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Thinking Out Loud

Thursday, July 21, 2005

D&D Session Recap - In Poem Form

As I was digging through some of my old Dungeons & Dragons campaign information, I found some scattered notes from one of my very first 3rd Edition campaigns -- suprisingly, one of the very few campaigns I played in instead of DMed. It also happened to be the campaign featuring my favorite character of all time, Mitriv the Bard.

Mitriv was cocky, melodramatic, grandiose and a helluva lot of fun to play. He never introduced himself the same way twice -- I had written up a small sheet with 100 different introductions for him to use (from Mitriv the Magnificent to Mitrive the Slayer of all things Draconic and Otherwise and the like). And he kept a very detailed journal recounting our adventures. As a bard, it made sense that it was all done in poem form.

Here's the crowning achievement of Mitriv's career, a recap of the harrowing adventures right before his unfortunate demise. As part of a small military operation, Mitriv bristled at the chain of command, preferring a far more laidback, freeform approach to problem solving. The party was fairly dysfunctional as a military group, as a whole, but I must admit Mitriv probably made more problems than he solved.

Anyway, here's the last poem he wrote, the last recap of that campaign. I was so excited to stumble across this. Hopefully you'll get a kick out of it.

The Wizard's Tower

Note: I feel this is my crowning achievement... a flurry of conflict, enflamed emotions and visceral confrontations -- the inspiration was almost palpable. If I am remembered for any tale told or rumors whispered, let this be my hallmark. -- Mitriv

(The party: Zul-Bha, or "Zul" was the human ranger commander of the group. Caelin was a human druid, and the only balancing force in the party. Trystyrian, or "Tryst" was a sorcerer of sorts, with a raven familiar named Munin. Endrin was a stocky dwarven cleric, who desperately strove to fit in with the rest of the group. Kark was a totally inept human monk, who was among the clumsiest creatures Mitriv had ever met)

"Honor and courage," Zul did command, "Apply as would a spider"
Zul promoted Caelin the wise, and went to stand beside her
"Poison is for the weak and lame, and for that woman Mitriv"
(Although our rules were firm and clear to let no witness live)

At which Trystyrian tossed his head, feigning not to hear
Then "I'll have no such nonsense," said the druidess dear
"Nature acts as nature will and none of us shall change it"
So to the Spider paradigm again and all asked to embrace it

"We shall do what we shall," Munin's master spake,
"Even spiders find it fit to poison the lives they take"
"To complete this dire mission laid before us by our masters,"
"If poison need, then poison be to reach our goals the faster"

Stout Endrin spoke up at the last, furrowing his brow,
"Havain has blessed us this far through, he'll not abandon us now"
"But, I disagree with Tryst, and many men shall do so,"
"I won't support the use of poison or those that would abuse so"

"Enough" roared Zul-Bha at this, hackles raising like a cat
"Fight with honor, or die without -- it is the end of that!"
"And should you want to second guess my ranking or my reason"
"Be warned of charges at mission's end for all your acts of treason"

Mitriv laughed a merry laugh, yet touched a tint with sorrow
"Words I spoke but yesterday, from Zul's lips come the 'morrow"
"Chastised when I last encouraged tact or a bit of patience"
"Now seen as the leader's words, you accept without reservations"

The fued raged on for quite some time with no real end in sight
'Til Zul and Kark, with Endrin's help, scaled the mountainside
Dragging off the giant's corpse to set it in the earth
They came upon a mountain cave that bore this creature's hearth

Within that giant's filthy lair, we came upon a stranger
An armless, legless desparate wretch, who spoke of coming danger
Hid within that foul cave, among many scattered things
Ashrem had us fetch for him his mighty magicked ring

Grisly growing legs and arms that once had been torn off
A stirring tale of death he told and other hazards warned of
Gritting teeth and steeling nerves, the party soon departed
Heading toward the wizard's keep and the secrets that it guarded

A Serpent and a Lion entwined, mystic symbols on the door
Another etched in symmetry upon the marbled floor
Puzzled by this strange device that none had ever known
Endrin approached with Havain's Mark to see what could be done

"Be the spider," Mitriv quipped, and set upon the walls
Climbing nearly thirty feet before his tragic fall
All the while, beseeching Havain, Endrin summoned grace
A grating noise, a tumbling sound, doors parting in their place

Unto a giant corridor, with strange markings on the floor
Some the lion and the snake that had been seen before
Still others, too, in sinuous script along the entranceway
But before we could investigate, something came our way

Legions of death's own minions! Leashed from the depths of hell!
Zul and Kark and Tryst advanced, each shouting a bloody yell
While Endrin fought among them with his mighty sword
Caelin and Mitriv and Ashrem used tactics upon the horde

A circle in the midst of this raging battle's corridor
A large ring with strange ruins had been set into the floor
At its center a platform stood, motionless in the air
Kark tried to jump upon it, but failed to jump with care

Down he fell into the pit for who knows how many yards
And with an "oomph" and thundrous bang he hit the bottom hard
A broken ankle and damaged ego but still a glimmer of hope
If he could jump up far enough to reach the dangling rope

Up above the battle raged as a sea of undead swarmed
To overcome the righteous group that had become alarmed
The sheer numbers were enough to send most others running
But no others could match their strength, or their wit and cunning

Dozens came and dozens fell, their bones littered the hall
A host of wights lept to the fray, as they watched their minions fall
Vision swimming with bloody rage, Mitriv charged the wights
Heedless of any other need than victory in this fight

Draining every drop of strength released by the adrenaline
Hacking and hewing at rotten flesh, sent them unto death again
Falling back, falling down, the wights were done for good
As our army cut then down exactly where they stood

Then Mitriv spied, along the hall, a horror unbelieved
An abominable automoton, in steel and metal ensheathed
Unleashing his pent up fury, he shouted barbarous cries
Then stormed the golem where it stood and knocked it from the dais.

Coming to and calming down, panting for a breath
Mitriv looked unto the rest, who had defeated death
Scores and scores of broken bones, upon those another score
As many sands as in the desert, or a beach has upon its shore

And then the group slowly made its way back into the middle
Whereupon the strange circle there posed to them a riddle
A magic lock of sorts it was, it kept their progress sealed
But with the last of the riddles solved, a stairway was revealed

1 Comments:

  • Hi, man. Just wanted to thank you for this poem...I used to play a 1st ed. bard, and was always writing things like this after adventures. It reminded me so much of that time in my life-the good and the bad. I'm sorry it took so long for someone to say thank you....but thank you, so much. It was ten years of my life i'll always cherish, and the little ghost of the past you helped scare up made a crappy night turn around.

    Hope life has taken you on to more merry adventures than sad. May love be your guide and serendipity your constant companion.

    By Blogger zidders, at 8:15 PM  

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