Classic Fantasy Beer and Bane
I feel like a fantasy adventure - what am I good at? (Get Skill x3)



Animal lore.

I'm a necromancer with an animal companion, and when I'm not delving into the dark arts, I'm running a brewery... Perfect! Now all I need it a quest... (Get Quest)

Evade capture at the cold desert.

Pack of feral dogs.


Angry mob.

Apparently the residents of Whitewind Lodge don't take kindly to practitioners of death magic. They've not only grabbed their torches and pitchforks, but they've also employed an experienced ranger that goes by the name of Lion.

So with angry shouts and snarling dogs hot on my trail, I decide to get the heck out of Lodge!

Passing through the graveyard at the edge of town, I animate a few of their deceased relatives to cover my tracks...
Does it throw off the mob? (Likely)


Does it throw off the dogs? (50/50)


Does it throw off Lion the ranger? (Unlikely)


HA! No ranger can resist the urge to kill undead! I've bought myself some time, though the dogs are getting closer by the minute. I send Bane, my raven familiar, up to scout ahead and to alert me before the vicious pack of dogs is on my heels. How many minutes do I have before the dogs catch up and try to tear out my throat? (1d6)

6 = 6[d6]

And does Bane spot any good hiding places ahead? (50/50)

No, and...

Only a sheer chasm spanned by a collapsed bridge. Damn! Is there anything north of the bridge? (Spending one minute for my raven to check - 50/50)...

Yes, and...

There's an intact rope bridge further up the chasm, as well as a small cave in the sheer cliff before the bridge that I might be able to reach, even with my lack of climbing skills. I quickly head north. Does the angry mob recover from the trauma of having to slay granny's skeleton and follow the pack of dogs? (50/50)

Yes, but...

They're in pursuit, but it'll take them a lot longer to catch up, and they'll be following the dogs' tracks, which will lead first to the fallen bridge. What about Lion the ranger? (Likely)


He's on horseback. How many minutes do I have before he can start sending his deadly arrows my way? (1d6)

1 = 1[d6]

Crap! I can hear the galloping hoof beats of his steed, and it sounds like he anticipated my need to head north. I sprint through sparse dead threes and show-covered rocks. Do I reach the bridge before he reaches me? (50/50)

Yes, and...

I even have time to cast a spell... I draw a drop of my blood from my half-frozen hands to summon a shadow of myself, sending it across the bridge. I don't want to still be crossing the chasm when Lion reaches my position and readies his longbow! Once my shadow decoy is deftly dancing across the rope bridge, I try to slip over the ledge and into the small cave. I'm hoping Lion will be fooled by my shadow and that he doesn't know about the cave, since I would not have seen it if it weren't for the sharp eyes of my little flying companion. Am I able to make it into the cave? (50/50)


Whew! Good thing, since I would never have survived that fall! I also don't think the dogs will be able to follow me, though they might stay near the ledge and point out my new trail to the ranger. I cast a pale glow on the blade of my curved dagger and hold it out like a torch. I leave my raven near the entrance for now, to alert me if the ranger enters.

Does the cave go deep? (50/50)


Uh oh. I sit down shivering in the shallow cave, take a swig of beer from my skin, and try to plan a defense.

To be continued...
I do a quick search of the little cave. Is it completely empty? (50/50)


I hear the ranger's horse arrive before the dogs. Does he spot my shadow near the far end of the bridge and pursue it? (50/50)


Does he fire an arrow at it? (50/50)

Yes, and...

The arrow sinks convincingly into the quasi-corporal back of my shadow, slaying it and sending it plummeting into the chasm. I hear Lion chuckle and turn his horse to trot back to the pursing mob. Fantastic! He'll brag to them about my demise and he'll have a simple explanation for the lack of my body. I sit there for another minute on the ice cold floor of the cave, hoping to escape across the bridge after the ranger is too far to spot me and before the dogs sniff their way to the ledge above.

Am I able to climb back up over the ledge? (50/50)

No, but...

At least I don't slip on the rocks and follow my shadow to the bottom of the chasm! I sigh in frustration, using the sigh to warm my frozen hands. I can hear the barking snarling pack of dogs drawing near. I've got one more shot before they reach the ledge - I try using my dagger to dig into the rocks. Can I scramble up the icy ledge above the mouth of the cave? (50/50)

Yes, but...

