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Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Tragedy and the Grey Friar... Revisited
Posted on Thu, July 07, 2016 by LordCeb
dark_Lord_Galen writes "Nearly a year after the tale of the Tragedy of Greyfriar, Bant, 1/2 Elven Cleric of St Cuthbert, still maintains the hope of seeing such a myth made reality along the northern borders of Furyondy. A chance meeting while on leave teaches him the value of patience, and good story telling.

It had been over a year, yet the ½ elven Priest of St. Cuthbert had often thought about the tale of the Grey Friar, and the bard that told it… Up and down the dusty roads between Chendl and the road to Castle Redoubt had his patrol been vigilant. All among them kept a watchful eye as the hurried repairs continued to the Kalinstren Fortress along the Razing line that kept Old spit and his forces at bay from the Capital city. He watched also for a sign, of that elusive “bobby,” but the faithful canine had not found his way to their piece of road.

Whilst on leave, bobby still managed to find his way into his thoughts. Being of elvish nature, “the recreations of Chendl for the common soldier had not appealed to his sense of “rest.” So eagerly, though not to convey such, he sought to swap a leave pass with another in a patrol headed to Castle Ehlenestra.

Castle Ehlenestra gets its name from an Old Elvish variant of the name of the goddess Ehlonna. It marks the western boundary of the Razing Line. The castle’s construction is unusual, with a stone wall surrounding internal buildings made of fine Vesve wood. What makes this castle most remarkable, however, is its highly magical nature. Lady Sharnalem, a swanmay Knight of the Hart who possess the innate ability to control canines, rules the castle. Within a magically protected wood, filled with powerful illusion spells to fool the unwary, numerous faerie creatures such as brownies and dryads can be found. Many of these creatures act as spies and messengers. By night, large packs of canines wander within the castle walls including Tyrgs and Mist wolves. The tyrgs are famous throughout the land and are specially trained to hunt and attack orcs and goblinkind on sight. Sharnalem is known to have many friends among the Highfolk. While she is a shy and elusive woman, her gifts of tyrgs to Kalinstren have earned his gratitude. The castle serves as a valuable recruiting post and many who are friendly with the Highfolk can be found here seeking refuge or searching for guidance. Clerics of Corellon and Ehlonna are often found here, serving as advisors to Sharnalem.

“What a stroke of luck!,” presumed the ½ elven priest…. “The solace of elven architecture, with the opportunity to convey tales of St. Cuthbert to the faithful of Ehlonna and Corellon!”

The road, like any patrol in a disputed region, was arduous and had its challenges both in terrain and orcish miscreants hoping to ambush a patrol. After two days, they had arrived greeted by the Woodlanders of the Vesve and the potential new support troops they settled in for a respite.

It was on one such eve as they traded tales of battles and belief, he told the tale he had learned of St Cuthbert and Bobby…. His fellows were so impressed with the telling they repeated it to others within the compound and by a thrice day it had caught the ear of some of the more learned scholars, diviners and archaists encamped there. It was then he was summoned by his patrol commander to “tell the telling of said tale” to their host as was requested. Astonished, he replied,” I am no bard that I could tell such a worthy tale to such an audience, I am but a foot soldier easing the time with my comradery of troops.” But his commander would not be deterred. 

And so, did he enter into the great wooden hall, where the silence seemed to amplify each of his footfalls of his approach. Bowing as is only proper, clearing his throat in search of some latent moisture to ease what would certainly follow, the cracking of his voice, he started… Sort of….

“I, regrettably, am not nearly so qualified to do the justice of this tale in the manner when it was told unto me, but it is a tale worth telling…. Tragedy & the Grey Friar.”

Two more passing days of Pelors’ light and their visit was over and it was time to return to Redoubt with the troops and news they had gathered. Just as the mounted for depart, a maiden in the raiment’s of ehlonna approached him and handed him a small intricately carved rosewood box.

Puzzled, as to never having seen the woman before, his expression must have conveyed his thought. “What is this and why are you giving it to me?”

“At the request of my lady, and your host - for your journey”. The woman coolly responded. “All will be made clear when you depart, open it not till then, and Saesa omentien lle (a pleasure to meet you).

As they rode away from the walled serenity of their hose, the harsher world was still out there to greet them… yet the ride to the gate seem to have eyes upon them as well. This left our ½ elven cleric cautious. This was soon disrupted by jeer and innuendo of his human peers as to what he did to get a parting gift from a local maid. A mile or so down the beaten road, he glanced thru the box.

