From Beeble’s Diary
Okay, Diary. I’m kind of…I don’t even know. I just had this crazy dream. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’re sitting next to a GHOST STORM GIANT SARCOPHAGUS, but I need to get this down. It’s crazy.
I was driving along in my gnomish magically-self-propelled chariot. I was driving from Crumblesbrook (it wasn’t ruined in my dream…) to visit my pal Fernando in Tinder. He owned a shop at which he rented out these strange crystal balls. On them, you could watch previous scryings. Some of these are interactive. Most of all, though, they’re entertaining. They’re an ancient gnomish secret; you wouldn’t understand. The point of the journey is that we were getting together with some friends and we were going to play a strange game that involved dice, charcoal sticks, parchment, and imagination. Anyway. I got to his shop, Fernando’s Curious Balls, and went in to visit him.
A young human man was walking out with a small, jingling pouch and he had a satisfied look on his face. I pushed past him and wandered in to see Fernando. He had an armful of crystal balls. The interactive type. There were, like, ten or fifteen of them. He said, “HOLY CRAP, BEEBLE! I JUST GOT ALL OF THESE FOR THIRTEEN GOLD PIECES!” I said, “HOLY CRAP! WHAT DID YOU GET?” He showed me the crystal balls and two of them piqued my interest. They were two parts of a series about a god of war. He told me he’d sell me both of them for ten gold pieces. Before I set out on my journey, I had deposited all of my coins in the Gnomish Bank, but I could write him a bank note for ten gold pieces. I excitedly went out to my chariot to grab my bank note book and went back into the store and wrote him a note for ten gold pieces.
Around that time, Daxxtos, Soolie, and Torchorth arrived. They were carrying three strange pies of meat, sauce, and cheese and a box of sweet, sugary beverages. Fernando showed them his balls and they were impressed. Soolie found one about stealth and psionic warfare and Fernando said he’d sell it to him for seven gold pieces, to which Soolie consented. Fernando was excited that, in a matter of minutes, he had already recouped his losses!
Around that time, a group of the mundane general public entered the shop. They pondered the shelves of Fernando’s balls while Daxxtos, Soolie, and Torchorth wandered into the back room to prepare for our conference. So I wouldn’t be a distraction to the customers or Fernando, I wandered and perused the shelves of balls. I found my usual haunt, the shelf of “horror” balls, and looked at them. Then it dawned on me: I was supposed to call my mother on my personal scrying device to let her know that I wasn’t dead (yeah, she was alive in my dream; it’s almost as if this dream was the life of someone else). I figured it was a good time to do that because I was really craving a pipe-full of fine tobacco.
I told Fernando that I would be right back and I walked out to my chariot to grab my pipe, pouch of tobacco, and magical fire stick. I called my mother.
“Hey, mum. I’m alive and in Tinder. I…”
“They keys for my magically-self-propelled chariot are locked inside of it.”
“And so are my pipe and tobacco.”
“Oh, no,” lamented my mother.
“I need to let you go. I have to figure this out.”
“Okay. Good luck.”
I went back into the shop and told the others of the bad news. They asked me if there was anything I would be able to do. I had a few ideas. One idea was to pick the lock. Fernando gave me a length of wire to use to try to pick the lock. This had happened to me once in the past and I had contacted a thief to pick the lock for me and he made it look easy. It wasn’t easy. I wiggled the wire around, but had no idea what I was doing. Soolie ran to his father’s house (I don’t even know if his father lives in Tinder...this dream was weird…) to get a longer wire. He returned and I attempted to use that, but to no avail. Fernando, Soolie, Daxxtos, and Torchorth all tried, but again, to no avail. I decided to call my expensive chariot assistance service to see what they could do.
A monotonous, false voice droned, “Thank you for scrying the Horizon Roadside Assistance Hotline. All of our operators are busy at the moment, but your scry is very important to us. Please hold.”
Then really crappy music started playing as I paced, waiting for a sentient being to speak to. My craving for tobacco was getting intense.
