We start our story in a lively ale house, in the small city of Brindol, on the banks of the Elsir River. In the distance, beyond the city walls, we can see a Castle situated in the Giantshield Mountains, surrounded by a dark shadowy cloud.
The ale house has a lively hum to it, we can hear the sound of clattering steins, laughter, and what appears to be the sound of a Raven accidentally being set aflame. There is also a hint of rotisserie chicken in the air.
As we enter the building, there is a sign above the door that reads “Under New Management”. There doesn’t appear to be a name – perhaps they haven’t got around to naming it yet. Inside, you see several patrons enjoying ice cold flagons of mead, in the corner is a very solemn group surrounding a table covered in coins.
Propping up the bar is a rag-tag bunch of adventurers, consisting of a Goliath, head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd, despite being seated; A Shadar-Kai who seems to be glaring at the table of coins; A Half-Elf playing his 12-string lute, apparently performing the solo to the famous ditty “Paradise City” by Swords ‘n’ Roses; A particularly scaly looking Dragonborn in a patterned robe, holding what appears to be a small fireball; and finally an Eladrin hunched over a small black pile of ashes, apparently trying to perform CPR.
These adventurers must be the infamous band “Common Underlings Not Taking Shit”, who have been reported to be in the area after a hard day of searching for “Epic Lootz” in the local landfill. Their names are Sifer, Rakros Darkseeker, Theren Stormtongue, Cethelin Wyrmscar and Petven Moonshadow. They are indeed C.U.N.T.S.
Behind the bar we can see the top of the head of the barkeep. Presumably this establishment was not originally run by a Halfling, this must be the ‘New Management’ denoted by the sign. The figure must have a broken leg, despite being obscured from view by the bar, when it walks there is an odd thumping sound accompanying its steps.
Suddenly, a loud crash eminates from the door. Bursting through are 3 scruffy looking Kobolds, which appear to be wielding marshmallows on sticks in a poor attempt to look menacing. The music stops playing as the Half-Elf Theren brandishes a longsword from the neck of the lute.
Theren rushes toward the door, but before he can swing his blade, the first Kobold bursts into flame, setting the ground underneath it alight with magical flame. The Dragonborn Cethelin whistles suspicisouly as Theren looks back toward the bar. At this point the prospect of conflict sparks a glint in the Goliath Sifer’s eye, as he rushes toward the door, unknowingly knocking Rakros’ stein into his lap.
Sifer reaches the fight and while Theren takes out the second Kobold, charges at the third, then stands confused, unable to locate his target. Moments later, he scrapes a gooey substance from the underside of his boot with his sword.
There is a loud rabbling coming from behind the door, and before the band has chance to act, a group rushes through, this time only 2 Kobolds, but following behind them is a Goblin, holding a torch with a menacing look on his face. The torch is flung through the air, narrowly missing Sifer’s face, before landing on the bar, next to a bottle labelled “Green Absinthe – 190 proof”.
The bottle explodes into flame and sets the bar alight. There is a quick succession of “tap, tap, thud, tap, tap, thud”, as the barkeep runs from the soon-to-be inferno.
The patrons start to panic as the flames lick along the bar and begin to spread along the length of the bar. At this point Rakros jumps to his feet, turns, and bounds onto a table near the Goblin. A quick succession of sounds follows; of swords rending flesh, and kobolds screaming as their faces melt from Theren’s deadly serenade.
The Goblin stands no chance, and is quickly defeated, crushed between Rakros’ swift blade and Sifer’s hefty shield.
A silence descends. While everyone in the bar quickly scurries about in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of fire, the sound of battle reignites with a further Goblin bursting through the window, nearly knocking Rakros from his new-found perch. Another follows through the door, and yet further kobolds scurry through the open door.
Again, these new Goblins are carrying a lit torch each and in a split second launch their torches through the air, aimed for the nearby ‘helpless wench’, who was previously engaged earlier that evening in an lamp-oil fight.
looks terrified, and she considers that with hindsight that the lamp-oil fight probably wasn’t the best idea.
Her eyes dullen as she realises she may now die in a freak-lamp-oil-fight-accident, but before the worst can occur, Rakros leaps into the air and captures the torches in his left hand.
Having seen that their compatriot is otherwise engaged juggling two torches and a greatsword, the remainder of this valourous band of rag-tag treasure seekers strike the oncoming foes with mighty blows.
A Kobold’s head implodes as the magical flames of Cethelin’s spells…
To be continued…