I don’t always use worry notes, but when I do, bad things happen to my friends.

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So my friends and I play Dungeons and Dragons quite a bit. Every once in a while, life gets in the way and we could go several months without playing a campaign. But for a while before I moved away, we played fairly regularly. One night, we played a campaign that had lots of… Potiony type dealings. And I used a worry note (index card) to talk directly to the DM without the others knowing what my Ranger, Korey, was up to. And this is what happened:

Aiden began to start giggling like an idiot while speaking with Kaylara’s husband. About the same time, Ilcik returned to whisper to Artemis and me that Kaylara’s husband is much, much older than he appears to be, which got me to thinking—perhaps it wasn’t his ancestor I saw in that mural in Torelinda the First.

But if that were true, why all the secrecy? There has to be more of an explanation why he’s taking this potion Garnok’s been making other than he may be sick or to stave off the Curse. I don’t know why he keeps circumventing the issues and questions we bring to him, which is frustrating. He’s either a complete idiot, as I’ve noted earlier, or he’s cunning enough to keep us from the truth. And if he’s doing that, maybe perhaps there’s more to this Curse than we originally thought. Perhaps even more to Kaylara’s husband’s past.

Perhaps he’s not as Good as he wants us to believe.

And if that’s true, would it necessarily be considered contrary to my Neutral Good Alignment to trick him into drinking one of the potions I found in Garnok’s tower?

Oh, while I was puzzling it over, Artemis and Ilcik took Aiden out of the banquet hall. I do hope he’ll be all right. Kaylara’s husband is gone as well. Seeing as I have some time to myself, I think I want to try something.

I will obtain six goblets and a full pitcher of wine, portion out the wine, and pour a little of my various questionable liquids into them, one potion per goblet. As a reminder, I have:

(1) rusty-colored

(2) clear

(2) wine-colored

(1) muddy-colored.

Done! Luckily, the potions don’t have a noticeable visual affect on the wine. It just looks like wine. Now, to take the goblets on a serving tray, seek out Kaylara’s husband, and offer him some wine.

Shoot. That didn’t go quite to plan. Well, I got Kaylara’s husband to drink the altered wine, but he wasn’t the only one who partook.

I found him in a chamber with Aiden, Artemis, Ilcik, and Pyron. Aiden didn’t appear to have gotten any better. In fact, he looked worse. He was still giggling like an idiot, which doesn’t suit him at all. It really is a shame.

Anyway, Kaylara’s husband wasn’t initially interested in accepting any wine, until I lied through my teeth. I told him it was an ancient Orkosani tradition to drink to a dying friend’s health while in the same room as the friend before they expired. Which is not true. Very few citizens of Orkosan have ever lived long enough to die of natural causes.

But it got him to drink it, which was my aim. Unfortunately, it also got Artemis, Ilcik, Pyron, and myself to drink as well. And that’s when things started to get weird.

Pyron began coughing, almost choking on his wine. Then he turned a greyish color. And then he turned into a Carrion Crawler. I reached for my bow, but he left through the window without attacking anyone.

Artemis grew thick, brown fur, extra fingers and extra toes, from her report. Frankly, she looked like an **. But she retained her wits, which was good.

Nothing happened to Ilcik or my me. Apparently, the wine-colored potion was just really, really old wine. Kaylara’s husband on the other hand…

Well, he turned into a mole.

Which made things easier. Because Ilcik put him into his bag. Artemis and I took hold of Aiden and, with Ilcik, we escorted him out of the city.

We followed the river to Torelinda the First. However, as we went, Aiden got steadily worse. Then he started changing physically. First, he grew white pinfeathers around his chest and neck and head and arms and face. Then he started growing fur everywhere else. Then his nose, cheeks, and mouth began protruding and hardening. And he was very hungry. Seemed he was turning into an Owlbear. Which wasn’t good. Luckily, Artemis had a Wand of Squirrel Summoning and summoned some squirrels for him to eat because he was eying Eloise and Artemis’ dog unpleasantly.

And then I remembered I still had that stupid, stupid mirror that I had been trapped in several years ago. I pulled it out of my bag, carefully unwrapped it, and shoved it into Aiden’s Owlbear face. He was immediately sucked into it. I feel bad about trapping him there, but we needed him to not eat us and to travel with us easily. Trapping him just accomplished that.

