Off Topic: The Chronicles of "Of Course Brugo Did" - Chapter 6: The Economics of Shields
>>> Chapter 5 <<<
>>> The Prelude <<<
When last we ended, the party was living it up on ale & festival treats courtesy of not only "our" winnings for the stag capture, but also the affection of the festival goers themselves.
I'd have thought an ale or two might have been bought in our name, but apparently capturing the stag was a much bigger deal that I thought. But I guess it should be. And I'm definitely not complaining at this point anyway.
The party breaks to use their winnings. I would say wisely, but... well... let's not spoil it, yet.
Most of us head out to various vendors to upgrade our gear & obtains a few necessities we might have had to skimp on due to earlier poverty.
But Brugo? The Fighter? Well...
So he's wandering about, looking for someone to paint or engrave the banner of his people on his shield. A reasonable thought. And appropriate, we thought. And in a large city, he's likely to find someone. And sure enough he does!
They barter & haggle a bit. Mostly the seller telling the Fighter what he should get, that he NEEDS this, or that that is a great sale. So eventually she starts telling the Fighter about a magical helmet she has that'll let him see in the dark. He actually remembers that, as a half-orc, he can already do that. No deal! But then she offers him a magical shield. His eyebrow raises. Magical shield, you say? She does say. And how much? Oh... nothing really. Just...
Imagine the rest of the players sitting there, chatting away or doing whatever, and then THAT bomb drops. Suddenly the rest of us are DEAD silent as we all slowly turn our gazes to the Fighter.
Fighter: My shadow?
Merchant: Yes, nothing really. I mean, do you really need it?
I don't know. Never really thought about it.
Well, it would make you more stealthy to NOT have a shadow, don't you think? And you don't really use it, right?
I suppose you're right.
Excellent, then we have a deal...
BECAUSE OF COURSE BRUGO DID!
Are you kidding me?!
Next thing we know, the merchant pulls his shadow off him like he's Peter Pan & then says she'll be right back, the shield's in the crates behind her. So she slips into the crates behind here and... ... ... doesn't come back out.
So the Fighter has to wander bashfully back to the group, shadowless & shieldless, but doesn't immediately say anything about the transaction.
However, several of us have excellent Perception. And the DM has us roll on it, as not having a shadow in the middle of the open, on a bright summer day... Yeah...
And, of course, most of us succeed.
You can imagine our faces as we look down. Look back up. Slant our eyes. Look down again. Slant our eyes further. Look back up. See the Fighter's CLEARLY blustered face. And ask, "what... did... you... do...?"
So he proceeds to spin a yarn about how he was tricked, but he had a great deal for an unbreakable shield & that it would've only cost his shadow. And he doesn't use his shadow. And it would make him more ninja. And it was a good idea at the time...
As you might've guessed...
I had to hold back the Bloodrager from dismembering him (later, I told her).
And as usual, our Druid proves she's the best ever. Because it so happens the thing the Fighter describes is enough for her to make a Lore roll on the thing. Turns out... it's a Fae.
YOU SOLD YOUR SHADOW TO A SHADOW FAE!?
I think even the Cleric, at this point, wanted to club him to a pulp. Also, pretty sure the Raptor rolled his eyes. Dude, you just got Anderson Cooper'ed by an Animal Companion.
And, we also come to find out that the shadow theft has caused him energy drain. And the drain cannot heal unless his shadow is returned.
We end up meeting back up with the Stone Priest, one of the survivors of the village, and tell him of what's going on. As luck would have it, he can perform a ritual that's more or less Shadow Walk & get us into the Plane of Shadow.
Not a single caster in the party has ANY planar lore. Oooooooh boy....
Fortinately, I ask the DM if I had limited experience using Shadow Walk from back on my assassin days & he's down for it, but asks that I don't say "too" much. And I don't. I just talk about distance being off & a few other things. Enough to at least give everyone a head's up.
And we go in. What could go wrong, right?
First thing's first. We get the description that is very reminiscent of "The Upside Down," in Stranger Things. So there's that...
Then we see a freaking HORDE of these shadow imps, draped in heavy robes & clothes, swarming through the city streets.
But good news, the trackers can see the trail the merchant left on the shadowstuff of the plane. So at least we know where we're going?
We make like Romans & drape ourselves in heavy cloaks & at least try to look a bit like the creatures, as to avoid being approached. Their Perception rolls must have been utter crap, because no one in the party, other than me (Thief), has Disguise worth more than a grain of salt... because they didn't pay us any attention. And we were a-okay with that!
Against all odds, we find our way to the lair of the shadow thief & are ready for a fight. However, the entire way, we're discussing the creature with the Druid. And once we arrive, the Cleric uses detect evil. Why, you ask?
Well. Since the Thief practically raised the kids (and absolutely raised the Bloodrager, my daughter), they've got no issues with thieves (which is amazing! ... for me). Plus, we learn the Fae is just a trickster by nature & is not malevolent. Also, not evil.
So, when we finally encounter the thing, we're like, "look, just give us back his shadow & we'll go away. Also, I know a guy in the thieves' guild that would be incredibly interested in your resume."
At first, the Fae was suspicious. Admittedly, it did sound like a trap. But, she agreed to give the shadow back. No fight. No nothing. Water under the bridge. And she agreed to give the thieves' guild a try, maybe. Win-Win, as far as I'm concerned. Don't have to fight a shadow sorcery-wielding Fae whilst IN the Plane of Shadow? AND possibly get an otherworldly creature to join the thieves' guild? Definitely win-win.
We're somehow able to make it back out of the Plane of Shadow without further incident, well most of us. And then back to the inn.
The Fighter, of course, is now on Double Secret Probabtion. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiich you'd THINK would have taught US a lesson about his decision-making skills.
Next time, on The Chronicles of "Of Course Brugo Did," Wish Upon a Star