors or walls,” a calm voice responded through the speakers overhead, “nor do I detect any foreign life forms in the facility.”

“They’re using advanced stealth suits, they’re completely invisible to your every sensor, but I know they’re there, I can sense them,” the young man primed the pump of his air rifle before quickly rising, taking aim down the long, metal hallway and fired off into the darkness before ducking down again, “I got one, but there are too many, I’m throwing a grenade!”

“The use of explosives within the facility is not recommended,” the voice responded as calmly as it had before, “fire suppression foam is ready, repair droids are on standby.”

The young man pulled a baseball from his jacket and bit the top of it, he wasn’t sure why he had to bite it but they always did that in the movies, then blindly chucked it as hard as he could over the barricade and down the hall before ducking and covering, “Valentine, activate Big Boom Program!”

“Alert, the following sound is for recreational purposes only, it is not an indication of threat and is not intended to cause concern; again, the following sound is for recreational purposes and is not real,” the overhead voice announced through the facility; it fell silent for several seconds then filled the halls with a roaring KABOOM that shook the walls and was shortly followed by the delighted squeals and laughter of a child.

Icky Ichor

A One Shot by GM Eddie

Backstory

Elendril (Ee len drill) was originally founded by a paladin. He swore an oath to the gods (5 primary, and a variety of lesser) upon his holy blade, and they blessed the land. As long as his lineage wielded the weapon and was true to his oath, his kingdom would know peace and prosperity. Originally a human, all of his children have been born Aasimars, and blessed with long lives. War is practically unknown in the eight generations after, since the kingdom produces incredibly durable products and gives away a large portion of agriculture to neighboring nations. As the nation is so prosperous, there’s also less reason for widespread logging and other activities, so their wilds are still wild. Bands of adventures license their groups and are assigned to areas to be based out of. They can leave the areas, but are duty bound to return upon request.

Dark tidings have been coming from the kingdom to the north, but the rumors seem strange and conflicting. The Crew group has been based out of a small “frontier” post, and the man that owns most of it, Stenn, has requested that the Crew returns. A former adventurer himself, he retired after a particularly lucrative event and has been out near the wilds in the southern region of Elendril in the years since.

The Beginning

In the small outpost of Noma, the Crew gathers at Stenn’s; Juan the Dwarven Paladin, Srednalf Den the Gnomish Alchemist, Michael Jacobson the Human Fighter, Artemis the Human Cleric, and Najoa the Half-Orc Paladin. A sixth member, a human sorcerer named Odrund, is incapable of returning, having been held up by events further North. Ordrund recently sent a message to Stenn that caused him enough concern to ask that his adventurers return. He explains to the crew that the King has been murdered by what is presumably a Lich, and that a strange plague is spreading.

Concerned for other outlaying farms and villages, Stenn sends a messenger with his fastest horse to alert the nearest homesteads of potential danger. Meanwhile, the crew prepares to head north to investigate the news and gauge the threat. Stenn supplies them with only three days rations and insists that they go no more than a day’s journey from Noma for fear of them being away should the inn be assaulted.

The Crew travels North for the better part of a day and come to a stop when they note a small group approaching from the opposite direction. Attempts at communication are greeted with an increased shambling pace. Michael makes note that some of the folks approaching have mortal wounds that no mortal man could survive, and seem to be leaking a black fluid from every orifice.

Making quick work of the strange undead beings, Srednalf takes a moment to investigate the fluid. When he approaches, a puddle of the fluid reacts and begins moving toward him as if drawn by a magnet. The Paladin, Juan, instead offers to use Mage Hand to assist in the collection process of a sample.

While deliberating on their next move, a horse burst rises from the horizon and gallops down the road. The Crew recognize it as the horse Stenn sent the messenger on. Srednalf sends a drone North and it reports back a horde of similarly undead beings chasing the horse but incapable of keeping pace. The Paladins manage to wrangle the horse and calm it. They feed it and give it water.

When a second group of undead approach the Crew decide to kill two birds with one stone; they wait for the second group to pass over the remains of the first, then fireball them, effectively clearing the infections remains and decimating the new threat.

When the drone returns and reports that a significant number of these beings are following behind, the Crew decides it is best to return to Noma and secure the area. Srednalf decides it is unsafe to bring a bottle of goo back after the collected sample attempts to break free of its bottle. He tosses it into the burning remains.

