Gods damn it all, it seems like everywhere I go, somebody needs saving. Sometimes I think that the gods have cursed me with all my abilities, because it always lands on me to get people out of sticky situations. And this time, it was some new guy! But I get ahead of myself again.
When Thorfinn and his puppy left us, we entered a tavern for a well-deserved drink and meal. The folks in the tavern seemed none too friendly to outsiders, but that’s not overly surprising. Folks living outside of the city have a borderline paranoia of people from civilization, what with our refinements and appreciation for the good things in life that are sorely lacking.
There seemed to be two other outsiders in the tavern, so we joined them. One was a blustery pirate with a mouth that surely was overcompensating for something, and another quiet, stoic character. They traveled together, and the loud one did almost all the talking, and I was soon bored with his tales about a fish ‘this big.’ Probably uses the same line to describe something else to the ladies before the worst three-and-a-half minutes of their lives. But I digress.
Rather than listen to him, I decided to pick up some intel on this town, and what was going on. We leaders need to be in the know, and the gods know that no one else was bothering to try to find out. I learned a little about the politics of the town, who the local lord is, and some other useful tidbits. Also turns out that there is some fort of family feud in town between the Johnstones and Creightons, two bumpkin families that seem intent on killing each other off for some petty reason or another.
Once again, we decide to step in and save the day. Luther does his fancy talking bit, and we manage to maneuver the two families to come to a head when we are there with the local lord. As others ride horses there, I climb on trusty Midnight to make good time. And our new blustery pirate friend, Asher, sure does squeal like a newborn girl when he has to ride a horse. Not a good sign if there is combat ahead. No one wants to mess with this guy. Like me, he’s not the tallest around. But we both command authority, and I admired that in him. (Aside: as a good leader, it is important to notice the qualities of other good leaders when you come across them. Your party will constantly lean on your for guidance, and this proves helpful, especially with the ragtag party I’m leading).
In any case, the local lord arrests the head of the Creighton clan for hanging someone, and asks our help to escort the prisoner to the capital city. Seeing how we aren’t going to do much else in this hellhole of a town, we agree. We explore the lord’s castle a bit, but nothing too exciting.
We head to the capitol city. Usually for adventurers, we have… adventures. Our lives consist of using cunning and might to make it in this world, and trouble (usually in the form of bad guys, undead dogs, demons and whatnot) tends to find us. So I naturally had my weapons sharpened, and Midnight and I kept a close watch for something on the road to jump out at us.
But lo and behold, we had no such adventures. Just a safe trip to the city. When we got there, the lord gave us some gold for our service, and we entered the city. And then we got to the inn.
Now I’ve done my share of robbing. Most of it from those who would certainly be open to supporting my various noble causes. But even I was appalled at the price we had to pay for a night! Robbery is too kind a word! But such is life, and we paid it.
The prices were high because there was a tournament to decide the next king. The talk of the town. All anyone cared about. Around that tournament was a plethora of activities. Luther joined a singing competition and didn’t do half bad! That guy, although a little off, is pretty awesome.
At the tavern at night, this Asher fellow decided it would be a good idea to try to pickpocket someone. This Asher fellow is as nimble as a blind and drunk ogre. Not to brag (because I am FAR too humble for that), but I could have done better blindfolded with only one hand. Of course, I had to step in and prevent some young lady from taking back both her gold and Asher’s manhood, not that it could be worth that much if his skill in the bedroom is in any way proportional to his skill outside of it. After encouraging the nice lady with a few gold pieces, Asher was able to walk away in one piece. For my troubles, I helped myself to some of his gold – surely no one would be so rude as not to offer, so I just saved him that trouble. And of course, I went undetected because… well, because Asher is an amateur who has a lot to learn.
We hang out in the city until the King’s tournament. All kinds of excitement around the actual tournament! The king’s champion, a lady who likes the ladies makes a triumphant return (she was gone for three years for reasons no one knows), and manages to win the tournament for the King. But then she herself challenges the king, and becomes king herself (Queen? Who knows what these strangers in a strange land call their leader).
Anyway, seems that the lady Asher tried to pickpocket is the new Queen’s special ladyfriend. If it hadn’t been for me and my quick thinking, who knows how much trouble we would have been in. Once again, this group sure is lucky to have me as their leader.
Immediately after the new Queen is crowned, there is some kind of commotion at the city gates. And it’s giants! No, not just giants to me, but for real forest giants with trees as clubs and like 40 hands high with deep, rumbly voices, tearing down the wall and tossing boulders like pebbles. Apparently, one of them is in love with the old king’s sister or daughter or some relation.
Once again, it is up to us to save this city from total destruction. And once again, we use our wits rather than shiny weapons, because … FOREST GIANTS. Seriously, you didn’t expect us to fight them, did you? Be serious.
We manage to negotiate the release of the King’s kin, much to the mutual excitement of both her and the giant. May they live happily ever after.
That’s where the adventure ends. Or rather, never really began. Whatever. A leader who leads without spilling blood, and saves a town, is surely one to be reckoned with. Whatever comes our way next, I have the feeling that someone will need saving. Leadership can be a heavy mantle to wear, but I bear it well.