Within the box he found a parchment note in a bountiful script that was a wonder to all his senses. The scrolling of the letters, perfection to his eyes, the touch of the paper, like silk, even a scent of lilac and cherry tantalized his remaining senses. Glancing through the flow of the letters it was a note from their host! He felt distracted wanting to pay it the attentions due, but his movement on the steed and the patrol of the road divided his concentrations. The note would certainly warrant individual attentions, but later. He had surmised she had enjoyed his tale and conveyed to him three small gifts of appreciation. Beneath the note, there nestled in blackest velvet where three carvings of small dogs, BOBBYs he thought. But how, why?

Later that evening, he examined the gift more fully. Her note conveyed her enjoyment and hoped these in turn would give him a gift of enjoyment at the telling of it.

As the sergeant plopped down beside him with a warm cup of brew, “so new girl in your life I hear…. Hehehe”. Glancing at the note and the fine box in his lap… “gifts too, someone made a good impression.”

“Not from her,” the ½ elf declared. “It’s from our host. She thanked me for the Tall of Bobby and gave me three small dog carvings to convey her gratitude.” Why would she give me a gift of three dogs, I am not but a visiting soldier?”

Laughing, the Sargent said,” She’s the hound-mistress lad! No one appreciates a tale about a hound better that she!” Closing the box, he left one of the “bobbys” out, insuring a restful sleep for all.

***

The Wondrous Bobby

Are generally created in a set of three, but after creation some pieces could be lost (the most coveted being the black onyx), so it is quite possible to discover one or two, but the full potential is only realized with a full set consisting of: one of brass (20gp crafted value), one of silver (50gp Crafted value), one of black onyx (150gp Crafted value). All must be created by a master gem cutter or metalsmith.

Unlike other wondrous items, placing them in a location and saying the command word activates the effect of the bobby defined by its color, but does not transform him. Only with a complete set are the three transformed into one “living bobby” for a duration of 24 hrs in a week, but the duration need not be continuous. Individually, each item can use its command function 1 time per day.

The Brass Bobby- Aura of Bless; as bless spell, duration is for length spell if used separately or length of activation if used as a set.

The Silver Bobby- Hear Noise; Adds either a +2 synergy to listen Check or figurine uses owners listen check +5 if it is detecting, and then raises non audible or audible alarm (See Alarm Spell) to owner in the form of a bark, Endure Elements (duration of either spell is for length spell if used separately or length of activation if used as a set.)

The Onyx Bobby- Conveys a Good Night's Rest to all within 30’ radius of the figurine. Good Nights Rest is as if the occupants of the area of effect have had a full night’s bed rest. Restoring hit points (8 +1 per lvl of Owner) similar to if he had 24 hours attended bed rest or 2 points of lost ability score. Note Occupant must still get 8 hours’ rest within the radius of a good night’s rest for this form of “restoration” (duration is for length spell if used separately or length of activation if used as a set).

Further, if combined and activated as a set, the set effectively negates the chance of a random dangerous encounter while sleeping.

Moderate transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, Animate Objects, Cure Light Wounds- Mass, Hear Noise, Aura of Bless, Endure elements; Price 21,000 gp.

Tragedy and The Grey Friar

As they parsed through the rubble that was once the inn, she thought, "What a tragedy."
  
“Why the long face?” inquired the half-elven priest to the bard. 

She shrugged.  “Only days before, this was quite a different place.” she muttered softly. They had stayed here laughing and telling tales, awaiting the return of her companion and friend Sir James. Now the orc raid had changed all of that.

Funny how the fire spares some things, and yet consumes others.  That is chance. Had they not chosen to return and rest here, more ill tidings would have befallen those who did survive.  Though, for some, an ill tide did arrive.  Looking at the lifeless body of the Innkeeper’s son on the road, the tide has gone out, she thought, and washed away life with it. Looking about, as her companions helped the survivors remove salvageable items from the smoldering ruins, she saw him staring at her, studying her face for a response.

“Sorry?” She stared, studying his face. Seemed odd for an elf to sport facial hair. Must be half-elven then. Yes, that would make more sense.

He cleared his throat, bringing her back to the conversation. “You alright?  Is anyone here in need of healing?” Pointing, she directed him to the others gathering the common folk to determine the course of the past evening’s events.  Once they had gathered what could be salvaged and paid homage for those lost to the gods, they collected the remaining folk and debated their options.

“We can make way south to the ford and 'safer' lands," suggested the rogue, though all knew it was only his own safety that concerned him.  

She thought, pondering the sense of it. "It would be safer, and she would also learn what had kept James." He had been gone two days longer than he had claimed the trip was to take.  Before resolving that thought, another had made a choice known.
 