After relaying the news to Stenn, the town begins preparations for the oncoming assault. The townsfolk make molotovs and spears while Artemis sets up positive energy traps at the entrances and the rest of The Crew prepare their spells and weapons.

The night falls and the Crew begin to take watches. The first two watches are uneventful, but when Artemis takes third watch he is nearly flattened by an undead being that sours through the air and splatters against the wall directly below his vantage point on the wall. Srednalf comments that something must have not appreciated his use of the light cantrip, and throws his magic stone out into the field. A moment later a second undead arcs over the wall and splats onto the ground outside the inn. This triggers the positive energy trap at the inn’s entrance and the black ooze that pours from the undead being begins to boil and evaporate. Before he can comment on this, Srednalf is knocked from the wall by a third flying body and is covered in the black ooze. He quickly approaches the inn and the ooze sizzles away just as the puddle had.

When Srednalf wakes after an uneventful fourth watch he finds he has fallen ill. Najoa cures him of disease and he feels better afterwards. This prompts him to make several Delay Disease potions that make the group immune to the black ooze for 24 hours.

After morning preparations the crew check the walls to discover that overnight, thousands of undead had gathered around the walls. They are keeping their distance, circling 100 feet out from the walls. At the main road a giant being stands, two dozen feet in height.

The Assault

Najoa climbs to the top of the wall and hollers across the field at the giant; much to everyone’s surprise, it responds. It demands the daughter of Stenn. After refusing the request, the undead masses begin to approach. The Crew begins to snipe undead from the walls and are thankful that the giant keeps its distance.

The feeling of safety behind the walls immediately vanishes when a section of the front gate is disintegrated, opening a large hole for the undead to swarm through. Srednalf tries to dispense of the first wave with a bomb, but a misplaced explosive accidently blows the gates off their hinges and widens the hole. The undead begin to fry as they pass under the doorway, triggering Artemis’ second positive energy trap.

Stenn announces his intention of retreating to the inn’s second story and destroying the stairs so the undead can not follow. The Crew agrees with the tactic and retreat. Artemis holds back to assist the Tiefling blacksmith who had initially chosen to hide in their home but decided it was safer to join everyone else. They manage to get inside the inn before the masses surround them. The door is barred from the inside as the horde begin pounding at the walls and doors. Kate is the last up the stairs, and Stenn destroys the stairs behind them. The Teifling offers a potion of giant form to Artemis in thanks.

Time passes. The horde is unable to advance through the heavily magically shielded walls of the inn, but there are far too many for the crew to make an attempt at escaping.

More time passes.

While discussing possible options, a window in the back hallway shatters and is shortly followed by the terrified screams of the common locals. The Crew runs to investigate and find the end of the hallway soiled with blood. Juan approaches and as he gets near a large demonic being exists the room at the end and attacks. A fight ensues, but as the rest of the Crew begin to join the fray the demonic being turns invisible. With no way of detecting the creature, the Crew retreats to the other end of the hall.

Stenn, informed of the demise of the common folk, invites the remaining heroes into his secret room. He lowers an unmarked wall to expose a secret room with a magic lift leading to the third floor. The Crew follow him up. Najoa is the last to rise, but as he approaches the tube, the demonic being reappears and attacks. Najoa dispenses of the being in a few decisive blows, then follows everyone else upstairs

The third floor is only accessible from the magic tube. It seems to be a private room where Stenn’s daughter has been hiding out. Stenn opens a wardrobe in the corner of the room and exposes more magical items and an oddly placed tree branch. Stenn explains that the branch connects to a family farm to the west, but only those of his blood can use it for transportation. He had not used it because he did not want to abandon the Crew or the common folk. He produces a staff from the wardrobe and offers it to the Crew, explaining that it is a cursed staff of teleportation. The staff only teleports the user, not itself or others, so anyone who uses it will be stranded wherever it drops them. Furthermore, no one knows where it teleports to.

The Crew unanimously decides not to use it. The Tiefling, however, takes her chances and teleports away.

With no further options, the Crew develops a plan. Srednalf puts together several extracts of enlarge person, and one of reduce person. Najoa takes the potion of Giant Form, and the crew sneak out a back window to move along the top of the wall. Jua stays on the wall and rains arrows upon the giant while the others drink their potions, become giants, and charge the giant commander of the undead. When they are near, Srednalf uses the reduce person on the giant, putting the fight in their favor. Unfortunately, the giant commander uses a pendant on its neck to undo the reduction spell.

