Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cazban's Field Notes

Yesterday I mentioned that I once played a gnomish wanderer with a penchant for natural history.  His field notes, which were a combination of session notes recorded as journal entries and a compilation my observations of creatures we had encountered, eventually became Cazban's Bestiary of the Realms.

Cazban was a great deal of fun to play.  He was a hyperbolical storyteller who always managed to portray himself in the best possible light, and since he was also the party chronicler, history remembers him as a somewhat mightier hero than he actually was and by weird happenstance the other party members are remembered as his loyal followers.

He was also a kill-stealing little git, who was completely ineffectual in combat until the party fighters had a tough creature down to its last few hit points at which time Cazban would hit with his crossbow and put it down.  Frustrating for the fighters; amusing for me.

Here's journal entry on a Displacer Beast that Cazban vultured with a lucky crossbow shot, including a self-portrait of the mighty hunter with his kill.

Followed by his in-depth research of the nature of Shambling Mounds:
Cazban subdues a Shambling Mound

And, finally, Cazban demonstrates his cool nerve and steady aim by slaying a troll and saving the entire party!

Cazban slays a common troll  (Hadrohominus denuois)
Cazban was really curious about the regenerative properties of trolls, so he chopped the body up into little bits to see how long it would take to grow back.  Afraid that the pieces might need to be kept warm, he incubated them in the magic user's bed-roll.  She wasn't amused... particularly when she awoke in the middle of the night with an angry troll in her sleeping bag.  Chaos ensued.  Fingers of blame were pointed.

It was all for a good cause though, in the end we had a remarkably thorough bestiary (including detailed data on troll regeneration).

This was a really fun and memorable character to play and a lot of his unique personality quirks developed as a result of keeping this journal.  It certainly helped me to get into character and stay there throughout the entire session.  I had to give him up when I moved to a new city, but the other players still fondly recall the escapades of Cazban and I am almost certain that the nice lady who played the magic user has nearly forgiven me.


Shane Mangus said...

Every gnome should be required to wear a fez! Good stuff!

Trey said...

Awesome. They would be a great thing to have as a player's aid, maybe.

Jim said...

Love this book! Thanks for sharing! PS: I really like your pic of the shambling mound.