Friday, May 22, 2020

"To the Company!" Scamandros Toasts the Dead and the Living

[Returning from "the Complex" after another successful expedition--the returns of which included the bodies of former adventuring-comrade Feeble Finn, and Finn's compatriot, the dragon-knight Castora--Scamandros organizes an impromptu wake for the fallen in the Burning Witch Tavern, spending 20 of his own gold for free-flowing drink, and inviting others to pitch in as they wish ...]

Let's pour one out for Finn, once Fleet-of-Foot, then called Feeble, and another for Castora, a Dragon-Knight I never knew! Aye, I doubt I'll ever see Finn's debt to me repaid; about 60 gold for arms and armor I bought him before our last venture into the Complex, because I was loath to venture in with a comrade denuded by carousing-debts. But double that would I have paid, for better armor, if only Finn were still here amongst us, and nor would I have asked him the recompense!

I was there when the Fleetfoot lost his right leg to un-dead corpse of Way-Loon, down there in the Complex, and after which he jokingly called himself "Feeble". But he sought out the services of one Dr. Fortunius, and soon had a prosthetic made for himself, and if he wasn't yet as quick on his feet as before, still, he was fine-footed! Finn was a fine adventuring companion, and I myself will sorely miss him amongst our company here at the Burning Witch. Here's to Finn!

Fancy, can you not recite Finn's "Ode to a Dwarven Foot"?

[and Scamandros pours out a glass of wine on the fire, which sputters, and then burns more brightly for a moment]

As for those who knew Castora--we presume the other body we recovered is indeed his--ye may add your recollections of him as you wish, but for myself, alas, I never ventured forth with him.

[an interlude for any who would so recount]

Well, we did dis-cover them on the shore of an underground lake on the second level of the Complex, them alongside the corpse of a terrible lizard some eight-or-more feet long. Our getting there was most circuitous, but of little consequence; know just that there is an open well, in the caverns north of "the Pit", which overlooks as it were a great underground lake.

By intelligent use of ropes and physics, my trustworthy companion Betina the Blind was able to swing herself to a near-shore. But no sooner had she secured the rope for others to follow (Frim Frimerson and Phasmo went next) did the fighting-woman call out, "There's something moving down here!" (she of course could not see it).

Well, with Phasmo's light, another--living!--lizard was seen creeping up to eat Betina! Fortunately, Phasmo was able to blind the beast with his magic, and as the rest of us descended (minus Ornie Coldcut, who remained above to watch our ropes), and we cornered the beast in a further chamber and slew it by main force.

That chamber yielded certain secrets to us (mainly enjoyed by Journeyman Crannoc, our expert Librarian of Licentiousness), but also included the pair of skeletons you see thrashing there in the corner, bound by so many feet of copper wire. Yes, they are indeed metallic, though who knows what substance in particular is alloyed to the bones??

Well, we managed to extricate all the treasure, ourselves, and the metallic skeletons by our ropes through the well above.

But almost we would have poured more out to another comrade, if not for the liberality of Journeyman Crannoc! For in our haste to egress from the Complex, we were ambushed as a party by a band of dog-faced kobolds--and though the magics of my companions, Phasmo and Crannoc, were able to throw the sands of sleep over the kobolds, it was not before the same wretched creatures had stabbed Kiddo fully through the midriff with their spears!

And she and I had only just crushed the black fruits of healing in my possession into a cask with sugar, to be fermented at the Athenaeum, over the course of a month! I cried out to my compatriots--"Can no one save her?"

But Crannoc stepped forth, with bread baked from black bananas within the complex, and the eating of it did magically close the wound and save Kiddo's life. Something he whispered into her ear in the last moment between death and life; certainly something to the effect of, "Scamandros looks out for you!" I am sure of it. For myself, my heart is glad that you, Kiddo, remain among us the living, to share in our joys, rather than eating the dust of the grave!

Well, I have gone on too long! Friends, eat, drink, and remember to yourselves Finn, Castora, and whatever others as you will--Kay Em Dee we should also recall, I fear that I did miss his death earlier--let us all live fast and hard! To the company!

(I lately remembered this excellent song which would be relevant: "Here's a Health to the Company"; I don't know the singer, but he's better by a long draught than even the professionals like The Chieftains)

No comments:

Post a Comment