Nick Nichols

Clojure Developer and Dungeon Master

The Alcoholic Amnesiac


It is the 952nd year in the Second Age, and Ivalion remains at war. For nearly 800 continuous years, The Empire of the First Sun, the Kingdom of the Red Lion, and the Eternal Horde have fought and bled over their shared continent. Few remember how the fighting began, but all know the price it bears. For the last century, the conflict has turned into a prolonged stalemate, and people have fallen into an uncomfortable lull. Each quiet moment is a blessing.

In this continent, there are few places one can truly call safe; however, Longview might just stand out as paradise. Tucked away on the remote Crescent Islands, the small, strewn out village is a peaceful place filled with happy faces. They have managed to preserve this dream like state for nearly 200 years.

Perhaps this is what originally drew Sif away from the mainland. He had grown weary of the Life God’s power being used as little more than an instrument of war, and, unable to remember anything except for the past year of his life, had no ties to the hustle and bustle of Ivalion. For the last few months, he had enjoyed passing the days helping the people build homes and lives, making friends with the tabby cat at Dorek’s tavern, and sleeping beneath the stars.

Here in this quiet place, our story begins to unfold. We begin in the early, honest hours of the day. The skies are peaceful for the moment, but, on the horizon, things look far worse. Sif picks up his meager possessions, chief among them his trust mace Estelle, and heads towards town, unsure of what awaits him.

The Alcoholic Amnesiac

At a brisk 5:30 AM, Sif takes a modest swig of Maltört from the flask on his hip, as is his custom. As the sweet and soulful taste of wormwood and juniper berries coats his throat, he makes his way towards town. As he approaches the bar, he encounters Dorek, the bartender, and Jac, the captain of the boat that delivers supplies to each of the local islands. They carry worried looks on their faces, and tell Sif that Tim, an elderly human not too far away, has reported many of his farming tools as missing or destroyed. While they’d normally chalk it up to his forgetfulness, they’ve also heard rumors of a small-time gang taking up residence on one of the islands.

Sif agrees to look into the problem immediately, and Jac offers him a ride to the other island. Sif, horrified of the open waters, asks to lock himself in the boat’s quarters; however, Jac informs him that a strange Elven man has paid handsomely for privacy as he tours the islands. Dismayed, Sif boards the ship, and swallows a massive lump in his throat as he sees a storm roll in. During the horrendous trip, Sif throws up several times before attempting to cure his sea-sickness with alcohol.

It doesn’t work.

After braving the weather, they dock up at the small island Tim calls home. Jac mentions the elf had also requested to visit this very island, so Sif immediately waves goodbye and walks directly towards Tim’s house.

Upon arriving at Tim’s worn-down cabin, Sif is immediately greeted by tried-and-true complaints such as, “It took them long enough to check in on me,” “Nobody has time to stop by anymore,” and “In my day, you had to swim between these islands.” Sif chimes in, and further complains about how easy everything is in the current day and age. The two curmudgeons then discuss the real cause of Sif’s visits- the missing tools. Tim stands in his doorway while his new friend investigates the area. A brief search uncovers tiny footprints scurrying about, and many broken handles to rakes, hoes, and other gardening tools with dual-purpose names. They note that only the metal portions had gone missing, and that Tim was also missing the jar full of nails he kept on his windowsill- the only part of his home to receive direct damage. Sif agrees to take watch for the night, and Tim makes them a good, old-fashioned potato soup.

Long after dark, Sif hears the scratching of claws against wood and investigates. He finds a young goblin hurriedly rummaging through Tim’s toolshed, and quickly leaps to action. Between the extreme lack of light and experience, neither manages to land a blow for a while, until an arc of white light wizzes past Sif’s face, fatally striking his foe. An arrow of glowing energy extends out of the goblin’s skull, and Sif looks over towards Jac’s boat. He sees an elf faintly illuminated by a glowing bow returning to his quarters. To commemorate his foe’s memory, Sif takes a drink.

The next morning, he relays the news to Tim and promises to search the rest of the island. After thirty minutes, he finds a cave pressed against the shoreline. Inside, he encounters two more goblins. The first one is quickly incinerated by Sacred Flame, and the other one is given a good taste of Estelle. With his foes defeated, Sif discovers why the tools had been stolen. All of the metal had, in a very haphazard fashion, been used to further seal shut a small crate in the corner of the cave. When he picks the crate up, a chill runs down his spine before he immediately bashes it open with a rock.

Sif is disappointed that the box only contained a small, polished black stone, but decides to keep it because it “looks cool.” He rushes back to tell Tim that all his problems are solved, except for his lack of tools. Tim seems distraught, but thanks the young cleric. Sif tries to offer him a drink, but, when he declines, takes both for himself. His work done, and his flask empty, Sif returns to Jac’s boat and catches another ride to Longview. Jac asks Sif if he saw his mysterious passenger on the island, but Sif shrugs his shoulders.

Now docked at Longview, Sif decides to investigate his nautical companion and knocks on the door. The standoffish yet very well-dressed elf introduces himself as Aelith, a treasure hunter. Sif asks him if he knows of any cool places to visit, or, failing that, if he could buy a map. Aelith agrees, but for the price of 5 copper pieces. Sif shows him the stone, and Aelith, with a look of utter shock, immediately agrees to trade the stone for one of his maps. Sif asks to celebrate over a drink, and Aelith includes an extremely rare bottle of wine in the trade. Thoroughly pleased with the greatest deal of the century, Sif wanders back to the tavern to drink his wine, among other things.

Next Chapter: A Serious Problem In Cirrus >