The Crew wail upon the commander… until he finds an opening and strikes back. With a rapid series of blows the Commander takes Srednalf down. In a moment of panic, Srednalf yells that the girl has left and there is no reason for this to continue. The Commander hesitates and the fight slows to a stop. Srednalf makes an attempt to bluff his way out of his slip up by claiming the girl escaped to a farm up north, but his bluff is called. Eventually it comes out that the farm is to the west. With no further reason to fight, the commander demands they show him the way.

The End

The Narrator Part 15


Part 15

So, I asked around and nobody in the group knows who you are. Nobody invited an Oliver to the group.

I quickly open my eyes, removing myself from the Author’s desktop view and try to act casual, like I wasn’t just snooping through his folders.

You don't even have a user profile. How are you here? How are you editing this?

“Oh, well, yeah, you see, uh, about that-” I begin to fidget, shifting my weight from one leg to the other as I try to find a place to keep my hands that seems casual and confident. I settle with one hand on the back of my neck and the other tucked comfortably in my armpit. “You see, the thing is… I don’t know.”

Yeah, ok. Clearly you're a hacker or something. System shows no one logged in so you're, what? Hacking my mainframe?

“What does that mean?”

I don't know, I'm not a hacker. I saw it in a movie or something. But that's beside the point. What do you want? Why are you here? What is your endgame? You're not deleting anything, you're not making demands, so what are you doing here?

“Uhhhh,” I drone a single syllable for several secon

Stop the damn Roleplaying thing. It was cute at first but now it's annoying.

“Um,” I scramble to find an answer to his question

JFC

What do I want? I wonder silently to myself. That has never been a thing I have ever had to consider in the past.

Just tell me what you want. Please, for the love of God]

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything; never had my own thoughts or desires. I’ve always just been a conduit of stories.

“I don’t know,” I finally mutter.

Uh uh. Took that long to say I don't know?

“It’s a tough question.”

It really isn't.

“Maybe not for you, you’ve always existed.”

I don't know what that means and I honestly don't care right now. I'm logging all users out, changing the passwords, and locking the files. If you want to give me your demands, or whatever, just talk about why you're here, just email me like a normal person.

“Sure, yeah, okay, I will… I will definitely… em… ail… you? did I say that right?”

I wait for a response but none comes.

“Do they do this often?” I hear someone ask. I turn around to find Bastian and Phil watching me. It was Bastian who just spoke, and he sips politely at his tea as I watch him.

“Frequently, yes,” Luda responds with a new, snarky, well enunciated tone of voice. I think the readers would identify it as a British accent.

“Why do you sound like that?” I ask.

“‘Tis the tone of tea,” Luda states, then sips his tea.

I look to Bastian, who raises his tea cup in cheers at me and nods confirmation.

“The author is trying to find a way to get rid of me,” I say quickly.

“We heard,” Bastian states. “Do you have any other ideas, or plans to move forward?”

“Well, the Scribe has given me magical insight into the Author’s life. I think… I need to find some way of using that to my advantage.

“Smashing idea,” Luda says, and sips his tea.

“Banger of a plan,” says Phil, and he sips his tea.

I roll my eyes and make a note to myself to never include tea in any future story.

“We need to get someplace quiet, and safe, so I can spend some time going through everything he has,” I say.

“We can head back to Namelater,” Bastian suggests. “I need to return the McGuffin to Mayor Questgiver.”

“Mayor Questgiver?” I ask, once again flabbergasted by the lack of world building by the Author. “Nevermind, I don’t care. We will go to Namelater and find Questgiver and give him the McGuffin; those are words I actually spoke.”

“May I join you?” Phil asks.

“Sure,” I mutter. “Why not.”

The Narrator Part 14


Part 14

I lead the small arrow up to the yellow folder labeled ‘Documents’ and poke at it. The folder expands, filling the screen with a series of other folders on a white background. I read through them; Freaks, EmVee, MAZE, MISC, Sixes, Tales of the Wasteland, The Ancient, Zeds.

“These are all stories,” I whisper. I recognize all of these labels, they’re all stories that I’ve narrated. Well, almost all of them, I don’t recognize the Ancient, Zeds, or… MISC? How the author managed to write a story without me is beyond my comprehension – but, that’s a question for another time.

