Thursday, 21 September 2017


This is a write up of the events of week four of our new Dungeons and Druids Dragons 5ed campaign.

It makes a nice change form carrying the heavy bag of Malifaux stuff.

I've created a nice Druid character, called Machi Tokai Lautaro. He is not a traditional "Wise old beardy forest bloke type." He is more of a "drug addicted shaman type." Not crazy, but definitely a fish out of water. If only his companions realised that being bitten by the scared snakes was his way of healing them! He's genuinely baffled by why they won't try his mind expanding cactus juice and mushroom strew.

Still he has a good (well neutral) heart and a complete lack of understanding of civilisation on the Sword Coast. Despite everything he tries to keep calm and chop on a hallucinogenic mushroom when times are tough. That way he can be sure of pretty colours and perhaps a chance to play with pink fox.

At a later stage, I'll go through the design mechanics and some of the choices I've made for him in terms of background, abilities, equipment and things like that.


Machi Tokai stretched his arms and grinned. The blood from his wounds dropped to the dust. He giggled. Little red drops of rain making dark marks in the dust. There were lots of these dark marks. Much to his relief, little of it was his. The chaos of battle had made a mess. His companions were alive though, and so was he. This was a good day.

True it had started as badly as most of the recent bad days. He had been wandering around in the dark after his vision quest finished. That wasn't fun, so he'd had some drinks from his flask and had a sing. He had been aware of Asla and Badger arriving. They had yelled at him about wandering off. He tried to explain about his talk to pink fox and his vision quest. About the wisdom that bear and owl had given him. They had yelled louder. He had tried to get them to relax and so he offered them a drink of Xocatel but this seemed to make them yell louder. He had decided that this was a bad omen, to meet angry companions when he offered them wisdom, so he did a scared dance to help calm the spirits. They had rudely interrupted by grabbing his arms. He had explained to them to let him go, as it was unwise to hold a druid. They hadn't listened and wouldn't heed his warnings, so really it was their fault when he vomited on their boots. All had been silence on the walk back to the keep. He was glad they had taken the time to reflect on the valued wisdom he had imparted.

Back at the keep he had tried to follow events since his vision quest. Mostly it appeared people had shouted at each other and run around a lot. They had found a smelly person, and the dragon had carried on eating people. He had suggested that it was probably a good time to go and have a sleep. They had ignored him. Badger had been somewhat prickly and Asla had swept off to the battlements. Machi Tokai was sure that was a bad idea. None of them could hurt a dragon, so being up that high was just giving it a banquet. He had squatted happily against a wall and waited for the world to stop turning into colours around him. 

He had barely had a rest when the inevitable screaming had started. He had pulled himself up to his feet and watched the dragon carry off another guard. He had started walking towards his companions, when some officer shoved a small healing potion into his hand. He smiled and took a draft. His broken ribs healed and even better the painful hangover from the visions faded. He felt invigorated. His father had been against all the drinking and mushrooms because of the pain the next day. Machi Tokai would always disagree, but still it was nice to be cleansed and whole again. He was surprised to feel energetic enough to stop some crazed guardswoman barreling out of the door past him to fight in single combat. He had even agreed to follow Reezka out and watch her engage in combat against the mutant dragon thing. Asla had joined them. If she was annoyed with him before, she seemed to be pleased with him for doing this. He shrugged. He did was was needed. He would heal his companions wounds and if the World Spirit intended he die here, then so be it. It was not for him to second guess.

Besides, he had trusted Reezka's judgement. If she engaged in the battle it could only have been because she was sure of victory or happy with an honoured death. As it transpired he and Asla had managed to save her from death after having a great sword rammed through her heart. He was surprised how easily she was beaten. The dragon man thing had been fast. Machi Tokai had had to work hard not to stab him in the back and burn the body. Druids could not suffer such foul bastardisations of nature. Still he had recognised that he would not have succeeded. He needed some time. Pink Fox had come to him during the night and lead him to new places. Powerful places. Old people had spoken to him. Forgotten people. Those gone before. 

When they had returned to the keep and nursed Reezka, they had rested. They ate and slept. Machi Tokai had risen early. Plunging his hand into the cold ashes of the fire in the hall they slept in. Mixing herbs in with the ash. He had poured the mix on his head and danced. His mind was sharp as mountain air for a few moments and his eyes flash purple. Magic coursed through him and he felt the power of the Great World Spirit flow. He could hold more magic to mind now, and new words burned into his brain. His sacred tattoos had writhed as a new cantrip burned into his flesh. Curiously he felt a hunger and power flow into him. It wanted to be unleashed. 

Slowly they gathered together in the courtyard. The new dawn had held promise. The peace was soon broken. A scrawny priest appeared. Tatty and panicked. He had told of lost men and a valuable monk who they needed to recover. He had offered many of the shiny tokens. 250 of them each. Machi Tokai had asked Hesh about why people needed them so much. Hesh had explained that he, Hesh, had a skin sickness that couldn't be cured except with special scale polish that needed gold. Machi Tokai had nodded. It made sense now. These northerners had a sickness that could only be cured by gold. It explained so much. He had offered his coins to Hesh - the smile and frantic nodding from his companion made the efforts worthwhile. 