I have to leave my dagger behind, as it's now embedded in the ledge and I have only seconds to hustle onto the rope bridge before the mangy mongrels reach the ledge. The're in a frenzy of foaming slobber and gnashing teeth, but only the leader of the pack actually tries to step onto the bridge. Is the slobbering mutt able to traverse the bridge without falling? (Very Unlikely)

No, and...

His yipping whining death stops the rest of the dogs in their tracks. I laugh at their lack of opposable thumbs as I cross safely to the other side of the chasm.

Once I reach the far side, however, I'm faced with the fact that I'm now in completely unfamiliar territory. I have only a general idea of the direction I need to travel in order to make it back to the warmth and safety of my brewery back home, and the most direct path would be back across the bridge that I'm now seriously considering burning...

I scratch the frosted stubble on my chin and stare at the pack of dogs, barking at me from the other side. Lion might still hear them and circle back to make sure I didn't pull a fast one. I'd rather deal with the unknown.

Are there any dead animals nearby? (Somewhat Unlikely)

Yes, but...

After several minutes of searching and nearly giving up, I stumble across the frozen carcass of a squirrel. Not much, but it'll have to do.

I carefully dig its little bones out of the snow and gather some kindling from a dead shrub. I cast a spell on the bones, causing them to burn like a tiny funeral pyre. I use the fire to burn the bridge and warm my hands, which are child to the bone.

No turning back now.

With the sun about to set, I turn my back on the chasm and start walking. I send my raven up to search my new surroundings. Does bane spot anything interesting? (Get Place)

Recently-repaired farm.

Through the eyes of my raven, I scry a glimpse of a farm in the distance with smoke rising from a chimney. I can't think of a more inviting place to spend the cold night, even if I have to sleep in the barn!

I force my numb feet to pick up the pace and head toward the farm.

To be continued...
Very enjoyable, look forward to reading more :-)
It is dusk by the time I finally stumble across the frozen field and wearily approach the farmhouse. I have Bane fly into the loft of the barn through a small hole while I knock on the front door. (Get NPC)

Imaginative fugitive.

No response. After a long pause, I knock gain... And again...

I catch movement out of the corner of my eye and spot a figure spying at me from one of the windows. I wave at the figure as it disappears and then I knock again. The door finally opens and I find myself staring at the glinting metal tip of a bolt loaded into a heavy crossbow.

"What do you want?" the weathered wiry man aiming the crossbow at my throat asks.

"I'm cold and lost. Would you be willing to let me stay here for the night? I can pay you."

*Speaking of coins in my purse - I have... (1d20)

16 = 16[d20]

He hesitates, eyeing me suspiciously. Then he frowns and starts to shake his head.

"Would five pieces of silver change your mind?" (50/50)


His eyes light up at my offer. Its a higher fair than a typical innkeeper would get for one night, but it's by no means extravagant. I'm guessing this fellow is struggling financially. I fish 5 coins out of the pouch on my belt and drop them into his hand. He lowers his crossbow, scans the distance over my shoulders to ensure that I'm alone, and then steps aside.

I thank him and enter the house. He just grunts and pulls the front door shut, barring it. I shrug and head straight for the hearth, sighing with relief as the crackling fire thaws my chilled extremities.

Does Bane notice anything out of place in the barn? (50/50)


Uh oh...

"So what do you do and how is it you got lost in these parts?" My host asks bluntly.

"I brew beer for a living. I was headed to Whitewind Lodge to sell some of my brew, when I got attacked by a pack of wild dogs. I fled across a rope bridge spanning a chasm in order to escape, and the bridge nearly snapped during my egress. I'm not sure how to get home from this side of the chasm and, with the sun setting and me being nearly frozen to death, I followed the smell of smoke to your chimney."

Is my tale sufficiently convincing? (50/50)

Yes, and...

He nods, seeming to buy my bluff, and asks "You hungry?"


"I'll share my pot of beans for another piece of silver."

I nod quickly and hand him another coin. He gives my purse a lingering stare before walking back to the kitchen. I'll have to sleep with one eye open tonight.

"So what do I call you, beer man?" he asked, returning with a steaming bowl of beans.

