The Ginger Phylactery

A response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:  Mad Libs

Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — anyone who’s accessible — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a noun. There’s your post title! Now write

Note: This short story uses some of my RPG characters. Some of which I have used here before, others I have not. I will list the primary characters here before I continue any further.

Hunter: A High Elf wizard that has earned the name of “Ash Enchanter”. If he engages you in combat you will either become one of his pawns or be reduced to ash from his intense combat fire magic. Most notable features are his high set cheekbones and slick, pulled back hair. Hunter leads the party and adventurers guild.
Mardo:  A human warlock that plays the role of the tank in an arcane focused party. Average height, average skin colour, Background movie character face. The only thing notable about Mardo is his sibling.
A wood elf druid of the land who acts as the guide of the party. He is their eyes and ears. Sywyn gets distracted very easily and will unleash al manner of hell if he sees anybody violating the natural ground.
Fnem: A halfling draconic sorcerer that stands just above waist height. Fnem is adamant that his real name is Bloodhawk. He’s got a massive ponytail and always has a clean face. Fnem is the cook for the party, typically it’s whatever the latest beast as that they killed is what he serves.


And without further Adeo I present to you, A Ginger Phylactery

We had grown accustomed to the dark, manky environment of the Underdark. Frequent visitations, each lasting between 1 and 3 weeks forced one to adapt to their new surroundings. We knew all the regular gimmicks that the creators of this floor could throw at us. I felt confident in my ability to lead the party to victory.

Sywyn lead us round the neverending passages and to the edge of the Drow city. We had to make it inside and travel down to the next floor. What we wanted was the rumoured sword of Byzagor. It was said that such a blade would unleash the knowledge of the reaver unto whoever held it. We had wanted the sword for ourselves but had been commissioned to retrieve it by some Waterdhavin nobles. They paid well enough. Far more than any of our previous clients. We weren’t mercenaries, more of a delivery company that specialised in retrieving the less common items.”We are the ‘Enigmatic Lemon Zest’ and I am their leader. You may call me ‘Hunter’. Now that

“We are the ‘Enigmatic Lemon Zest’ and I am their leader. You may call me ‘Hunter’. Now that we have paid the tribute, would you  be so kind as to let us pass Master Drow?”

With a sigh, he let the foreigners into his prideful kingdom. I urged the others stick to the goal, not interfere with anyone else and stay in a loose formation with combat spells prepared. If we were to be attacked by the drow it would be on the same road as the ebony staircase. The prison was only a few blocks away and the drow could either claim ‘abomination’ or ‘escaped prisoner’ and have no qualms about blowing out our candle-like existence. Swywn and Fnem broke formation. They would head down the passage first, cloaking themselves in the urban environment and hiding from the guards of the imperialistic drow. Even though we had paid the so-called ‘visitors tax’ we weren’t allowed this deep into the city. The buildings of the upper districts each had an emerald plaque with the house name engraved. I took mental snapshots of each one in case I had to lie my way through  at some stage.

Mardo and I hid in the palace gardens, it was the least visited place in the underground kingdom. I still don’t know why the drow built it. They hate the small patch of sunlight that reaches this far down, and they don’t use the land to grow anything that can be harvI calculated that shift change would occur in 3 hours and 48 minutes so we decided to head out then. Passing through just as the new patrol came on watch, while the old one was still walking away. I prepared the daylight spell in case all else failed and we headed out.

As we exited the gardens, I noticed a strange, reddish vial that was passing through some unsavoury hands. The cloaked figure that took the vial headed in the same direction as us and we made the decision to follow until we no longer headed in the same direction. As we approached the checkpoint I sent my familiar to notify me of any unnatural flowers in the area. If Sywyn or Fnem were to encounter any danger then he would summon up flowers in the exact number, and direction that the ‘trouble’ came from. No flowers. All had gone well for them. They should be setting up camp at the nearest water duct round about now.

Passing through the checkpoint without attracting the attention of any of the guards went a lot easier than I expected. No hassles, not even any sign of suspicion from the watchmen. I disliked scenarios like these, I plan for the worst, for the outcome is never the best. When things went without a hitch I felt as if I had been betrayed.

Pickng up the pace Mardo and I hurried towards the ebony staircase, rushing down its stairs we noticed that a different man now held the vial. In this dim light, it seemed to be more orange than red. It was most peculiar. It was a mystery that I had not yet been able to solve, why did the liquid get lighter as the environment got darker? With a bolt of magical energy, I cast Hold Person on the mysterious figure who immediately froze in place. Morality was not a concern of mine. I was no hero, nor did I aim to be. What I am, is an academic. I have a mind far greater than any other and I shall use this god-given power to solve all the mysteries of this part of the world.

Without looking into the eyes of the man carrying the vial I surveyed each piece of his equipment as I laid it on the stairs. I opened his steel and found a ginger phylactery. I had of this sort of a thing before, I ran an arcana check on the liquid inside here. I got no magical response, the only thing I could detect was the presence of 5 too many souls. There were three of us on this narrow stairway and yet 8 I could feel the presence of 8 souls. Mardo called me over to investigate the man’s face. It seemed to be decaying at an incredibly slow rate. As my eyes traced a mental image of the cloaked figure, the three red dots on his forehead started to glow. I heard footsteps. Something was coming towards us.

The vial in my hand started to shake violently and it broke free of my grip. Out of the darkness, a maggot infested hand snatched at the ginger vial. “Ahh, my new phylactery”