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Old 08-25-2019, 09:36 AM
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Demonologia: Abandoned

Game NameDemonologia: Abandoned
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeLow fantasy survival
FlavourBad ending of a stereotypical fantasy story
A wizard’s journal
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With his old, weathered fingers, Cain Golm grabbed his trusty spellbook and sat on the grass, propping his back against a tree. He snapped his fingers, and a ball of light appeared above his head, illuminating the pages. He was about to write what he believed to be the most important entry in his journal, pages of which hid his magic recipes and spells. These days, at this age, he’d wish someone would write them for him. He remembered the audio ghosts from the Krevom university, who would write and read books for their owner. Sadly they never caught on. The spell to conjure them was illegal in most countries, on the account of requiring a sacrifice, and few other questionable things.

He looked up at his group. A man like him, cynical, amoral, ready to kill his brother’s son out of envy, was spared by those people. A human farmer, an elf princess, and a dwarven king. They all realized his ambition was for making the world better, so they convinced him to follow them. To fight the Demon King. The final battle will come at dawn, but his heart was at ease.

My name is Cain Golm. He began writing his entry. I avoided singing my name in the journal, for it was made for personal use, and hid secrets that would be unsettling to many. I was born a second prince, and was sent to attend the magic university. While there I always hoped for the death of my brother, or at least so that he will grow indisputably foolish, but it never happened, and so it was not destined for me to down on the throne. I had regretted most of my life. Then, however, I met Chris.

Chris was a farmer boy born in a Farnholn village. He was a simple boy, but what held him above others was loyalty towards his fellow brethren, and a pacifist nature. This mindset made his soul pure, and was why Mary, the goddess of life, has given him her blessing.

Chris accepted the gift, and became the humanity’s representative in the war against the invading Demon King. From then on, he ended the thousand-year feud between humans and dwarfs, as well as the millennium-long conflict between man and elf. He gathered all the gods' sacred treasures, and promised to banish evil from this world. I believe in our success, but my character forbids me optimism. Therefore, should we fail, I hope someone will find this book and make good use of its secrets. If you wish to uncover my greatest spells from within it, you will have to simply pronounce these words, which are poison to demons…



The Deliverance of Hope
right-aligned image

Chris and his followers stood at the entrance of the low pass, the final, and only road connecting the western and eastern parts of the continent. In his mind they’ve been late. They allowed half of this land to be burnt to ashes by the demons. No matter what happens, he cannot allow them to go any further. He looked up, at the Demon King.

He stood tall as a mountain, surrounded by an army of demons, giants, imps, orcs, and goblins. The two of them knew they will meet sooner or later. The entire might of this world in the hands of its purest soul, versus the massive personification of destruction. The Demon King pointed forward. His army advanced.

The elf princess, Hana, reacted first, drawing her magic bow and releasing a blooming arrow, dispelling the corrupted magic of the demons. The entire army of hundreds of thousands found themselves powerless. The dwarven king Garn handed to Chris a bottle of his sharpening oil. “Get ‘em, champ.” he asked, and backed away. Chris poured the oil onto his blade.

The blade was named Excalibur. It was forged with iron extracted from the blood of dragons, polished with the rays of the sun, and blessed with the goddess' tears. It was the mightiest weapon that was ever wielded in this world. Christ swung it in front of himself using the weight of his body, and the turning power of his abdominal muscles. The sharpness of the blade was so absurd and limitless, that it extended beyond the blade and traveled forward in an arc like a gust of wind, mincing goblins, dividing orcs, dismembering imps, beheading demons, and crippling giants.

As hundreds of thousands of corpses fell on the ground, the Demon King fell on one knee, kneeling among the remnants of his army. He didn’t do so from pain however, as the sword left no scratch on his cursed armor. Chris grit his teeth ready to charge, but stopped. Stopped as he saw the face of the Demon King from up close. Froze as he saw his hand, large as a forest, advance towards him. “SNAP OUT OF IT!” yelled Cain, as he struck the ground with his magical staff, creating a barrier of unimaginable power above them, to protect the goddess’ chosen. The Demon King closed his fingers on Chris’s head, shattering the barrier, and then, the hero’s head.