"Marcus, you?" I asked between large mouth fulls.

He hesitates, as if having to think about it... "Grey."

"Have you lived here long, Grey?"

"No, I inherited it recently from my aunt and uncle after their passing. I'm afraid I don't know much about the surrounding area, so I can't really help point you in the direction of... Where did you say your were from?"

I open my mouth to reply when we hear a tapping and a raven call at the window. Bane is sitting on the sill and I catch a mental whiff of the smell he caught inside the barn. Fresh bloody human corpses...

"What in blazes?" Grey jumps. He rushes over and raps on the window pane, "Shew, you stupid varmint!"

I mentally ask my raven to go back and try to get a closer look, "I'm from Bramblewood, near Port Windsor."

"Did you see that crow outside when you got here?"

"Its a raven, you can tell by its caw and by the shape of the bill... And no, I didn't see it when I arrived on your doorstep. So, you mentioned that you inherited this farm - were you able to get stocked up before the first freeze?"

"Not really," he sighs, still peering out into the dark night long after my raven flew out of sight.

"Oh, that's too bad. Any livestock in the barn?"

Grey's head snaps back toward me, "No, why do you ask?"

"Oh, no reason really... My father was a butcher's apprentice for a time and I learned how to dress animals in my youth. I just thought I'd offer..."

"There aint nothin in the barn."


Grey eyes me wearily for a while and then sighs, "too bad you don't have any of that beer with you."

"Actually, I still have half a skin full, if you'd like," I offer him the skin.

He pulls the cork, smells the brew, and then takes a long drink before handing it back. He nods, "It's good - sweeter than most that I've had."

"I use molasses," I smile, but then I scry a mental image through Bane's eyes - slivers of moonlight dimly illuminate a pair of blood-soaked cadavers. Their throats have been pierced, probably by a crossbow bolt - my smile turns fake.

I guess that's one way to buy a farm, or should I say - inherit?

To be continued...
I weigh my options. My best guess is that the man calling himself Grey murdered the owners of the farm, no more than a few days ago, judging by the lack of decay in their corpses. Should I take a chance that he'll let me sleep through the night and leave peacefully in the morning? Or should I strike preemptively? His loaded heavy crossbow rests against the wall, within easy reach of his chair, but if I could touch his skin before he grabs it and fires it at me...

Does he notice my apprehension? (50/50)


My suspicious host catches the direction of my glance and tenses, sitting at the edge of his seat like he's ready to pounce.

"I should probably turn in, so I can get an early start tomorrow. Is there a spare bed or at least an extra blanket for me too..."

His expression darkens and his jaw clenches.

"No, well that's okay, I'll just curl up by the hearth if you don't mind." I clear my throat and shrug, trying to sound calm. I stand slowly and reach out to shake his hand. "Listen, I really appreciate you taking me in like this. I'll leave my beer skin with you, and if I manage to find my way back home, I promise to bring you a whole keg of it in the spring time, friend."

Does he shake my hand? (Somewhat Unlikely)


Is he also a practitioner of magic? (Unlikely)


Is he a necromancer like me? (Somewhat Unlikely)


Evoker? (50/50)

Yes, but...

He stands and reaches out to shake my hand. I catch the quiet murmuring of his lips and I feel my hair begin to stand up. He's an evoker, but a bit of an armature. I hesitate, mentally casting my own spell, but dreading the next part... I really hate getting shocked.

Grey suddenly grips my hand with his, which is now writhed in a web of crackling energy, and the nauseating jolt courses through my body, causing my muscles to clench and convulse. I release my own spell, inflicting him with permanent blindness. His horrified vivid blue eyes turn milky gray and he howls in rage, letting go of my hand and reaching for my neck. I duck. Does his hands blindly find my throat to strangle me? (50/50)


I evade, vomiting a belly full of beans as I sidestep and kick at his knee. Does he go down? (50/50)

No, and...

Even blind, he's a better fighter than I am. He shifts his weight and kicks back with the same leg, catching me in the side with his boot and sending me sprawling painfully across the room and into the foyer. I hit the floor hard.

He feels his chair and fumbles his way to the crossbow. I struggle to stand and lift the bar on the front door. Do I make it outside before he fires a bolt at my noisy exit? (50/50)

No, but...

