The Company of the Enchanted Shield is our name and wilfully, borrowing and stumbling through prickly situations is our game. I’ve never been described as a shield before, especially not an enchanted one, perhaps my head will become as strong as steel and then I can finally accomplish the legendary Druidic Headstand of my people. But hold up, what do you think you are doing? Trying to sneak your way into my satchel are you, what a naughty fork you are! Well, I suppose you are the shiniest fork I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, perhaps you could come along for a bit but don’t make a nuisance of yourself! Anyway, before I was rudely interrupted, if only Bloom, Blossom and Muds Platt could see me now, boy would they be green, well greener, they are plants after all. I mean there are so many wondrously, decorated banners about but you’d think they would have the ingenuity to place a single sign indicating the location of the nearest privy, I don’t think I can hold things in for much longer Wiggly! Perhaps that man over there could be of some assistance, he looks to be a wizardly type. Besides, Wizards are experts at finding things, perhaps he can conjure me one up or tell me more about my Lucky Glowing Marble.
Huh? What was that? Flute? Enchanted?! Must be my ears playing tricks on me, they can be very mischievous like that, sometimes I think I was cursed with a gnome’s ears. Hmm, I wonder what could be so interesting over there, perchance one of your descendants has burrowed up rudely into the party Wiggly and is busy decomposing the guests. That would be an unforgivable display of typical wormish etiquette indeed. More likely Merora has mistaken someone else’s belongings for her own again, she’s daft as an alpine, stone forest hare that one! Better make sure I’m not needed to calm the situation.
Wowee! Vanya has her Lyre out, twice in one day, I hope you’re listening this time Wiggly! But what is that other man doing, or should I say elf-man doing, maybe he hasn’t realised that Vanya is about to play for us all. As I always say, elves: pretty but dim. I try to explain the situation, simply to him but he starts ranting about some sort of bard-off. Turns out his name is, Antonio Fochlucan, and he’s a descendant of some ancient elven family or so he keeps telling us, he seems a little bit bark-addled to me, if you know what I mean. And that’s when my eyes caught up with my brain, which caught up with my ears. He was waving about in his hands, the most beautifully crafted flute I had ever seen in my life, well in truth the only flute I had ever seen but still it must have been special. Maybe if I could get a better view of it, then I could determine whether it was indeed enchanted, even offer to look after it for him.
Is it me or is everyone my size all of a sudden. Perhaps my legs have finally finished sprouting. Oh my, it’s the Prince. What a wonderful coincidence, he must have enjoyed our entrance so much that he has come to offer his gratitude. Wiggly! Make sure you always kneel before royalty! I wonder what it would be like to be a Prince for the day, I’m sure I met an Orc once that was telling me that they get to bathe in the blood of their enemies and command ritual sacrifices. Seems a bit unseemly for me, perhaps I will allow him to stay in his shoes and I shall stay in mine, worn as they are. Anyway, not only is Vanya going to play her lyre for us, but also for the Prince plus if she plays really well apparently the elf-man will let her keep his flute. See, pretty but not a thinking cap to his name, actually this one isn’t even worth a second glance.
I think this would be the perfect opportunity to share a little bit of my dwarfish luck with Vanya. As Elder Grasstain says, a little bit of luck goes along a drain, truly the wisest of us all. What if the flute was able to attract bugs and insects? Hmm that would be incredibly distracting. Turns out Vanya didn’t need my luck after all, the most elegant of melodies leapt from Genevieve as her strings were gracefully plucked. What a strange feeling it must be to be plucked at. For someone with an enchanted flute and an elven ancestry dating back thousands of years, Antonio seemed to be having a disagreement with his instrument. At this point I considered how lucky Wiggly was to have been born with two mouths but no ears. Turns out the crowd agreed with me. Then something truly unexpected happened, the elf-man began to float in mid-air. Obviously the earth had heard enough and thought to expel him to the air. Or perhaps he too was a Wizard. Sadly, there still wasn’t anything particularly enchanting about his performance. Round 2 goes to Vanya Aeroniel! She truly is a talent, able to battle with both her stinging blade and her Lyre. With some guidance I’m sure Merora could prove to be a worthy fiddler too, speaking of Merora, where did she go? Oh there she is, such a generous and giving young lady to relieve that gentleman of his coin purse, in his state he could end up misplacing it, losing it or even worse, be the victim of a pocket-picker.