Three minutes later: “Thank you for calling the Horizon Roadside Assistance Hotline. My name is Shathoznikh, and I will be helping you today. Are you in a safe location?”
She then asked me many details such as my scrying number, the name on the account, the details of my chariot, where I was (and she wanted EXACT details). Then she told me to hold. More crappy music. My friends were craving more sweet, sugary beverages, so they walked to a shop down the street to get some after Fernando closed up his shop. I paced.
“Thank you for holding, sir.” I’m not a knight, but I didn’t correct her.
“What city did you say you were in?”
“Thank you. Please hold.”
I sighed. More crappy music. Whoever the bards were who were playing this not only sucked, but sounded like they were playing underwater. I paced. I sighed. Fernando, Daxxtos, Soolie, and Torchorth showed up again and Fernando handed me a huge flagon filled with a combination of cola bean tea and carbonated orange juice. It was something we had drunk while visiting Barchil and it was delicious. I was very appreciative. I paced while they jiggled the lock some more.
The crappy music stopped. “Thank you for holding, sir. Grazhnazzikh bechizad thruggik?”
“Um. I’m sorry. What did you say?” I wasn’t sure if she was speaking orcish or if I just couldn’t understand her.
“Sir, what is the address of the place you are at?”
“Oh. Um.” I walked to the front of the building, but I couldn’t see the building number. “Let me ask the proprietor of this fine establishment. Fernando, what is the address of your store?”
He told me and I repeated it to Shathoznikh. Eight times. Because I couldn’t get it right. I really was craving fine tobacco at this point. I got it right, finally.
“Okay,” she said, “And what road is that on?”
“It’s on the main road going right through Tinder. You can’t miss it.”
“Okay, sir. Please hold.”
I sighed and sipped at my tasty beverage. At that point, Fernando had gotten the wire stuck in the door of my chariot. He kept saying things like, “CRITICAL FAIL!” and “I rolled a one!” I had no idea what he was talking about. People say weird things in dreams. I didn’t quite understand how he had done that, either…he’s generally omnipotent and could have easily had rocks fall and gently caress open the lock, but…dreams are weird. Anyway, they fanaggled it out and I told them to stop because I didn’t want it to get broken. The crappy music stopped. Thankfully. Those bards sucked.
“Thank you for holding, sir. Your scry is very important to us. I’m seeing that you are at Fernando’s Curious Balls. Is that correct?”
“Yes. That’s what I told you before, isn’t it?” I tried to hold back my bitterness.
“What is the cross-street?” she asked.
The hell? This is a podunk. There are no cross-streets, I thought to myself. I said, “There isn’t a cross-street. I’m right on the main road going through Tinder.”
“Sir,” she said (and I was getting sick of the “sir” thing), “I am seeing that there is a road nearby. Griswald’s Road. Is that near your location?”
“Um. That’s about a half-mile away.”
“Okay, sir. Please hold for two to three minutes while I contact an agent to help you.”
I sighed. I paced. Crappy music played. I was relieved that I’d get help.
Five minutes later: “I’m sorry, sir. There are no agents in your city.”
“Are there any other cities nearby?”
“Okay, sir. Please hold while I call for an agent in Gerbod.”
I sighed. I paced. Crappy music played. I was getting bitterer and bitterer by the minute.
Several minutes later: “Thank you for holding, sir. There are no agents in Gerbod who can help you. I called an agent in Suxold and he said that you are about one mile out of his range of service. Are there any other cities?”
“Uh, no. Not really. Those are about the closest.”
“I could try an agent in Kalimaar.”
“No. Kalimaar’s further away than Suxold. You know what? I’m going to see what I can do. I think we might be able to figure it out.”
“Okay, sir. I am sorry I was unable to help you.”
“It’s okay. You gave it your best. Have a good one.”