His bolt grazes the bridge of my nose, drawing blood, but otherwise sinks harmlessly into the door jam. I stagger outside into the frigid night air, my panting breath billowing around me as I hobble toward the barn, clenching at my bruised and possibly broken ribs and still feeling singed by his spell.

I hear him reload his crossbow from the doorway. Does he manage to get a lucky shot at my back because of my lack of stealth? (Somewhat Unlikely)

No, but...

I hear the crossbow twang and the bolt whistles past. It misses me by inches, but I stumble and slam my knee into a snow-covered rock. I gasp, seeing stars from the pain, but I grit my teeth and try to shake it off, limping and weaving erratically for the safety of the barn. He reloads. Does he get a lucky shot before I reach the door? (Unlikely)


I throw the door open and duck inside. I hear him start to chant. Do I recognize the spell? (Somewhat Unlikely)

Yes, but...

I'm not evoker, but I've heard a fireball being cast more than once in my life. I have no doubt that, even blind, he'll be able to hit the large dry wooden shelter, and I have no way of counting his spell. I desperately dive for cover. Am I caught in the blast? (50/50)


The spell hits high, sparing me from its fiery concussive explosion, but the loft above me instantly ignites. Does Bane make it out okay? (50/50)


Bane flies out of the burning barn. I animate the two cadavers as quickly as possible and follow them out. Do the three of us make it out before the blazing structure collapses on us? (50/50)


I follow the shuffling zombie farmers back out into the cold and send them toward the house, where the angry blind mage has found his crossbow and is now huddled in the doorway and listening for my return.

He hears the nearest zombie as it lunges for him and he takes his shot. Does he sink a bolt into my undead minion (Likely)


His blind-but-skilled shot finds my zombie's head and he crumples to the ground, but my second zombie, the dead farmer's wife, grabs the mage with both hands and tries to sink her teeth into his neck. Does her bite find his flesh? (50/50)


He screams as she bites into his artery, spraying the porch with blood. I watch in satisfaction as tries to cast another spell, but fails with his last gurgling breath to finish the complex evocation. My mindless zombie avenges the deaths of her and her husband as she chomps repeatedly into his throat until his body stops twitching. My raven flies into the house and I step over the crouching zombie and her meal. I slam the door, bar it, and slump down into the chair by the hearth, trying to catch my breath and nurse my wounds. I can still hear my risen minion feasting on the murderer's flesh, but I'll have no problem sleeping soundly tonight.

To be continued...
I awaken late the next morning from a long peaceful sleep, reluctant to leave the soft warm bed. I search the farm house to see if there's anything worth taking with me on my journey... (Get Thing x3)


Above average oil lamp.


I find a small ornate brass oil lamp and slip it into my pouch. I also find a thick gray wool house robe and decide to wear it over my black travel clothes for added warmth. When I find a length of rope, I consider taking it as well, but in my unskilled hands and without a grappling hook, the rope is heavier than it is useful, so I leave it.

I open the front door and step outside into the brisk morning air. The animated corpse of the farmer's wife has wondered off somewhere. The bodies of the farmer and the partially disemboweled evoker that murdered him are still lying on the porch in a bloody mess. I pry the heavy crossbow from the evoker's cold dead fingers and then search him for crossbow bolts and anything else useful...
(d20 bolts, Get Thing x2, 1d10 silver coins)

18 = 18[d20]

I sling the heavy crossbow across my back and strap the leather case containing 18 crossbow bolts to my belt.



10 = 10[d10]

Searching Gray's belt pouch, I find 10 silver (which includes the 6 coins I'd given him last night) and a what looks like a rune-etched wooden handle. I examine the arcane runes. Do I know what they mean? (50/50)


Interesting... If I'm not mistaken, pressing this slightly-raised oval-shaped rune of activation will...

SHWCK (The handle lengthens from both ends in an instant, forming a long sturdy staff)

Cool! I press the button again, grinning as it collapses in the blink of an eye back to an innocuous little handle. I'd still prefer a dagger, but this staff could certainly come in handy. I tuck it into my belt. I run back through the house once more, do I find anything else of use? (50/50)


What about a knife of any kind? (50/50)


Food? (Likely)


I pick a few small spots of mold off a hard loaf of bread and toss it, and some dry beans, into the evoker's empty pouch, tying it to my belt. I then drink the last of my beer and fill my skin with water.

