Alexander The Alchemist
An accidentally recurring villain is born.
One of my many favorite moments as a DM:
The Party was freshly assembled. Loki the Human Rogue, and his bodyguard Grunt the Half-Orc Fighter had just sprung Keebler the Elf Wizard and Marduc the Half-Elf Bard out of jail for a crime they didn’t realize they had committed (“Oh that chalice we stole was a holy chalice? oh my bad bruh!”).
The party of four returned to the town of Woodgate where Loki had slit the throat of an annoying and minor NPC by the name of Alexander The Alchemist.
You see Alexander had lured Loki and Grunt into a trap in order to harvest their souls for a dark ritual, and when they escaped Loki returned to Alexander and “paid it forward” through his jugular vein. This happened just before the jail break.
So anyway, the newly formed party of four returned to Woodgate and Loki, wishing to show off his handiwork and perhaps loot some potions, brought his new friends to Alexander’s hut to show them what happens when you fuck with Loki.
Loki opened the door and I said
“As the door swings open you look at the floor and see nothing. No body. Only blood splattered on the floor.”
Loki’s player, eyes wide, looked at me in disbelief and said “Wait, WHAT?!”
And so Alexander The Lich was born.
Moral of the story: Always make sure they’re dead.
Never Trust an Obelisk
I was running Out Of The Abyss with a group that ultimately fell apart, but my wife’s character (Benjamin Ulysses Booplesnoot III) managed to survive that groups fallout and went on to many more great adventures. During a particular session they had entered a cave in the Underdark and were searching for something when they stumbled upon a tall obsidian obelisk. Now I had done a terrible job of reading the module and actually running it as written, so I was basically taking pieces here and there and stitching them together wherever I saw fit.
So Boople is a Warlock and for a long while my wife was running him as a Warlock of a Fey Patron until she was no longer interested in having a Fey Patron and wanted to switch to a Fiend Patron. So the two of us collaborated on a story whereby Boople had been serving a demon prince that was disguising itself as Titania the Queen of Fairies and Boople was not aware of why his powers suddenly were turning dark and sinister. Well Titania had commanded Boople to find this obelisk and touch a specific ruby to it. So Boople did this.
And then the obelisk lifted from the shaking earth and Boople floated aloft with eyes ablaze and hair writhing like snakes and suddenly the entire party and the obelisk were instantly transported to a a nearby cavern. The ruby broke, and Fraz’ur’blu revealed his true form to Boople and thanked him for finally releasing him from his imprisonment within the ruby. “We’ll meet again some day, I may have need for you in the future…little one…” he bellowed in a deep voice. Boople never figured out how or why the obelisk was important to this task. Neither did I honestly. It just changed something.
There was something about that session, my description, the moment we all got caught up in, that I can still picture that obelisk eerily floating next to a transfixed halfling warlock in the depths of a cavern. Every time I think about it or my wife and I joke about it when there’s literally any obelisk anywhere, we share a look like “we’ve seen some shit, and here’s hoping its not like that one time” as if we both had actually seen it with our own eyes and felt the crackle of electricity on the backs of our necks.
Moral of the Story: Obelisks are shaped like dicks.
The Deck of Many Things (Story 1)
Since the internet loves suggesting things to people its never tried, I threw conventional wisdom to the winds and allowed Marduc the Half-Elf Bard to obtain a complete Deck of Many Things. No tricks. No mitigating. He draws randomly from the deck and I dutifully dish out the results. He chooses to draw of his own free will, it’s not my fault if he ends up in a demi-plane prison. So one of the first cards he draws gives him tons of gems. Instantly rich. This was wonderful. Now he’s hooked on the possibilities. Well he got creative. He decided to dupe a Dwarven Wizard-Miner into drawing a card under the pretext of a friendly game of chance. The wizard-miner made an Arcana check to see if he knew what this deck actually was. He miserably failed. Having just been saved by Marduc and his party he decided this Bard was an alright guy, and sure, why not have a friendly game of chance while we take a Spelljamming Ship back to the Rock of Bral. Well that poor, poor Dwarf drew the Ruin card. He immediately and instantaneously lost all forms of wealth he carried or owned. His coin he worked and sweated for? Gone. His fine jewels and gemstones passed down by generations? Gone. His abode waiting for him back on Bral? Well when he got back to Bral he was greeted by Guards. Framed with Negligent Arson (a very serious crime on The Rock of Bral) and lost his house and home and was sentenced to 30 years Underside (the penal colony on the underside of Bral). When his coin-purse suddenly disappeared he finally recognized what this Bard had just done to him. Defeated. Terrified. Penniless. The Dwarf exclaimed, “You fucker! You sick bastard! You coulda killed me!” To which Marduc said, “Yea. Me too.” and drew a card for himself without a moments hesitation. And a Nine Lives Stealer Shortsword appeared magically in his hands. The Dwarf, tears in his downcast eyes, simply said “Leave me… leave me alone…” and walked away to a dark corner of the ship. That Dwarf sits in prison, on Bral, his life destroyed by Marduc, The Luck Bard, and he plots his revenge with every slow moving turn of that great and terrible asteroid city.