(Episode 9: Bugs and Bears)
-“YOUR DEFENSIVE STANCE IS PREPOSTEROUS! YOUR WEAK LEGS AND HIDEOUS POSTURE WILL MAKE YOU TOPPLE AT THE FIRST IMPACT!”-
“Hey Vordan, with all due respect, can you please not shout and keep slandering me every time I try to follow your techniques!”
-“SILENCE! YOU SHALL NOT RETORT! MY MASTER OF ARMS CASTIGATED ME WITH EVERY LAMENTATION I UTTERED SO CONSIDER YOURSELF FORTUNATE!
“…Yeah, now I’m starting to understand many things about you…”
-”WHAT HAVE YOU DARED EXCLAIM LITTLE INSOLENT BOY!”
“Nothing! nothing at all, I was just catching my breath.”
-“YOUR SHIELD IS RIDICULOUS AND YOUR BLADE IS BROKEN AS YOUR SKILL WITH IT! I WILL TRY TO TEACH YOU HOW TO USE IT’S LIMITED EFFECTIVENESS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!”-
“Uh, yeah thanks Vordan…”
The apprentice nears the young adventurer and tries to cheer him up a bit. “Vordan the Forsaken wasn’t known for being a jovial and charismatic warrior my friend. But his knowledge and skills in combat were superb and he too also fought with a shield and sword. Try not to be discouraged by his rude nature and absorb all you can in this lapse of time.”
The boy smiles back at her, acknowledging her wisdom. “Why was he called the Forsaken? I heard a drunk bard once speak of his battles but I never knew why he was called that way.”
The young woman tries to recall the story while trying to keep her voice down. “He was a zealous follower of the god of war Nadu’Er and had pursued all the omens the oracles of the god had revealed to him. He was one of his most valuable instruments in the ancient times. But Vordan was a man of great pride, a virtue the gods appreciated only when donned upon the mortals. He had asked the oracles to send a message to Nadu’Er, that he would continue to please his will if he would bestow prosperity and safety to his wife and children while absent fulfilling the god’s will. Nadu’Er did not take lightly what he considered an insult from the mortal Vordan and decided to punish him through the use of the devoted oracles to appease his anger for the mortal insolence. When Vordan returned home from yet another battle in Nadu’Er’s name he found his family slain in his very home and the writings “Blind faith, nay demands!” lettered in blood on a wall. He ran to the temple and slaughtered the oracles, burnt to cinders the holy place and cursed the god that he would one day have his vengeance.”
“Didn’t the god punish him for that too!” Asks the bewildered boy.
“Oh yes he tried but fortunately Vordan was approached by the Wanderer, the giver of knowledge himself who gave him the Signature of the Seekers and from that day he declared war on all the god’s temples, unseen and blind to their all seeing vision.”
“Vordan was a Seeker too!?” Yells the adventurer.
“Shhhhhhhhh!” Interrupts the apprentice.
“What, I can’t say he was?” Questions the boy.
“Silence… I hear a noise of stone grinding and a deep growl accompanied by yelps in the real world! Quick you must awaken! The patrol must have been alerted! They are passing through the secret stone door, you must act quickly and hide somewhere!”
The apprentice starts to shake him by the shoulders. “We will met again when you will fall asleep. The Signature of Slumber will help you slip into rest but you must do it in safe places!”
“Wake up, WAKE UP!”
The adventurer jolts from the ground as he awakes from the exact position he was when he slipped the ring on. At first he thinks it was a weird dream but then all is confirmed by the noise the apprentice warned him about. He quickly but silently scurries while trying to remember the map of the dungeon’s first level and decides to go hide in the slaughter room.
As soon as he enters he is overwhelmed by the stinging stench of rotten meat and blood and the buzzes of flies and bugs that feed on them. The room is a horror scene but there is no time to waste. He sees a pile of junk and waste and a large dirty skinned fur on the floor. In the meantime the growls and yelps become louder and louder as they seem to approach. He covers up and leans some cracked weapons and shields on him to hide himself even more and starts to breath though his mouth so he won’t gag from the nauseating stench.
The patrol must have reached the area where he fought the two kobolds and the growls become louder and angrier. All of the sudden a barking yelp is heard followed by a suffocated moan and gasp of what seems to be a kobold. A thud of a light body hits the stone floor. Many sounds of scattering paws are heard running in fear urged by one last powerful grunt.
Heavy steps seem to approach the slaughter room as our hero remains silent and still in his improvised hideout. A large bugbear emerges from the dark corridor and leans inside to take a look. He sniffs the air as would a large bear trying to discern dead meat from the living. Is his sense of smell so acute? Did the young boy rattle a chain that is still swaying, giving off his presence?
Cliffhanger! Let’s call this a season ending for now.
As I announced yesterday I'll probably stop doing the episodes for a bit. I had a lot of fun doing them and dedicated a lot of days just for the fun of it but aside the people who really appreciated them I haven't seen that much interest and feedback even considering the fact that I have been posting them on many of the RPG and Fantasy groups (which honestly shocks me a bit, but I guess I must have overestimated what role playing gamers and fantasy appreciators really like).
It all started with the illustration of the level 1 warrior which was shared and liked a lot so I wanted to give something back and continue the story since there was some curiosity.
If I see around the same interest that the first episodes got again on the the rest of them I'll see if I can get this going again but till then I think it'll stop at this 9th episode for now.
If you want to see more and bring this story back to life spread the album of “The Lonely Adventurer”, share the posts and let other appreciators of good old fantasy stories and D&D lovers know about it! If there is enough people who want to see it continue I could even consider doing a crowdfunding project where I could take some suggestions on how the story continues and even draw certain details or NPC’s from the bidders.
Do you really want to leave our lonely adventurer in a slaughter room with a menacing bugbear looming in on him?!
Here's the rest of the story: www.facebook.com/domenico.nezi…
Had a blast doing them and I hope you had fun too