I frown, looking through the utensils in the kitchen. There's got to be a knife somewhere! Maybe... I check the yard outside. Do I find a kitchen knife? (Somewhat Likely)


What about the barn? (Somewhat Likely)


I poke through the charred smoking debris where the barn once stood. After an exhausting search, I find a large blackened kitchen knife.

Aha! There it is!

I wipe it off and stick it in my belt. Anything else useful in the ashes and debris? (50/50)


I look around, able to see farther now with the sun fully risen in the clear cold blue sky. Which direction should we head now? I feed Bane some of the bread and send him up to scout the surrounding area. What does he spot with his keen raven eyes?
(Get Place)

Infested swamp.

Famous lighthouse.

Festering mountain.

Charming tavern.

Looking through my raven's eyes as he soars high above me, I can just make out the Fat Boar Tavern back in Whitewind Lodge, far to the West, across the chasm. Even if I could find another way across, there's no way I'm showing my face in that superstitious backward town again!

To the North lies Crumbling Peak, and far to the East is Blightbarrow Swamp. At least I've gotten by barrings now. If I'm right about my relative location, then to the South I should be able to see...

YES! I can see the lighthouse at Cape Moore!

I sigh with relief and start walking south. It'll take a day or two to get there, but once I reach Cape Moore, I can buy passage back up the coast to Port Windsor. I set a brisk pace, hoping to find a secure place to camp if the sun sets before I reach the southern shore.

To be continued...
Once I leave the relative safety of the farm and enter the frozen brush and dead trees, does my raven see any immediate threats ahead? (50/50)

Yes, and...



6 = 6[d6]

A group of six rather unsavory looking men are traveling West, directly across my path, and one of them just spotted me. He immediately draws his short bow while alerting the others, who quickly draw their own weapons. I briefly consider trying to explain to them that I'm not a threat, but by the looks of them, they're probably hoping for exactly that. I have no intention of parting with my money or my life, so I stumble back through some dead but thick bushes for cover and ready my heavy crossbow.

The first marauder fires an arrow from his short bow, even though I'm at a fairly long range for the weapon. Does it hit? (Somewhat Unlikely)


Moderate Injury: Hampers action significantly; will require first aid/medical attention.

The arrow bites painfully into my upper thigh, causing me to yelp in pain and fall backward through the bush onto my ass. Damn that bastard's a good shot! Another arrow zings though the bush, inches from my head. This damn crossbow I'm clutching won't do much good against six skilled fighters. I start chanting, attempting to shake their resolve with an unnatural fear. Does my spell spook any of them? (50/50)

Yes, and...

They may be skilled fighters, but their minds are as malleable as children. I see them falter and stare at the trees around them as if they were haunted. One of them turns and bolts, then another. Once the first two break ranks, the rest move to follow.

Panting for breath and gritting my teeth against the pain, I rip the arrow from my thigh and do my best to avoid screaming out loud. I manage to keep it down to a shuddering muffled moan. Chanting through clenched teeth, I dip the steel tip of a crossbow bolt into the blood running down my leg and load it into the heavy crossbow. I'll only have one shot at this. I take a ragged breath as I stand, keeping my weight on my uninjured leg, and aim at the closest retreating marauder. I pull the trigger and send the enchanted bolt whistling toward his back...
(Somewhat Unlikely)

Yes, and...

I gasp in exhilaration as the bolt sinks deep into the muscle near his shoulder blade. The spell draws a generous portion of his life force and feeds it back to me through a long thin misty ribbon of blood. The marauder howls in pain as his injury rapidly worsens, while the injury in my leg rapidly heals. I let out a sneering chuckle as he falls down and cries out to his companions for help. Do they go back for him? (Unlikely)


I dip another bolt into the blood from the nearly closed-up wound in my thigh and cast the spell again. I'd never tried this spell with anything other than a dagger. I'm really staring to like this crossbow! I reach the downed marauder, who is crying now and trying in vain to pull the bolt sticking out of his upper back. Talk about an having an itch you can't scratch! I stand over him and release the second enchanted bolt into the back of his neck, at point blank range. He gurgles for a moment and then dies. The last of his life force drains back to me, mending my leg until it's good as new.