“We could stay and not surrender the area to the orcs, and could even send a message to the Vesve Elves telling them of our encounter.” shouted out the Fighter and the Ranger in near unison.  

Stay? Where? In what? She was not accustomed to living in the wilds. To her, that seemed the choice not to make, but in staying she would be supporting her friends. She weighed the matter in her mind. "Hmm. It is safer with them than without, and by rebuilding, they get a place to return home to, so to speak, and maybe even part ownership. Surely, the innkeeper would prefer them as houseguests, rather than orcs? Don't know. Neither choice seems a good one."

A third, and then a forth voice responded. “Return to Chendl. It is where the innkeeper is from, and the walled city is large enough to offer good shelter." the guard and the half-elven Cleric responded.

“Follow the orc leader south! Him have sword of ancestors! It is the thing that only matters!” boomed the Barbarian.
  
"One certainly makes sense," she ponders. "Walled city, good shelter, means good food, good company, and good opportunities. Yet the barbarian, with all his obvious character flaws, does make for an epic story.  'The Quest for the Sword! The Glory!' One can hardly resist a good story opportunity." 

The half-elf focused on her again. "And your thoughts?” he asks, bringing her out of her internal debate.
 
“Seems each choice has things we must consider." the bard softly muses.  

“True. 'Tis tough choices and always misfortune you can find upon the road these days,” he adds. 

“No, not always." she smiles, just slightly, hardly to the notice of any save the perceptive half-elf. “Being an adept of St. Cuthbert, have you not heard the tale of the Grey Friar?” she asks, with raised brow.

The Adept, looking puzzled and taken back at her shift of the conversation, replied “No. I would happily hear such a tale."

As they collected the remains of any salvageable items, she began her tale...

“There once was a Grey Friar that was known by all in his hamlet. He sustained himself meagerly, yet always had kind words for any that spoke to him, but seldom did he choose to initiate any conversations. Some saw him as a beggar, others as a hermit, but everyone agreed him harmless.  Even with his meager funds, he always had something for a local stray dog.

The dog, (of a Scottish terrier look) was nothing fearsome to behold, nor did he work or entertain for his meals. He was, however, a good and faithful companion, following the friar as he made his way through the day. Sadly, one eve, the friar met with misfortune. Brigands on the road accosted and slew the old man. "Bobby," as the dog had come to be known, could do little to effect the outcome of such a grizzly scene.

He lay there in the aftermath of the terrible event next to his friend, keeping vigil. No one could believe why any would do such an offense. Yet none, really, tried to investigate further. All were content, and agreed on how tragic it was, yet they let their days pass on without any effort to exact justice.

Every day Bobby returned to the gravesite along the road, and every day he kept watch. Days, months, and years went by, and every day Bobby returned to keep his friend company.

One day an older, ruddy, ruff-honed look of a man in a chapeau passed on by. He was so impressed and touched at Bobby's devotion. Knowing that Bobby was in the twilight of his life, he imbued Bobby's "spirit of devotion" to forever remain. Now it is said that special travelers devoted to St. Cuthbert, and all that are good and faithful, may find Bobby along the road to help guide and look over them, as he once faithfully did with the Grey Friar...

“That is quite a tale you have versed.” He smiles, putting the last of the crates into the wagon. With that she smiles and slowly nods to the elven cleric, pleased to have told the Tale of the Grey Friar and Bobby.

“It certainly makes traveling the road more inviting. Shall we see what is to be decided then?” Helping her down from the wagon, they made their way back to the group and concluded their debate.

***

"Bobbies" appear as a common small silver, gray, or black Scott Terrier. They really have no assignable attack value, ½ hit die, but special abilities would include the following:

Hear Noise: As defined by spell, no duration.
Aura of Bless: As defined by spell for any within 10ft of Bobby; PHB-pg 205, except duration lasts as long as bobby is present.
Endure Elements: As defined by spell; PHB-pg 226 except range is 10ft. Radius and duration lasts as long as Bobby is present.
* PC cannot be surprised if Bobby within 10ft. 
"Good Nights Rest" Effect negates chance of random dangerous encounter while sleeping.
* DM determines the reasons for Bobby's appearance and length of Bobby's stay determined by 1d4 days followed by a loyalty check versus charisma each day thereafter."
 
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Re: Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Tragedy and the Grey Friar... Revisited (Score: 1)
by Kraftwerk (xxx.kraftwerk.xxx@gmail.com) on Thu, July 07, 2016
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Galen,

Nicely done!  The Bobbies are amazing!!!  :D


-- K.




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