It started getting dark. Mechum was at work next door and I hoped that he would be getting a break soon and that he’d come help and perhaps let me borrow his pipe and some of his tobacco. The mosquitoes started coming out and we jiggled the lock for a while, but to no avail. We went into Fernando’s store so I could get some of the pie that my buddies brought. While we were in there, Fernando consulted his crystal ball and a thief showed us how to pick the lock on a gnomish magically-self-propelled chariot. I felt resolve; I knew I could do this. I went back to my chariot and gave it a try. It didn’t work. Dammit.
I decided to call the City Guard of Portsport on my scrying device to see if they could do anything. I was redirected to the guard on duty at the city jail.
“Portsport City Jail, this is Officer Michael. How may I help you?”
“Yeah, I’m locked out of my gnomish magically-self-propelled chariot. Is there anything you can do to help me?”
“Ummmm,” the officer said, “Hold on a minute.” I could hear him having a muffled conversation with, I presume, another officer. I could hear him ask if they helped with that sort of situation and I heard the other officer say something, but I couldn’t hear what he said. Officer Michael returned and asked, “Are you in the city?”
“Uh, no, I am not. I am in Tinder.”
“Yeah, no. We don’t help with that problem anymore.” He mumbled a name for me to scry that sounded vaguely familiar and ended the call.
“Bastard,” I muttered. Too bad he didn’t hear me.
I scryed the guy he mumbled to me about. The guy sounded pissed and as if I had just woken him up. He told me that he didn’t do it, but that one of his friends might, but that it wouldn’t be cheap. I thanked him for his time and went back to jiggling the door. Mosquitoes were eating us.
Then Agars showed up. He gave it a go for a long time. He tried all kinds of things. He tried the wire; he tried a rig made up of the wire and some string with keys tied to the end; he made some rig out of the wire and string and the fishing pole that was locked inside my car…I have no idea how he did that. It’s too bad neither of us had memorized knock.
That went on for a while. My mother kept scrying me and trying to help me figure out a way to get into my chariot, but she couldn’t come up with anything, and neither could I. Besides breaking the window. I put that idea off for the time being; I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t have the gold pieces to pay for a new window.
I scryed my girlfriend (yeah, I had a girlfriend in my dream…like I said, it’s like it was the life of someone else…) and she gave me a method for breaking into locked gnomish magically-self-propelled chariots. I don’t know how she knew that, but I thought it was awesome regardless. We tried it, but it didn’t work because of the way my chariot was set up. I decided to take a clue from the thieves I’ve seen in my day and I grabbed some makeshift lockpicks. I stuck them in the key hole, jiggled them around a bit, and saw that I was bending the metal. I decided to stop.
I was getting pretty desperate for tobacco at this point. I had access to none. Soolie scryed a friend of his. He said his friend would show up in a little while. While we were waiting, Agars and Fernando kept at it.
Eventually, Soolie’s friend showed up. He had another guy with him, as well as two girls. I was pretty sure they were underage, but I think the guys were underage, too, so…no harm, no foul, I guess. They were saying stupid things to me and I said that if I didn’t have tobacco now, I was going to snap. They, for some reason, handed me a pipe filled with fine tobacco. I couldn’t believe it. It was wonderful. The other guy grabbed the wire that Agars had been using, pulled out a wire of his own, slipped them in through the door and had it open in less than ten minutes. Then he, Soolie’s friend, and the two girls vanished mysteriously into the night. I was delighted beyond belief. I grabbed my pipe, pouch of tobacco, fire stick, keys, and my materials for the game we were playing. I quadruple-checked to make sure I had my keys in my pocket, locked my chariot, quadruple-checked for my keys again, closed the door, and once again checked for my keys. I had them. We went back into Fernando’s shop.
Then I woke up. We were in the GHOST STONE GIANT TOMB OF DOOM again. Then we adventured! And that, Diary, is the crazy dream I had.
| ← So here we are…still… | Beeble’s Diary | It came to me in a dream → |
Metagame: This event is a true story but rewritten as if it happened to Tinder’s Champions. I went to meet my D&D group for our usual game and locked my keys in the car and there was an outpouring of help from the entire group to help me. It cut our session short, but overall, especially in retrospect, it wasn’t too bad of an experience.