I sling the crossbow onto my back and rip the two bolts out of the corpse with a satisfied grin. Bane lands on a dead branch overhead and caws.

"Did you see that magic trail of blood reach all the way back to where I was standing," I laugh?

Bane caws again, seeming as amused as I am. I sigh, knowing I'm lucky to be alive. I then sneer down at the corpse of the man that would have slit my throat for a few coins. As karma would have it, this particular marauder was the same man that spotted me in the first place and shot me with his short bow. Out of spite, I animate him.

"You can be MY lookout now, until your rotting flesh falls off your bones!"

I let my new zombie lookout shuffle ahead and tell Bane to rest his wings. If those marauders come back after the effects of my fear spell wears off, their gonna catch one glimpse of their reanimated companion and they'll be tucking their tails and running for the hills!

My zombie walks slow, so I gather some brush and dead wood into a clearing for a campfire. Do I find any dead animals nearby? (50/50)


Damn! Do I find any living animals nearby? (50/50)

No, but...

I spot a tinderbox that one of the marauders must have dropped in his haste to get away from the spectral horror I inflicted him with. I shrug and try to start a fire with it. (50/50)

No, and...

I clumsily pound the flint and steel together, grumbling in frustration as the occasional spark falls uselessly onto the frozen kindling. I try and try until my fingers are bruised.

"Dammit Bane! I'm a necromancer, not a woodsman!"

Admitting defeat, I leave the tinderbox lying on the ground and resume walking south after my zombie marauder. Does he shamble his way into any immediate threats? (50/50)

Yes, and...

Dire animal.

A zombie is a terrifying abomination to the average person, but to the average grizzly bear, it's just a snack.


"Holy crap!" I scramble for my crossbow as I look up in time to watch my zombie get swatted down and mauled by a giant bear. "Shouldn't you be hibernating or something?"

The grizzly lets out another blood-curdling roar, as if to answer my question in bear-ese. I try to spook it with a fear spell. (Somewhat Unlikely)


Hard to instill fear when I'm already trembling in my own boots! I cast a pain spell on my loaded crossbow bolt and fire it into the bear's thick hide as it starts to charge. Do I score a hit? (50/50)


I think I only managed to make it angrier. Cawing loudly, my raven swoops down and tries to pluck out the bears eyes. (50/50)


The bear shakes it's head and snaps, nearly killing Bane with one powerful chomp. I mentally admonish my familiar to make sure he doesn't try that again. Meanwhile, the grizzly is nearly on top of me. I frantically grab the magic staff from my belt and try to lodge it into the bear's massive maw before it literally bites my head off. Do I get the handle vertically seated in the grizzly's mouth (Somewhat Unlikely)


The bear swats the stick out of my hand and swats at me next. Do I get mauled? (50/50)


I manage to evade it's face-sized claw and dive for the staff, rolling onto my back as the bear lumbers over me. Do I lodge the staff into the bear's slobbing jaws before it bites into my skull like a juicy apple? (Somewhat Unlikely)


In spite of my warning, Bane dives at the grizzly's eyes again. Does my faithful familiar snatch the bear's eyes with it's sharp little talons and viscous beak? (50/50)


The bear howls in pain as my insolent raven rips into the bear's eyeball before it can shake him off. I use the distraction to jam the staff into the bear's open maw. Is it in? (50/50)


I press the activation rune. Is the magic staff stronger than the bear's jaw? (50/50)

Yes, but...

The handle springs out into a staff, mangling the bear's jaw in the process, but as the enraged bear swats at the stick, I hear it crack. The badly injured bear whines and runs away, bleeding profusely from it's shattered hanging lower jaw. The magic staff lies splintered and useless on the ground. I check myself and my raven, amazed that neither of us are injured.

After collecting my wits, I follow the trail of blood back to the mouth of a cave. I watch from a distance until the beast breathes its last breath. Once its dead I waist no time casting a spell to ignite it's furry carcase, feeding it dead branches until I have a roaring bonfire. The burning hair stinks at first, but once it all goes up in smoke, the charred flesh smells like a nice big well-done roast.

I'll take a break here and feast on bear meat, resuming my journey at noon.

(To be continued...)

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