Session map


After a misspent youth as a seafarer on some, let’s say, less than reputable vessels, I was ready to get my land-legs back under me and spend some time doing some good in the world. I’d traveled about as far inland as I could stand (I still miss the smell of the salty sea-air, and can hardly sleep without the lapping of the waves against the boat) and found myself in a township called Prigswort. A sizable city, bigger than most of the port cities I’d spent time in, though not as big as the occasional coastal capital city. The whole place was buzzing with activity, as I seemed to arrive on some sort of festival day. I was low on funds and food, and hoping to find a way to make some gold appear in my pockets. A couple of nights in an inn where I could play for some locals for some spending cash and maybe a night in a cozy bed would be a good start, but I was thinking I’d need a bigger stake to breathe easy and figure out my next move. One of the things my minstrel instructors did manage to drill into my head was that if you were looking for work you could do worse than to find something like the Gray Company and ask about adventuring jobs, so the first thing I did was figure out where a Gray Company headquarters was in town and head directly there. There was a man there sitting at a table just inside the door. Bald, hair sticking out of his ears, nose like a bulb of garlic, he gave no credence to my existence, despite my saying hello, good morning, and excuse me, in that order. It was like whatever he was looking at on the piece of paper he had in front of him had transfixed him. Or he’d fallen asleep. I took the lute from my back and tried playing a tune. An ascending arpeggio from C-minor up got me nowhere. A quick double-time through a classic sea shanty also brought no attention my way. Finally, practically flummoxed, I pulled my hands together, tightening them on the strings, and let out a sustained discordant note that got him to jerk his head up and snort through his nose. He looked me over, leather jerkin, all-weather poncho, wild brown hair and unshaven face and frowned. “What do you want?” he asked in a voice as gruff as a billy goat’s. “I’m looking for work.” “Isn’t everyone?” I didn’t know whether everyone was or not so I simply stared back at him. After a few seconds he said, “We don’t book musicians, kid.” “I’m not looking for-” “There’s a few inns up and down the main street, there’s, uh-” “I’m looking for something more interesting than that.” He looked me over again. I turned slightly so he could see the sword strapped to my thigh, and the quiver of arrows on my back. He squinted at me and said, “Hm.” A woman came dancing from somewhere in the back, slightly older and said, “Are you bothering this young man?” It took me a moment to realize she wasn’t talking to me, but to the man at the table. “I’ve come looking for work.” I said. “And you’ll have it.” She answered back. “Try the Clashed Antler.” “Is that an Inn?” I asked, crestfallen. “Yes.” She said, in a lilting voice. “I’m not looking for music work.” I said. “Nor should you. But there’s a group of adventurer’s staying there called the Glorious Blades. They may have some work for you. And if not, take this.” She shoved a crumpled piece of parchment into my hand. “It’s not much but it’s a start. Now go. Go on. I’ve got to get this one back to being useful.” She looked into the man’s eyes, he’d fallen asleep again. As I left the Gray Company’s office I heard her shouting, “Coffee! You need coffee!”

The Clashed Antler was everything I expected and less. Slightly dirty, a little smaller than I thought it might be, but still a nice common room with a few tables set up for breakfast. I wasn’t sure how to find the Glorious Blades, but an idea had occurred to me on my walk over, and I pulled my lute around as soon as I walked into the common area. I heard a couple of groans, but also a couple of semi-enthusiastic, grunts that I took to be encouragement. I started slow, quiet, just a little tune to get me going, then on the spot threw out some quick lyrics, incorporating the name I’d been given.

If adventure’s your lot, and you’re mind’s in the shade, then you should seek out the Glorious Blades, when steel clashes steel and the champions are made, there’s no one more popular than Glorious Blades.

I was getting more into it as I continued. A couple of people had tossed some coins onto the table in front of me, but one vexed man in the back who was guzzling coffee like a fish drinks water shouted, “Shut up!”

I ignored him and carried on.

The cold of the arctic, the heat of the glade, Where willows bend over and fae deals are made, Where games with life and death are well played, That’s where you’ll find the Glorious Blades!