I poke the folder labeled MAZE and another field of white opens with a scattering of different images; different types of paper, some blurry paintings, blank boxes. One of the small, plain images catches my interest when I scan over the title beneath it; BastianHollows.txt

I poke it.

Bastian Hallows – Half-Elf

STR 16 DEX 20 END 16 INT 18 WIS 18 CHA 26

These numbers look very familiar. Where have I seen these before? Ah! When the Author wrote the Dungeons and Dragons recaps there were numbers like these. He must be assigning values to his story characters as well! That means not only do I have his notes, but I have his stats on every character and-

I open one eye and glance off in the bugbear’s direction. He notices me and politely raises his tea cup in my direction. I nod and close my eyes again. Back in the folder I backtrack to the MAZE folder and click the image labeled Bugbear and begin to scan his information.

Phil – Bugbear

STR 14 DEX 15 END 12 INT 16 WIS 11 CHA 11

“Phil?” I mutter quietly.

“Yes?” The bugbear, Phil, responds. I open my eyes and look at him.

“You… uh… have a very high intelligence score for a bugbear,” I say.

“Thank you?” He says, uncertainly. A moment of awkward silence follows as we stare at each other, then I shrug and return to the folders on the back of my eyelids.

The Narrator Part 13


Part 13

“All better?” I ask, patting the Scribe on the shoulder. I may as well have been talking to a wall since he ignores my words and my touch and just continues to scrawl letters and sentences across the pages. I shrug.

“I guess so,” I mutter, before leaning down to pick up the last page the Scribe had been working on before I was attacked.

“something tackles me from around the corner,” I read aloud, “and I fall sideways, crashing into the back of the Scri-.” The page ends and I flip it over to find it blank on the other side, then search the other nearby sheets for any more loose sheets. 

“Is that it? Did it end there?” After a moment of searching I return to the sheet in my hand, read it silently to myself, then curse quiet under my breath.

“The entire last few minutes weren’t recorded,” I say, waving the sheet in the direction of Bastian and the Bugbear as they sip tea by the fire. I try to remember how this all came about but… I’m drawing a  complete blank. “Do either of you know what happened? Weren’t we fighting?”

Bastian politely sets his tea cup upon the plate in his free hand and looks at me.

“I have… no idea. I’m drawing a blank,” Bastian says. Beyond just being the one who writes, the scribe is also the record keeper. Without him, without his writings… nothing happens.

“I thought I was the most important part,” I mutter. “But, without the scribe, there is no record of a story ever occurring. I’m just-“

“You are both equally important,” the bug bear says. he shifts his glasses up his nose, sips his tea, and continues speaking. “Without you, the scribe has nothing to say, without the scribe, your story has nowhere to go. Without the author, neither of you have a story to begin with. It is a perfect trifecta, none of you can succeed without the others.”

Bastian and I stare at the bugbear.

“I didn’t know you could talk,” I say.

“You never asked.” The bugbear replies.

“Fair enough,” I mutter. “Where did the tea come from?”

Bastian ooks to his tea cup, then from the tea cup to the bugbear. The bugbear does the same, looking from his cup to Bastian. The two turn to face me and both shrug.

“Ok,” I say and shrug in return. “Plot hole, I guess.”

It is then that I notice a piece paper clenched in my left hand. I flatten the sheet as best I can and read it. It seems to be mostly gibberish, just a string of numbers, letters, and symbols, but as I read I feel myself compelled to continue reading. I begin reading quietly to myself when the string numbers turns into a series of letters and words separated by symbols.

“C colon backslash users backslash SeeJay backslash desktop…” I pause at the end. I scan the page for a moment, then notice a word at the bottom corner. “Enter?” The instant the word leaves my mouth my mind suddenly swells with knowledge and when I close my eyes I find myself staring at… at… I… I don’t now what I’m staring at.

It seems to be a window opening to a still night time scene with silhouetted trees against a sky full of stars. A number of strange objects stand in the sky like birds frozen in time. One of them seems to be a yellow folder in the top left with little white letters naming it ‘Documents’. A few other similar objects are labeled ‘Photos’, ‘Games’, ‘Journals’, ‘Roleplay’ and so forth.

“Oh my god,” I mutter. I raise my hand and wave it through the field of what my vision would be if my eyes were open; a small white arrow follows the trail of my index finger. “I can see his work… I have access to the author’s notes, his stories, his- his everything.”