This image was seen by all, in a dream granted to the people of Gaia by their goddess Mary. Then, the Goddess ran for it, disappearing from the world together with her gifts of divine magic. Leaving people to fend for themselves in the world about to end, with children terrified by visions of a massacre. Among those left, were you, and just as most of them, you realized one thing.

It’s time to run.




Hello and welcome to my first campaign here on RPG crossing. With this one I’d like you to think of FTL, Samurai Jack, and Goblin Slayer.

You will be playing as a bunch of farmhands during the demonic invasion. The only thing you can do now is search for a way to escape from this world altogether. You know some legends about magic and powerful artifacts that can potentially transport you to another dimension. Of course, you’ve never seen them before. In fact, you haven’t seen much of the world at all, having grown up on a tiny island near the mainland.

The game will progress in a simple loop. I give you a world map, you pick a location to go to, you explore it, see what goes on in there, then partake in the local events or book it. After that I update the map to include your latest discoveries, and ask where you want to get to now.

There will be multiple ways to find a portal, but none of them are guaranteed. Books can burn, doorways can expire, temples can be overrun by demons. The game will last as long as it takes you to find a portal you can use, or the demons conquer the whole continent and you effectively run out of options.

To this I will add one twist. You will not get to know your stats. You can look up monsters and weapons in the manual, but you don’t get to see your sheet. This means that you can’t perfectly judge your options and are forced to make suboptimal decisions which will lead to human mistakes. More so that you start as a lowly level 1 at that.

From the literary standpoint, the game will explore the idea of an extremely generic fantasy story meeting a bad end, and how the various, stereotypical fantasy cultures would cope with that. It's not going to be a deconstruction however, and I don't plan to make it too much of a horror. For the most part, we will be just playing a difficult DnD campaign.



Because of the twist, the game has to include certain house rules to make it playable. I also have a few extra rules I like, so I want to go with them as well. Some of these aren’t essential and if selected players dislike them, we may change or discard them. This will be left for a later discussion.

Tools are a resource
I hate situations where players know how to solve an issue, but are short a meter of rope or a nail. We will fix that by treating all such things as a resource. You will gather nebulous tools during your travels and spend them when performing various actions in place of the very specific items you need. This applies only to non-magical items, and items from places you visited. So you’re not going to have a handy bag of sulfur if you haven’t been near a hot spring or a volcano. We’ll resolve this on a case-by-case basis. Also you have to know specifically what you want to do. "I open the door with tools" isn't going to cut it, but asking for a makeshift crowbar will work.

You can’t rest on an empty stomach
Abandoned is going to be partly a survival game, but I don’t want to constantly track everyone’s hunger, that can get annoying fast. Instead, food will be consumed on rest, both short and long. To incentivise taking long rests, you always consume 1 food per person upon rest. You have to feed any npcs you're dragging along with you.

Limited spells
Since I’m introducing food management, I have to ban goodberry. Also, since the gods already left, paladins and clerics lost access to their spells. This is with the exception of wands and scrolls, as they already have the magic imbued in them. You can’t learn from them however.
All other types of magic work as normal.

Simultaneous turns
This is a very different way of playing DnD that I enjoy a lot. There’s no longer any initiative, instead players post their intent in any order, and actions take place at the same time. This means that if two people attack one another, they both suffer from being attacked, and only die after the rolls resolve, which can also lead to draws. The order of actions matters more as well. If someone first chooses to move towards the opponent, and then attack, they have to survive the movement first. You can move to a specific square, or towards a chosen target. If that target moves as you do, your course will be corrected for it, which may lead you to a disadvantageous position. This can be used to outsmart enemies as well, as I write down their plans before I let players make theirs.

No death saves
To balance the fact that you can’t judge your decisions precisely, I’m going to spare you from making death saves. However, losing all of your hp means you will get an injury. This can be a lost arm or a cut finger, a blinded eye or a deaf ear. The more you die, the harder you will have to work next time.
Characters survive if the player team wins, or if the players escape while carrying the unconscious party members.