When we reached Torelinda the First, we took the secret passage into Garnok’s tower. We found Garnok in his bedroom and asked for his help to reverse the effects of the potions I unwittingly doled out. All right, I’m not entirely innocent, but I didn’t know what the potions would do. I had hoped it wouldn’t be anything too dire, which it didn’t, but still. My fault. Even if it did help to get Kaylara’s husband to cooperate with us.

So right now, we’re waiting for Garnok to mix a potion. I’m in no way a brewer, but I think he’s taking far longer than he needs to.

Finally! He’s ready.

Never mind. It didn’t work. Garnok gave the potion to Artemis to try. It turned her fur into blue feathers.

Aaaaaand Garnok left with the bowl of failed potion. Maybe I should take a crack at it just to see what I can come up with. Goodness, I’ve gotten impatient lately. Never mind, he’s back. And now we wait. Again.

I really should figure out why the Royal Seal is on my belly. I never willingly got it tattooed there. It just appeared. And it changes color sometimes. I’ve seen it scar white, pink, fire red, and black. Every time it changes color, it burns like someone’s branding me. I don’t understand it. Right now, it’s black. I just want it to go away.

Oh. He’s done. Artemis is trying it… And it works! Thank the gods. Garnok’s a nice old man, but I’ve almost run out of patience with him. Kaylara’s husband is back to normal now, which may or may not be an improvement. I liked him as a mole. He couldn’t avoid us when he was a mole.

Artemis summoned a squirrel, tied a potion of the healing potion to it, and Garnok released Aiden the Owlbear from the mirror. As we predicted, he ate the squirrel. Then he turned back into a Human, for which I will be ever grateful. I like Humans. I do not like Owlbears.

While Artemis and I were working on getting Aiden back to normal, Ilcik was busy convincing Kaylara’s husband to lift the Curse. Because apparently, he’s Evil and has been ruling as a tyrant. As I understand it, the “Curse” was really just a Darkness spell and the affected river water—Garnok’s been dumping his potions into the river from his bedroom window. Because, apparently, in his ancient age, he’s taken leave of his senses.

Anyway, we built Garnok a dumping well on the other side of the tower (for all his dumping needs) and boarded up the window facing the river. With any luck, in a few months (hopefully sooner), the water will be fit to drink again.

Not all of that was worry noted, but the bit where I prepared the spiked wine was.

Also, this is an Owlbear:

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And a Carrion Crawler:

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Incidentally, the last night I played with them, I was attacked by a Carrion Crawler. And our DM was just describing what it looked like and I could not figure out what had paralyzed me. I had encountered Carrion Crawlers before (Evangeline, the Thief I was playing that night, hadn’t), but I never knew they had tentacles. I thought they were just really huge centipede-like gross things.

Anyway, that night I played Evangeline for the second time. The first night I played her, I only could for maybe an hour, and since we never really finished the campaign, I didn’t get any XP for her efforts to find the Vampires feeding on cows (or something like that; her journal was pretty vague). So I was having fun being a Thief.

Which meant I was worry noting.

And I finally understood why the other Thieves like to worry note so much. They get to go off on their own, have side quests, and utilize their Thieving skills. I abandoned my party and went to sweet-talk a Priest, hoping to get information. I did, but not much, before my party found me. While they were talking to Konstantin the Priest, I wandered around the temple a bit, looking at potential looting opportunities and looking for secret doors.

Then I left them again and went to the Mayor’s House in the hope of finding some damning evidence against the Mayor. I was still working on finding the evidence when we ended game that night. But I had been sweet-talking a town guard into giving me a tour of the Mayor’s House. We had to end for the night, but the DM and I wanted to continue with my side quest online so we can figure out what Evangeline and Olaf the Guard are going to get up to in the upstairs bedrooms. I have no idea what Olaf the Guard’s intentions are, but I’m grateful Evangeline is 4’7”, 96lbs. and has a Dexterity Score of 17. Hopefully, she’ll be able to wriggle her way out of a tough spot if she needs to.

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About alicegracey

Writer, Actor, Advice Nerd. At least, that's what it says on my business card these days. Mostly, I just write in order to try to get my brain to shut up. I like to share what I write, but be warned, I don't do happy.
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