By now I had a small pile of copper and a single silver coin on the table, not bad for two verses, but looking up I saw a woman coming towards me. I’ve never seen an angel, but she fit the description, shining silver armor, a mace the size of a large dog’s head, her eyes almost glowing. She said, “Who are you, and what do you know of the Glorious Blades?” Ah, now we’d come to a tricky question. Very early on my first ship’s captain had told me never to use my real name. It just led to complications, and so over the years I’d accumulated a large number of monikers, everything from “hey you” to “boy” to “First Mate Rickety Squibbets”, but none of those names seemed appropriate in this place. Instead it occurred to me that maybe this was the time to use my real name. It was clean and pristine. It had no mark or stench of piracy or trouble on it at all. The problem was, my name was hard to pronounce. My parents had been farmers from the old country, so they’d named me after a distant ancestor. My real name is Ouscisk Heoh. It’s prounounced OOH-Shisk Hay-oh. But that seemed like a lot to get through in the moment, so I simply said, “Heoh.” “A-yo?” “Hey-oh.” I corrected her. “Ok. And you know the Glorious Blades?” “I was sent by the Gray Company. They told me I could find you here.” I nodded to the pile of coins. “I thought this might be a quick way to find you and make an introduction.” “Hm.” She said. I couldn’t tell if she thought my plan was clever, stupid or both. She just said, “Well, I’m Ygnas. This is Pish.” She nodded behind her. “And that’s Hugj.” Hugj was a big bear of a man, he just nodded. He looked sleepy. Pish was an elf. I’d rarely seen them, occasionally glimpsing one in a crowd on a port dock. She had gray eyes and an exotic look. I wondered if Pish was her real name. In the stories I’d read most elves had an excess of ‘L’s in their names. Her real name was probably Pishlarlial or something. It was like the elves collected all the ‘L’s for later use, then at some point realized they weren’t using them and started dumping them into their offspring’s names. Ygnas gave me a cold glare and said, “We don’t actually have any work at the moment.” “Ah.” I said. “Well, then you’ll want this.” I handed her the note the woman from the Gray company had given me, realizing only then that I hadn’t actually looked at it myself. Ygnas read it and handed it to Pish who also read it. Neither of them looked particularly excited. “We’re going to deliver beer?” Pish said. It was then that the Innkeeper wandered over, he was looking at the elf the way a hungry child looks at a steak. “Oh!” He said. “Cobbsworth brewery! They’re the best. Light, fizzy drinks. Very good, very good. You’re going to work for them?” Ygnas and Pish agreed that that seemed the most likely thing to do. We all had a lovely breakfast and the Innkeepr remarked that he’d enjoyed my music earlier and that if I were willing to play again this evening he would comp me a meal and a room. I graciously accepted his offer, though that seemed to annoy Ygnas somewhat. “Why don’t I get a free room? What is this place costing me, anyway?” No one wanted to answer that so we moved on. I followed the other three as we made our way to the Cobbsworth Brewery. “So this is a very beer-heavy town?” I asked as we traveled. I was told that there were several different breweries, all of them competing, and Cobbsworth was the brewery in the northern part of town that was most popular. “They’re trying to branch out, I guess.” Ygnas said. “Today’s the day of the Rising Remeberance Festival.” “What’s that?” She shrugged. The buildings were becoming more industrial as we walked. Lots of wood and stone. Finally we saw the sign for the Cobbsworth brewery. There was a large open door, and inside several wagons and people moving around. A lot of hustle and bustle. Eventually a woman made her way over to us to speak. She seemed to be in charge. “You’re here to guard the beer?” “Guard the beer?” I wasn’t sure who asked it, but it could have been any of us. “This is Wilbert.” The woman said, jerking her thumb back to a balding man behind her. “He’s in charge of marketing. He’s going to take this wagon,” She slapped the side of a wagon with a giant beer keg strapped to it, “all the way down south to the Wrinkled Meddler. You’re going to guard him.” Again someone said, “Guard him?” “Lots of pranksters out there.” The woman said, her eyes fixated through the doorway on the city outside. “Don’t want anything to happen to Wilber.” Wilber gave a half-hearted smile. He said, “Yes, yes.” “You take good care of him I’ll pay you 20 gold each.” The woman said. That got us all moving. Wilber had a plan. He had little flags with the Cobbsworth logo on them and he wanted to hand them out as we traveled through the town. “That doesn’t seem like a good idea.” I said. “It’s marketing.” He rolled his eyes as though I just wouldn’t understand it. “That’s great, but if all these people are your enemies, do you really want them to know you’re from Cobbsworth? If it’s dangerous we should probably be sneakier.” Pish was looking at the side of the wagon, where a giant Cobbsworth logo had been emblazoned. “Can we cover this up?” Wilber, flustered, shouted, “No! Of course not! It’s to let people know who we are!” “That’s kind of what we’re trying to avoid.” Ygnas pointed out. “Look, you just take care of making sure no one bothers our beer, and I’ll handle the marketing part, ok?” “What is the Day of the Rising Rememberance, anwyay?” I asked him. He seemed a little confused, but rallied forth anyway, “Well, you know, we uh, remember all the saints that have sacrificed themselves for the world, um…think about your ancestors, and, uh…drink good beer!” He seemed pleased with himself. “Yes, that’s it.” “Who are we worried about attacking us?” Ygnas asked. “Well, there’s uh, Soomerfish. That’s an enemy beer. And Houst Pilston, of course. They’re very low-grade, mass market. Lots of people drink it because it’s cheap. ANd then there’s House Oberon, that’s probably the most expensive brew in town.” “I hear it’s good.” Pish said. “But it’s not fizzy.” He told her. “That’s what makes Cobbsworth special.” I played a little ditty on the lute and sang:

Cobbsworth beer, it’s light and fizzy, you won’t get drunk, you’ll just get dizzy!

“Oh, I quite like that.” Wilbert said. “We might get you a job in marketing.” At this point Hugj declared that he was going back to the Inn to get some more sleep. “You won’t need me anyway. This is a beer run.” Ygnas nodded. “Actually, I have some other things to take care of as well. You two got this, right?” Pish nodded. “We might stop by the Gray Company office. Hire a couple of hands.” “Good idea.” Ygnas said. “You can take it out of our pay.” And like that she was gone. It was just me and the elf. “We need to figure out how to get him through the south part of town without handing out those flags, or shouting to the rooftops that we’re a target for any brewery that wants to cause trouble.” “I could play a tune.” I said. “If I can get him hooked on the groove he’ll just follow me. It’s an old trick I learned from a minstrel who called himself the piper. Or the pie? Something about pie.” I couldn’t quite remember. “That’s good. See if you can do that. I’ll rustle up some help from the Gray Company and we’ll just get this done.” … (35 lines left)


The festival of remembrance is today which likely means lots of folk in town drinking brews and selling wares. We had some breakfast at the Clashed Antler where, bless his heart, the innkeeper tried to sell me on the merits of his grandson. He seems like nothing bunt a punk to me, but the old man means well. Fortunately being in town brings all kinds of opportunity. Our group met an above average bard named Heoh who is also in the Glorious Blades and a job opportunity to Help House Cobsworth transport some product to the Wrinkled Meddler. We were escorting Wilbert (looks like his name sounds) and a Keg of light and fizzy beer to a pub in the south of town.

This town is serious about its beer. Wilbert and his little flags were definitely going to garner attention, so we stopped to get a little help at the guild building before going into rival streets and had Berdick, who has seen some shite, and Binko, the halfling who was twice as good, join us for some gold. We did run into some thugs we could bribe off, but likely avoided more than one attempted sabotage thanks to Binks. We paused briefly at the Tailors and saw this sign on the door “Brandybile’s, by appointment only (inquire at the Wrinkled Medlar). Member of the Esteemed Guild of Tailors. Rogues beware: affiliate of the Guild of Enchanters”. Seems a bit insular, but I’m not their business manager. We were able to get the beer delivered and Wilbur safely home ….with a bonus business idea of beer flags- suck for sample! It’s late afternoon and perhaps some festival time has been earned…..