Once upon a time, in a distant land, there were four adventurers:
Precious, the knife-flinging, pocket-picking human rogue
Goku, the hash-slinging, axe-swinging black dragonborn barbarian
Freddy, the mysterious staff-wielding masked man
Jamhorn Glittergold the... gnome
They barely know where they are, where they've come from, and where they're going, but they've got weapons, the universal thirst for ale, and a surplus of free time. These are their 5th Edition adventures.
This story begins like most great stories do: with a bunch of strangers sitting in a cart as it rolls slowly across the countryside.
It's hard not to sit down and get to know your travel companions, and in my case, I'm riding a coach with a number of colorful characters
Precious, a human rogue
Goku, a black dragonborn barbarian
Jamhorn Glittergold, an incredibly extra gnome
And of course, myself, Freddy, the mysteriously ambiguous character, for the sole reason that I simply did not have any direction or definition in my life so far.
We are adventurers in dark times, what with war in the world and such... it kind of goes over our collective heads, as none of it really directly impacts us. Of more importance is that we're headed to a village called Orlane -- I don't feel particularly strongly about the place. There's rumors that there's something in the water around here, and it's proximity to swamps make gators a problem, and my affection for the locale difficult.
The coach driver bangs on the door thrice, which indicates he does not wish to drive us any further. This is reinforced by "Git outta my coach!"
We comply, and watch it trundle off. After a stretch, we do the only thing you can do after a cart ride of indeterminable length: Find the nearest inn or tavern and get drunk.
After accosting a local, we find the inn; The Golden Grain. 500 years ago, it was voted the world's greatest inn -- in more recent years, they've been resting on those laurels a little too hard, and the title may have escaped them somewhat.
Inside, the bartender asks what we'll be having. At 1sp for a beer, not much of that. I ask about paying work, and he just suggests we move on as soon as possible.
As the next wagon out of this place is tomorrow morning, he offers us a room at a "reasonable" 2sp per person. None of us are wishing to sleep outside, so we'll need one of those. He generously throws in a free drink.
Amazingly, the beer is some of the best we've ever had. Our opinion of the 2sp pricetag improves, as it seems justified.
We go sightseeing. People are giving us the evil eye, and I can't figure out why
We spot a clealy wealthy house high up; Precious, ever the opportunist, tries to sneak up towards the house. She's good, but the man sitting on the porch is not missing much and spots her in time.
He invites her and us closer, and introduces himself: Mayor Zachrias Ormand. We speak with him, and he bangs his cane on the ground, and he calls out his daughters and sons to provide hospitality in the form of drinks.
On the subject of drinks, we mention the drinks at the Golden Grain. Apparently they don't brew it themselves; they get it from a brewery on the other side of town, the Serpent's something-or-other.
After mentioning we're looking for paying work, he offers us a job. Weird stuff's been going on in town, people vanishing, the like. But with nothing to go on, and being unable to look into it himself as he's too well known, he needs fresh faces to do the looking. Us.
He's paying a hundred gold apiece for a job well done, minus expenses. Corpses aren't an expense, but he'd really prefer it if we did not.
We set off to begin our investigation. On our way out, we're hailed by one of the Mayor's boys.
We don't even stop, and keep going. The boy catches up, out of breath. "Oh, you must not have heard me."
Goku: "Oh, we did."
The boy takes that in stride, and gives us a tip; the Bartender's been acting strange.
Taking the advice given, we check out the church. They're acting odd, and don't really want to let us in.
Jamhorn responds with a magic trick, putting everyone to sleep.
Jamhorn frisks the rat-faced man for valuables and finds a mysterious medallion. Precious decides to slip further into the church, and finds a cloister of people speaking a strange language.
Precious: "I'm precious."
Goku: "Yes, you are."
It's getting late, so we head back to the Golden Grain. We're hailed by a strange man sitting in the corner. He warns us about trusting the bartender, or the drinks.
We're given a round of drinks on the house. Taking the stranger's advice to heart, I am skeptical of the drink, and fancy it's not the same as the drink we had earlier in the day. I dump mine in a potplant, but Goku, Jamhorn and Precious quaff theirs.
Later that night, as I suspected, everyone but me is out like a light. I'm sharing a room with Jamhorn when I hear a loud noise next door, in Precious and Goku's room.
Meanwhile, the source of the noise is the mysterious figures looming in their room. Precious is hit in the face with a club. Goku barely reacts to being hit with a club. Barbarians.
I approach the others' room, and see a man standing in the doorway. My attempt to strike him is foiled by the doorway.
Precious rams a dagger clean through a man's throat mere instants after waking up and kills him dead.
The mysterious humans keep trying to hurt Goku, and don't get very far before he grabs his battleaxe and makes a mess of one. Meanwhile, Precious repeats her party trick and kills another assailant. They seem to speak the same non-human language she heard in the church.
I eventually get past the guy in the door, and unlike my allies, I'm going for non-lethal attacks. I take one alive, and begin the questioning.
We don't get very far, he's not exactly talkative, even after I bust his legs.
The mysterious figure rasps "God sent us to reap his children."
Me: "Rape? You want to rape the children?" I let the crippled assailant go, and he falls out the window.
We're hailed from the doorway, and startled, Precious throws her dagger. The mysterious stranger takes the dagger to the shoulder. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" He throws it back at Precious, and nails her soldily, knocking her out.
The stranger gets to the point. He came to warn us, there's more cloaked men on the way. We elect to go out the window, and with a bit of luck, escape without further issue.
We're headed for the church. We reach the bridge and hear alligators -- might not be as easy as we thought it would be.