Wait a moment, I’m sure I’ve heard this tune before. His flute is whispering in the druidic tongue. I wonder whether he knows, his instrument is in fact a druid. Hmm something about growing or catching , no, entangling , that’s the word! Vanya watch out! The plants are naughty and they are trying to…Too late. As the plants began to grasp at Vanya’s legs I realised that Antonio was not only an appalling flautist but he was also, it seemed, a cheat! Round 3 goes to Antonio Fochlucan! But no matter. Victory is granted to Miss Vanya Aeroniel! I felt at this point it was appropriate to stick my tongue out at the cheating elf-man, I knew he would never be a match for Van.
Something is mentioned of a storage room, and magical song sheets. Seems despite his lack of honour, he is sticking to his word and even offering to reward Van further. Perhaps I misjudged the fellow. Korath seems to be demanding that we take some guards with us. Although I don’t see what harm a storage room could do. Unless it isn’t in fact a storage room at all but inversely a hellish beast with vicious claws and a vice-like grip, with which he intends to devour us. Perhaps I should spend some time studying at this White Ivy Tower, it seems Korath is alert and prepared for any eventuality. A balding man-of-arms catches my eye and with a little persuasion agrees to escort us to the storage room, Nigel Brians is his name.
Thankfully there was no evidence of a storage room beast. However, the number of guards posted within this chamber seemed a little peculiar. What should have been a simple exchange, escalated into another unexpected skirmish as he offered to pay the guards 400gp each for our heads. What he would have wanted with four heads is beyond me, a truly peculiar individual. It was at this point that the truly unimaginable occurred. He threw a potted fern directly at my noggin. Now, to take my head without my permission is one thing but to fling innocuous, woodland shrubbery at me. Clearly he was possessing of rotten roots. I hear the same druidic tone once again and before I can say toadstool, me and Korath are entwined in an unnaturally strong thicket of roots and undergrowth. Quick as a flash, I see that Vanya has drawn her blade and flung herself onto Antonio, red blossoms at his chest as she plunges her sword deep into him. At the same time, the unsuspecting servant screams in agony as Merora sticks him in the knee. He won’t be going anywhere for a while, she chuckles! As I desperately attempt to talk some sense into these impressionable ferns, Korath unleashes a whip of crackling energy, which strikes unerringly at the elf’s hands. That’s the Korath I know! Anyway, diplomacy having failed, I decided that perhaps if words wouldn’t ward them then flame would. As I set about teaching the ferns a lesson, two of the guards obviously decided that 400gps for a head was an amicable trade and struck out at my friends. Fortunately, favour was with us, as a myriad of sparkling colours (quite beautiful actually) leapt from Korath’s hands and left the two men reeling on the floor, apparently blind to everything about them. Well, at this, the battle was ended and so was Antonio Fochlucan, well not ended as in ended ended but just, I suppose, ruined.
As he pleaded with us, offering us valuable trinkets and gold, I sort of felt sorry for him. He wasn’t pleasing to the eye, nor had he bloomed intellectually, he couldn’t discern one end of the flute to the other and now he was to be exiled: denied his title and ancestral claims. But to me, he was simply a fern thrower, nothing more, nothing less. Turns out Korath had once again anticipated the moment and had told the Prince of the man’s crimes. Upon surveying the scene before him, the Prince was quick to excommunicate the man from his guild and the enchanted flute it seemed was ours for the taking. In fact, so was the blessing of the Mages.
In little over an hour, we had achieved the task placed before us and earned our right to both a shiny new badge and entrance into the Adventurers Guild. Not only that, but I was one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming an Elder Druid of the Mountains. Now what to do with our day off Wiggers?