Aiming for body parts
When declaring a melee attack, you will have to choose where it goes. Torso is easiest to hit, arms take less damage but lower the target’s hit chance on their next attack. Slashing the legs lowers movement range for the next move, hitting the head is always a critical if you land it. You can't aim with ranged attacks and spells, because you aren't adventures, which means that aiming in the general direction of the enemy is hard enough for you.

Flat weapon damage
The dice roll for damage of any weapon is always half its max. So clubs do 2 damage, etc. Critical on the hit roll means full damage dice, instead of half.

Enemy morale
If it’s obvious to me that the players will win the fight, I will just say that you did and give you the spoils to keep the game going along faster. I may refuse to do this if victory is guaranteed but you’re hemorrhaging supplies, like health points.

Sticking to your morals
Everyone picks their alignment, and it never changes. The game is taking place during the end times, everyone does what they have to, but tries to do what they feel is right whenever they can.
There will be no drawbacks to going against your alignment, but there will be bonus experience given for following it.

For example, if the party “wastes” time to give someone a burial, the good guys will get a small exp bonus. If a chaotic player decides to steal from someone, they get an exp bonus. I will balance this by giving slightly larger bonuses to players who come across appropriate opportunities less often than others.

Chaotic Evil players will have to account for the fact that they inherently like the team, would follow them into death, and aren’t stupid enough to join the demons, cultists, or whatever else will definitely get you painfully murdered sooner or later.

Party with a face, not a face in a party
When doing skill checks related to conversations, players always use the highest modifier available from among the people taking part in the conversation. This means that every character can easily partake in the dialogue. However, beware that if you disagree with someone, you cannot borrow their modifiers.

Custom race pool
You start as villagers from a separated island, whose only contact with the mainland is the occasional trading ship stopping by. Because of that you have a limited selection of races at the start. Also, I find darkvision op and overabundant in 5e, so I’ve cut it out. Your options are:
 


Limited classes
Due to you coming from a cut-off island, and being farmers all your life, you have a limited selection of classes to pick from. These are: Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, and Bard.
Depending on where you go, there might be opportunities to access the other classes.

Limited backgrounds
I decided against making a list of backgrounds. Just pick one that makes sense for someone who spent all his life on a farm. I’ll leave the judgment of that to you. The background will also serve as your backstory.


Character sheet
Name:
Alignment:
Personality:
Class:
Background:
Bonus scores:
Bonus feat:
How did you acquire that feat:
And whatever else you see fit to note


Technicalities
Player progression: I will be giving experience sparingly. It’s possible that the story will end at around character level 5.
Player strength: Your starting scores will be decided by dice rolls, and assigned based on your class and background.
Gameplay frequency: 1 post a week, sometimes more. I will be doing all the GM work and half the player’s work due to the “not showing you your cards” thing, so it might be a bit slower than you’re used to.
Programs: Posts and game materials here, OOC on Discord. From what I’ve seen games last longer when players can reliably keep in touch with one another and the GM. Also, pinging is much better than having to randomly check the forum. World and combat maps probably on roll20.
Expected length: About a year if you play well, up to two. I think this could be a relatively short game.
Party size: 3 to 5 players.
The selection process: I will prioritize variety when constructing the party. I want a team of characters that will have interesting interactions, so don't skim on the personality description. You can also increase your odds by picking things other players didn’t, but prioritize making the character you want to play.
Your quality of language has little importance to me, as by god I’m not a master of English either. If I don’t have to put extra work to understand your post, you’re good. Languagetool.org is great help if you need it.
Deadline: For now I think two weeks should be enough, but if I get more submissions than anticipated, I may cut it down to a week and a half.
Currently, the Deadline is 07/09/2019


Applicants
Player Character Race Class Background Status
Sarsprilla - - - - WIP
Vathe Ren Human Fighter Criminal Withdrawn
zarzak Zebur "Zeb" Smith Human Fighter Sage Complete
Rhadiel Theodore Delafontaine Human Ranger Soldier Complete
galaxian9 Shalia Balnelis Half-elf Bard Entertainer Complete
Med Barry Human Bard Lucky Fumbler Complete
ThePterodactyl Mary Madkin Human Rogue Folk Hero Complete

Last edited by Boomy; 09-06-2019 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:33 PM
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Holy cow, I love this. I am in.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:29 AM
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Last edited by Vathe; 08-27-2019 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:45 AM
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@Vathe - Please pick an official DnD 5e background, as they give bonuses, often in the form of tools, languages, and other.
If you can't find one that fits your character, put it in a parenthesis, and we'll take mechanics from that background, while we use flavor/storytelling from whatever you came up with.
Also, you get two feats if you're human.

