Session 03.1 Prologue: Battle of the Boasts
This is intended to prepare you for a role play situation that is coming up. You are welcome to write up something that fits your character, and even post it here.
The session will eventually take the players to the Pegasus Tavern in the Nestora region to the land. It is a well know tavern and when you arrive, they will be engaged in a tradition that spans the known worlds – Battle of the Boasts. Once inside, the crowd hushes, and a reedy, lanky elf wreathed in tattoos and multicolored silks takes the stage. She holds up her hands, as if to make a declaration of great import.
“As part of the night’s entertainment, we offer you a chance to aid us in the spinning of a grand tale: the legend of Lady Vadja and the Warlord!”
Everyone bursts into cheers, but she waves her hands urgently, bringing their exultation down to a low series of murmurs.
“I have heard tell that on this night, we are graced with friends of our beloved Beer Baron. Is that so?”
The crowd parts as if by magic, forming a clear line of sight between you and the minstrel. She flashes you a smile that’s equal parts warm and playful.
“Travelers, we have told the legend many times at the Pegasus, and seen the same would-be storytellers time and time again. Tonight, would you grace us with something new?”
All eyes turn to you. The air crackles with anticipation.
This is an invitation to participate in a widely known storytelling game that is common across Valkana. Usually, the professional entertainers retell various legends from the Chaos Wars, but then leave a space for members of the audience to insert themselves in the tale and spin the events in a relatable, contemporary way. This particular version, the Legend of Lady Vadja, requires the participants to boast about their achievements in the most grandiose way possible. The audience judges the best tale with a vote of applause.
The event begins on a current of low drumbeats and flutes. One of the minstrels stands with his arms crossed, playing the part of the Warlord. Phaera enters from stage right, approaches the man, and gives him a deep bow. “My Lord,” she intones, “We bid you join us in the most worthy of aims: the destruction of the Prophet Dhawan, whose evil has blanketed the world in terror!”
As demanded by the ritual, the crowd boos and jeers at the mention of the Prophet’s name. The “Warlord” frowns, shaking his head. “The Prophet wreaks no havoc on my lands. And she has survived the weight of all nations pressing at her door. What makes you believe that you will triumph against her, when all others have failed?”
Phaera gives a look of mock surprise. “Do you not know me, my Lord? I am the Lady Vadja, the only being fit to wield the Fellhammer, anointed heir to the crown of Zotara!” She paces a circle around him as she speaks. “It was I who prevented the siege of Locklorn Woods. It was I who returned the Scrolls of Portent to the Temple of the Golden Serpent and prevented untold calamity.”
The crowd hollers their support. She waits for them to quiet down. “And,” she says, “I am but one of many companions, whose legends speak boldly as mine. I shall present them, and you shall be the judge.” She sweeps her hand out, inviting the volunteers. “My first companion, come forward, and tell the Warlord of your brightest deeds.”
Part of the reason I made up a one shot adventure before the actual campaign was to fuel ideas for the boasts. Use these, if you want to come up with boasts.