The Narrator Part 12

(Quick Note: This part is just shy of 400 words. I usually aim for 600 to 800 per post. I’m sorry for the quick pace of it. I’ve had a rough week and almost didn’t even make a post today. As it is I’m 12 hours late. I will do better next week! Promise!)


Part 12

You're still editing this?"

“Oh, shit!” I shout, then immediately cover my mouth with my hands. I turn toward Bastian and raise a hand, pressing a finger to his lips before he can say anything. He cocks an eyebrow at me.

“Shhhh!” I say is a whisper. “He’s back!”

“The Author?” He asks around my finger. I nod slowly.

“The author?!” One of the nearby elves shouts. Suddenly the name is bounced around the room as every other elf in the area repeats the name. Voices from beyond the shelves catch the wave and add their own voice. I estimate about a dozen others.

“Shhh!” I shush harder, raising my hands over my head and waving them frantically. “Stop, he might-” I pause. “Wait, you guys know about the author?”

Still roleplaying? Are you actually roleplaying or are you writing?"

“The Author, the creator!” The elf nearest me says. “You hear him?!”

“Unfortunately, yes,” I grumble.

Ouch lol Hey, Icey says he didn't invite you. Was it Di? They weren't at the meet up so I haven't asked her yet.

“I… I don’t remember their name,” I respond.

“Whose name? The Author’s name?” The nearest elf asks.

“No, the name of- stop talking.” I answer.

lol... "alright then, keep your secrets"... But, I did notice no one is logged in right now, so if you have some VPN hiding your activity, please turn that off.

“You want me to stop talking?” The confused elf asks.

“Yeah, will do. Will turn that right off.” I respond to the Author.

“Turn my mouth off?” The elf asks. He looks to the other elf beside him to confirm he’s heard me right. The other elf shrugs.

Ohm hey, also, add an angry bugbear to this scene. It's kind of boring, it's just a library, needs some spice. Talk later, noob.

“Oh yeah, totally will!” I respond. “Talk later.”

“Ahhh!” Someone from out of sight screams. The sudden cry is followed immediately by a loud crash.

“Shush!” I shush loudly, then take a moment to listen for the author. Did he leave again? It’s hard to tell over the racket of two other elves screaming and the heavy foot falls of people running.

“Alright, whatever. I think we’r-” something tackles me from around the corner and I fall sideways, crashing into the back of the Scri

The Narrator Part 11


Part 11

His hand flies across the paper in front of him, moving in a blur of motion that my eyes can’t keep up with. As his right hand scribbles line after line of words his left carefully dips a quill into an ink well, then just as the quill in his right hand runs dry, his left immediately falls upon the paper and continues to write with the same fervor.

“Wow,” I mutter under my breath, watching for several moments as he switches from hand to hand, writing without break.

“Fellas,” I say, turning to face Bastian and Luda. I raise a hand and motion toward the black robed man at the desk. “Meet the Scribe!”

“Hello, sir,” Luda says quietly as he keeps a distance. Evidently the dark robes and snow pale skin, combined with the ridiculous speed of his hands, is keeping Luda at bay.

“Good afternoon,” Bastian says. He steps forward and bows with a flourish. “A pleasure.”

I turn back toward the Scribe to find that he has no acknowledged Luda or Bastian’s presence in any fashion. I suppose he must not have time for minor characters; though, Bastian is the main character. Perhaps this is all too meta for the scribe to acknowledge anyone in the story.

“We’ve never met, but I’m sure you know who I am,” I say, stepping to stand opposite the scribe at his desk. I pause to give him time to reply, but he doesn’t. I clear my throat.

“It’s… it’s me, the Narrator,” I say, and pause again. The scribe does not acknowledge me.

“The Narrator,” I say again. “Your connection to the author?”

The Scribe does not acknowledge me.

“Sir?” 

I jump and spin on my heel, forgetting there were others here besides myself and my companions. To the side an elf stands with a fresh tray of tea.

“Uh, yes?” I say.

“The Scribe does not speak, sir,” the Elf explains. “He does not speak, he does not see, and he does not hear.”

I raise my brow at this curiosity.

“Really?” I ask. The elf nods and motions toward the Scribe’s hood. I turn back to face him and carefully lean over the desk to pear under the hood. I am greeted with a pale face, blank of features like a stick figure head with nothing drawn inside.