Last edited by Boomy; 08-26-2019 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:15 AM
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Ok, I just made it vague because I figured I wasn't supposed to know exactly what he was and had for skills. I'll just say he's a Criminal (though he's more of just a punk). His other feat would be Tavern Brawler if I wrote out his sheet, because it fits.

EDIT: Actually, no. Criminal totally fits. I forgot poaching is a crime.

Last edited by Vathe; 08-26-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:50 AM
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Oooh this is awesome. I'm thinking a human fighter or rogue with a sage background - a guy who always loved reading and bought what books he could from traveling merchants and such, but of course never had the resources to really pursue that. I just don't know if I'd want him to be a really defensive polearm sort of guy, or a really offensive hand crossbow sort of guy ...

---

Zeb
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Name: Zebur "Zeb" Smith
Race: Human (V)
Alignment: LG
Personality: Zeb is a surprisingly erudite man, especially given his large stature. He has a placid, calm demeanor, even in stressful situations. He is also a stickler for rules, and avoids even minor infringements of the law.
Class: Fighter
Background: Sage
Bonus Scores: Strength
Bonus Feat: Sentinel
Human feat: Polearm Master
How did you acquire that feat: Both feats: Zeb is the assistant constable in his small town, and is often called on to drag drunks home or break up minor fights. He found a quarterstaff to be ideal for these sorts of things, and has become quite adept with it. While he also trains with other polearms in case of a larger emergency, there's been no need to use any sort of lethal weaponry in the past.

A bit about Zeb: Zeb is a large, well-muscled man - the sort of person who looks like they would be a constable (if they were on the right side of the law). However he's always really wanted to be a scholar - a fact he takes no trouble to hide. Whenever merchants come through town Zeb is always one of the first to visit the traveling salesmen, purchasing whatever books he can find. This focus on study in his personal life and physical fitness in his professional life have left him without time to form deep connections with any of the townsfolk, and he remains generally friendless and single (a fact which isn't helped by his general lack of people skills). However he is affable enough to have many acquaintances, even if he wouldn't necessarily call any of them 'friends'.


Last edited by zarzak; 08-28-2019 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Working on character
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:13 AM
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Very interesting concept! Declaring interest with a Ranger, WIP below.

Question: will Flat weapon damage also translate to Flat Healing? I.e. 1d8 = 4?

Theo
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Name: Theodore Delafontaine
Race: Human (V)
Alignment: CN

Personality:
There is something very forgettable about Theo. Perhaps the dingy military fatigues helped as well, but someone looking at him in a crowd would forget his face in a heartbeat. His manners were also quiet, respectful of his officers and anything but rebellious. He liked to listen more that hearing himself talk, he liked anonymity and avoiding the spotlight. Talking without thinking was better left to others. Loyalty was high on his priority list, being there for his (very) few friends came naturally, without having to debate about whether what would have any negative consequences for himself.