They had all agreed with Hesh that they should take this quest. Machi Tokai was delighted. If they had enough gold to cure the sickness, then the grateful people would no doubt help his dying land of Chiclai in gratitude. They left a note for their companions Stei and Badger to join them once they had finished their business, whatever it was.

So they had set out. Carefully they had followed the tracks, though fields and trees into the barren foot hills, but Machi Tokai was struggling. He didn't let it show, but his insides burned. Power was unsettling. Something different was calling to him. He had tried to keep his eyes fixed on Asla's back as she marched ahead. He had been almost ready to scratch his skin raw as they scouted the difficult terrain. Rock messa's loomed from the darkness. Machi Tokai waited for Hesh. He could see Asla getting impatient and Reezka quietly grinding rocks beneath her boot heels. Hesh had returned. "Nothing interesting" he murmured. "a few worthless runts having a miserable breakfast."

Slightly disappointed, they pushed onwards. The rocks loomed larger around them, and Machi Tokai felt his skin run hot and cold. Above them was a noise, he had spun quickly. The others were slightly slower. Atop the rock were enemies. He had screamed. They were at the top of a 15 ft slope. A armoured man with a grim visage, 4 cultists and 2 acolytes. Machi Tokai had screamed lounder. He saw pink fox running ahead of him, skipping playfully ahead, then Fox was a panther. The screaming had got louder and panther had roared, Machi Tokai dreamed he was the panther, and his claws met flesh. He was aware of the smell of prey, and of biting, of screams of the pink meat. The stabs of pain in his side, his teeth trying to tear a acolytes manhood off. Then the world turned sidewise as he felt a powerful blow. He no longer dreamed he was a panther. His mouth hurt and his bones ached. He spat out bits of cloth and felt angry. His companions were there. Bolts of Eldritch Fire from Verina smashed the rocks overhead. He was confused. Two cultists had Reezka on the ground, Hesh was firing arrows and Asla was blasting things. He had turned and received a painful blow from a cultist. "Not such a scary kitty are you now" Machi Tokai had paused. Things had made sense. As his old teachers had said, he would one day cease to be bound only to the form of man. He had pulled his teeth back in a snarl. "I am Machi Tokai, Immortal Druid of the Anodem , Guardian of Chiclai." His voice rose to a Thunderous Blast and ripped through his enemies. One had exploded instantly in a fountain of colours, and the other rocked, partially deafened. Machi Tokai had walked closed and beared his teeth. "Boo" The man had run. Machi Tokai had been surprised by this. "I will find you and eat your testicles" he had yelled giggling. 

Then he had turned to see the armoured man. The armour was tough, and the man was fast. He wouldn't run to save his testicles Machi Tokai had thought. It was true. He was a brute of a man. All rough, narrow face with an overhanging brow and deep set eyes. His nose had been broken and badly set. Rough stubble covered a sharp jaw. His moves were oddly poised. Clever and concise even. The brute had fought hard. Calm and determined. His long and short swords effortlessly keeping his attackers at bay. They were old swords. Sharp and plain, held in old gloves. Asla had started so confident, but under the brutes assault, she had started falling back, only for him to cut her down whilst he held off Machi Tokai and Reezka. He and the Half Orc had fought with fury. The brutes armour was burnt from spells, buckled from blows and had some bolts sticking out, but Machi Tokai had felt the man was still confident of victory. He had to do something more. He was loathe to call his more powerful magics. It was always a risk and a precious resource. He had lashed out with his arm, letting some power flow through the scars and tattoos of his arm. A whip of razor sharp thorns had lashed out and absolutely staggered the brute. He actually looked confused and off balance for the first time. Reezka had moved quickly. Seizing her opportunity, she had kicked him further off balance and smashed her axe into his jaw with mighty force. The brute had fallen, blood fountaining from his neck and jaw. Broken teeth spilling onto the ground. Machi Tokai had smiled and stroked his druids pouch. The man's teeth would come in useful. Such was the balance of all. Life, death, build, destroy. Only great effort could change the balance for a time. He had nodded to Reezka. This would do nothing for her thirst for revenge of course, but it was probably good for her frustrations. Yes he reflected, he felt good. The power was under his control now. He had set his feet on the paths of ancient magic. He would walk as man or beast at will. This alone was worth his trip to the northlands.

Shouting broke into his thoughts. "Asla" cried out Reezka. Machi Tokai moved quickly, his hands opening the pouch for his scared snakes. He would help his friend. After the bad start to the day, upsetting her like that with the vomit, she would be so happy when he got his snakes to bite her and save her life. Yes he thought, I'm finally getting the hang of people.

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