Our party stood on the top of Yesterhill, having slain the druids and reclaimed the first of the Wizard of Wines’ magical gems. Next on their list, Baba Lysaga, the Witch of the Wastes.
The players in my latest game all work at an excellent local tea house. It is a fantastic place for weaning yourself off sugary soft drinks, great conversation, and preparing to run RPG sessions.
There are many traditional teas there with interesting names and they struck on the idea of naming and/or theming their characters after some of them.
Osmanthus, Tiefling Warlock. Osmanthus is one of several teas made with flowers from the Osmanthus fragrans plant. Curled horns that blend in to curly hair, curvy and of somewhat ambiguous gender. Claims to have a restaurant back in the city.
Dragonwell, Dragonborn Druid. The literal translation of Longjing, a pan-roasted green tea. Small for a dragonborn, anxious and obsessively brushes her teeth.
Igom Ternin, Human Paladin. Named by way of acronym for Iron Goddess of Mercy, an oolong tea which is named for the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Rustic and earnest, carries a big axe.
Cha’ti, Apeling Monk. Inspired by Golden Monkey, a black tea, as well as the legendary figure Sun Wukong. Metallic golden fur, except for his perfectly white tail. Tiny but fast as lightning.
After meeting the heroes of our nascent story during the character creation session, I decided to set the campaign in The Forgotten Realms. There are analogs for many medieval Asian cultures in the land of Kara-Tur. It is the far east of the same super-continent that Faerun is on. Between the two there is a fantasy Silk Road called The Golden Way. Adding Faerun’s tea trade as a feature of the story seemed like an organic way of reinforcing the tea house theme. We are using the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules.
Our humble party headed south to Yester Hill this session, in search of the druid conclave and hopefully one of the mystic gems belonging to the Wizard of Wines. And as is so common with this group, they completely derailed a carefully planned encounter and then almost died. Thankfully they have a badass rogue with a very nasty crossbow.
Having dropped the fair Ireena off with Father Lucian at the church of St. Andral, our brave party set off west to find the Wizard of Wines. This particular session started off calm, gained a tinge of unsettling horror, and then delved into the comedic.
Madam Eva has popped up multiple times in the adventure so far, and so the party sets out in search of her. And in finding her they hope for answers as to how they might return home. As well as more knowledge about their great enemy, Strahd.
This session began immediately after the last one ended. With the Burgomaster lying dead, slain by the parties ranger under the control of Strahd. The fair Ireena huddled over his body in tears, and the party as a whole somewhat in shock.
I grew up playing 2nd edition D&D, and my two favorite worlds were the deserts of DarkSun and the mists of Ravenloft. So when our group’s DM decided he wanted to take a break, I stepped in to take the party to the gothic horror realm of Barovia with my take on the fifth edition Curse of Strahd module.