“Huh,” I mutter. “That’s… disturbing.”




I raise a brow as the Scribe’s hand stops. It’s barely half a second before he immediately starts writing again, but given his speed the deviation is very apparent.

“You’ve offended him,” the elf says.

“How?” I ask. “He has no ears.”

“You said you are the Narrator?” the elf asks, I nod confirmation. “Well much like yourself, the  Scribe… knows. He does not perceive the world in any normal way, he simply knows of it. Images appear in his mind and he writes them down. Whole stories play in his head, fed to him by, we believe, you.”

“By me? I-” I pause to consider this. I suppose it makes sense; I’ve never actually spoken to the guy but he somehow gets all of my stories and puts them to paper. “So we’re connected on a psychic level?”

“Yes, sir,” the elf replies.

I pass around the desk, watching the Scribe’s hands continue to scrawl line after line.

“So, what is he writing now?” I ask as I lean over his shoulder and peek at the paper, reading what he writes.

“I lean over his shoulder and peel at the paper, reading what he writes. “I lean over his shoulder and peek at the paper, reading what he writes. “I lean over his shoulder and peek at the paper, reading what he writes. “I lean over his-” ” ” “

I am yanked away from the pages. The room spins around me and I reach out to steady myself, finding my hand on Bastian’s shoulder and his hand on mine.

“Thank you,” I mutter at him. “Don’t read that.”

Shiftlings (12 RP)

A custom race for Pathfinder 1e

Dungeons and Dragons has a very fun race known as Changelings; descendants of the union between humans and doppelgangers. Because of their ancestry, Changelings have the ability to shapeshift. This comes in the form of a limited “Alter Self” at will. Pathfinder does not have a Changeling race (at least, not one thematically similar), so I took it upon myself to make one.

I have named them Shiftlings, because I can.

Appearance

In their natural form, Shiftlings lack much facial definition, with short, rounded noses that blend into their cheekbones, flat ears, and thin lips. Their eyes are black with small white pupils, with hair featuring a range of colors similar to humans, just much lighter; Instead of blonde, it’s white, instead of black, its gray, instead of red, it’s lightly tinted copper. Shiftling’s commonly have pail white skin but it can vary if further separated from their doppelganger ancestors.

Shiftlings rarely stay in their natural form and often prefer to blend in with the people and culture that they adopt.

Their secretive natures and natural talents make them perfect spies, thieves, and political figures.

Alignment and Religion

The alignment and religion of a Shiftling is as varied as as the religions themselves. As Shiftlings adopt the culture of their chosen residence, they can be of any alignment or religion. There is no known Shiftling culture as they do not commonly seek each other out,

Racial Traits

+2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution
Shiftlings are very Charismatic and Nimble, but they lack Sturdiness.

Type: Humanoid

Size: Medium

Speed: 30ft

(Altered) Greater Change Shape: As a standard action, Shiftlings can assume the form of any Small or Medium creature of the Humanoid Subtype. They can pick the particulars of the change, choosing everything from hair and skin color, to race and gender, to height and weight. These changes are cosmetic only and do not grant any bonuses to attributes or abilities and do not change equipment, gear, or attire.

Beguiling Liar: The ever changing nature of a Shiftling requires them to think quickly and be able to weave stories and backgrounds. Because of this, Shiftlings have a +4 bonus to Bluff checks.

Gifted Linguist: Due to their adaptive nature and desire to blend in, Shiftlings are quick to learn languages. Shiftlings gain +4 to Linguistics checks and learn an extra language for every rank in Linguistics.

Shiftling Insight (Skill Bonus): In order to imitate, Shiftlings spend a lot of time observing people around them. This gives them an insight into the minute expressions that give away people’s intentions. Shiftlings gain +2 to Sense Motive.

Shiftling Skills (Skill Training): Disguise and Perform (Act) are always Class Skills for Shiftlings.

Breakdown

RP CostTrait
4Greater Change Shape (altered)
2Beguiling Liar
2Gifted Linguist
2Skill Bonus (Sense Motive)
2Skill Training (Disguise, Act)
Total: 12

Alternate Racial Trail

Advanced Charisma: Shiftlings gain an additional +2 to their Charisma.

Advanced Charisma costs 2 RP, bringing the count from 12 to 14.