Class: Ranger
Background: Soldier
Feat: Crossbow Expert
Bonus feat: Sharpshooter

How did you acquire that feat:
People say that legends are born, not made. Theo found it hard to hide his smirk everytime he heard this. He was not born a legend. Quite the opposite, a legend pushed him out of obscurity. Funny thing is, he doesn't even clearly remember the events during that faithful fight. How could he, being inches away from passing out drunk. But could he ever admit it was a fluke? Showing up drunk to a battle was an automatic court martial. And for a nobody like him, that meant certain hanging.
It all started with him boasting he could fire a bolt through a knight's visor slit at 300 feet. While the knight was charging. On a horse. So of course, the next battle some idiot dared him to do just that! Heavily inebriated as he was, he took on the challenge, waited for the calvary charge, swung his crossbow wildly and... tripped over a log, hitting his head on a boulder. When he came to, he was in the infirmary, surrounded by... high ranking officers. As it turned out, tripping over also triggered his crossbow, and instead of the bolt going wide and far, it struck the slit of the helmet of a knight. And not just any knight, but the enemy's Lieutenant General, contributing substantially to his side's victory. He was suddenly a hero. A nobody made somebody. And he could never admit it! Everybody expected the same and more from him!
So what could he do about it? Admit he was wasted? No. Become a deserter? There was nowhere else to go.
The only alternative was to embrace it - and come hell or high water, become the legend everybody thought he was.
So, he started volunteering for the boring day watch on the battlements (where he could catch a quick nap), and every night he would sneak out of his Barracks in the nearby woods and practice, practice, practice, until he could no longer feel his muscles, his eyes were misty form concentration and his shoulder about to fall off from all the recoil it endured. Slowly but surely, he became good. No, he became more than that. He became... a sharpshooter.
He also never again touched alcohol since coming out from the infirmary. One close call with the noose was enough for a lifetime.

Last edited by Rhadiel; 09-01-2019 at 02:41 PM. Reason: updated the application
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:20 PM
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Interesting. As a half-elf/dwarf, do you still get the bonuses to attributes or just the abilities listed?
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:27 PM
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Sorry, though I updated that before posting.
You do still get an increase, but you get to pick what ability score gets increased just like humans. Should open up more builds.

Keep track of all bonuses guys, write in your card what scores you increase and other such things as needed. This is the only chance you get to steer your character growth.

Quote:
Question: will Flat weapon damage also translate to Flat Healing? I.e. 1d8 = 4?
Yes, it will apply to all spells and effects equally. Makes the game go faster (less rolling) and strategy more reliable.

Last edited by Boomy; 08-26-2019 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:11 PM
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Do we still pick our spells and such? What about feat vs ability score upgrades at higher levels?
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Do we still pick our spells and such?
You do

Quote:
What about feat vs ability score upgrades at higher levels?
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it". Right now I'm considering doing this as a story-dependent choice. You will need a teacher to learn a new feat mid-game, but if you don't expect to find one, you can take a stat increase instead. I may as well let you pick which stat you rise, as it will be a shot in the dark. The modifier rises every two increases after all.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:38 PM
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Name: Shalia Balnelis
Alignment: N
Personality: Though she looks to have a pleasant, optimistic yet naif Outlook from the outside, she does
Hide some dark secrets inside.
Class: Half-Elf Bard
Background: Entertainer
Bonus scores: Cha
Bonus feat: Actor
How did you acquire that feat: Shalia was raised in a acting troupe.

Last edited by galaxian9; 08-31-2019 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:05 PM
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I think I finished my character
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
I think I finished my character
Looks so at a glance. I will be updating the applications list during the weekend.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:11 PM
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Basically done with the character. May add some additional info afterwards. And for the bonus feat I think I'll decide depending on whether we'll have another healer in the party or not if I'm chosen.
Btw. I asked Boomy (we're longtime online friends, but I don't expect any preferential treatment from him) about the healer's kit and it obviously won't be needed to stabilize a fallen character. But the Healer feat will work, so it'll be very useful to have someone with it in the party.

Barry
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Name: Barry
Aliases: The Witch Boy, The Fool, The Unlucky
Age: 24
Race: Human (V)
Alignment: CG
Personality:
Barry was always an odd apple in his village. His personality is quite hard to pinpoint due to his spontaneity and happy-go-lucky attitude. He often opens his mouth completely without thinking and doesn't seem to care about anything in particular except for plunking his lute or blowing the flute. His attitude changed a bit however after an encounter with a forest witch Estera who became his mentor and put some discipline into him. That seems to have made him more serious, especially when casting spells and using skills she taught him. He's also very clumsy and not once made a fool of himself in front of the entire village. No one seems to be able to hate him though, except for a few elders complaining about his procrastination.
After he came back from his apprenticeship under the witch that took him about 5 years he became a lot more helpful. He often used his newly-learned skills and knowledge to help the villagers with various tasks, as well as occasionally protecting the village from bandits and wild animals. He was always a wild card though and asking for his help was often the last resort because of his infamous bad luck. He was also known for his disregard of the general rules and law. But he never did it with malicious intent and was often forgiven his transgressions out of pity or sympathy. It always seemed like he simply didn't know or understand the rules and the villagers blamed that on the witch's influence. Ultimately his usefulness as the only magic user in the village was always more important than the troubles he got in.
Recently though, it seemed like he got a strong urge to leave the village. Often talking about the world beyond the island he was born and raised on. All the new things and stories he could learn and then come back and show them to mates. That's what his mouth was saying, but deep inside he felt like that was not true. It wasn't going to be a glorious adventure, nor was he ever going to come back to the village. That's not what he wanted, but nonetheless he felt he needed to prepare himself for his inevitable departure. The choice wasn't up to him. The story wasn't finished yet, but certainly someone has already put the pen to the paper and started writing. He made his resolve. It was up to him to make sure his story goes in the right direction. And he won't let some higher powers decide his fate for him.
Class: Bard
Background: Lucky Fumbler
Bonus scores: Cha
Feat: Apprentice Witch
Bonus feat: Spell Sniper
How did you acquire that feat:
At a ripe age of fifteen Barry went to look for berries in the forest near his village and by his luck happened to stumble upon a strange warped hut. Through his naivety he thought that knocking on the door was a good idea. But that's when he remembered his parent's stories about a witch living somewhere in the forest. Instead of decrepit old lady the person who opened the door was a woman in her mid-thirties, dressed in black, with long unkempt dark hair, vicious fingernails and ominous talismans dangling around her neck.
- What? Who? - she exclaimed with visible surprise on her face. - How did a villager get here? I thought I put illusion spells in the vicinity especially so people like you wouldn't come near my hut. Didn't you see venomous snakes and huge spiders crawling all around?
- Y-yeah... - Barry stumbled, taking a step backward. - But I didn't care. Wild animals around our village never bothered me. And I was looking for some berries, so I though... maybe you have some?
- Oh my, oh my - sighed woman, shaking her head. - I guess you won't mind becoming one of them as well, then? Like a toad or maybe a rat... you know, something that can't talk. I can't let you come back after all. I don't won't any more fools like you coming to my hut uninvited. Rules are rules, and you simpletons have to bring a gift with a message to the agreed place if you want some favor from me.
Boy didn't seem to hear the last part of the sentence.
- A toad... or a rat...? - he mumbled with his eyes wide open with disbelief. - I... I...
What followed was a cacophony of incongruous sounds that Barry's mouth made for the first time in his life. The expression of witch's face changed instantly. Her eyes narrowed and the air around her became very tense.
- What is that!? - she asked sharply.
- W-wh-wha...? - Barry responded when he regained control over his lips.
- These words! That's abyssal, isn't it? - she inquired. But after seeing the youngster's eyes blinking repeatedly without the slightest sign comprehension she continued. - The demon speech! Don't act like a fool! I can't speak it yet, but I can certainly recognize it after hearing a phrase or two. So, stop acting like a startled deer and explain yourself!
- I... I'm not a demon - was the only response Barry came up with.
The woman's grimace slowly changed into a smile.
- We'll see about that. There's something peculiar about you, young man. Come inside and drink some tea with me.
- I think... I have to come back now - the boy started while turning back and getting ready to run.
- No no no, you have pretty enough face. You don't need to think - continued the witch while her hands started making slow gestures with her hands. After a moment her eyes started to glow and the boy stopped, seemingly out of his own will. - Now, come and have a tea with me.
- Of course, ma'dam - Barry answered, turning again to face the woman. This time completely relaxed and with a smile on his face. - I think I know you, but can I ask for your name?
- It's Estera for you - the witch replied with a vicious grin on her face. - And we'll get to know each other soon enough. If you have any potential, that is. If not, then I'll have a new pet instead. And I don't care about getting to know my pets.


Last edited by Med; 09-03-2019 at 05:26 AM.
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