Aesandoral and Surge’s Date: Director’s Cut

Written by Felix

“C’mon Cee, let’s take these guys in!” Aesandoral exclaimed, patting his “son” on the shoulder.

Aesandoral and the eight-year-old grabbed the two bound cultists and dragged them out of the Roadhouse, ignoring the way Freya was being shouted at by Tex and thrown out. The two walked their captives to the army compound. Aesandoral’s eyes lit up as he saw the lieutenant talking to the guards. The massively tall man had his dark hair pulled back, showing off his handsome features.

“Got two prisoners for you!” Aesandoral called out as they approached, sending a wink to Surge. The cultists grumbled lightly as they were handed over to the guards and led inside the large compound. Aesandoral turned to Surge and gave him a smile. When Surge looked pointedly at the child next to them, Aesandoral leaned down whispered in his ear and the child waved goodbye as he ran off back to Freya. The elf stood back up, waving the child off, then turned back to the large man before him. He took in the powerful muscles, yearning to rub his hands on them.

He felt Surge looking at him inquisitively and suddenly noticed how long he had been staring. Blushing a bright pink, he gazed up at Surge, nervous now. The Lieutenant just smiled at him gently.

“…I was about to get dinner when we ran into those guys.” Aesandoral motioned to the general direction the prisoners had been taken. “H-have you eaten yet?”

Surge’s smile had morphed into an amused smirk now, not that Aesandoral had noticed. He was too focused on awaiting Surge’s reply and his own response.

“No, I haven’t.” Surge replied after a moment.

“Do you thin-would you like to…go to dinner with me?” Aesandoral’s voice neared a whisper at the end of his question. He fidgeted and couldn’t meet the taller man’s eyes. Surge was quite amused at the quickly reddening face of the elven king. It was cute.

“Sure! I know a place, come with me.” Surge answered. He motioned for Aesandoral to follow him as he started walking away from the doors of the compound.

They walked through the city of Yamabuchi, side-by-side. Aesandoral battled to keep up with Surge’s impossibly long strides. Thankfully, Surge noticed his struggle and slowed down for his sake.

“Sorry, I often forget how much taller I am than others!” Surge apologized.

“Ah! It’s fine! You can’t help being as tall as you are.” Aesandoral exclaimed, slightly winded from walking so fast. “I mean, I get it, most elves aren’t as tall as I am. In fact, everyone in my family is actually tall.”

“Actually, I’ve been meaning to ask,” Surge pondered how to phrase his question. “Which elves do you…come from, I guess?”

“Oh, the high elves of the Fey Wild.” Aesandoral blushed a bit. He knew it was very uncommon to see a high elf on this plane. Most people didn’t know much about them.

“You’re really a high elf? From the Fey Wild?” Surge asked him excitedly. “They’re said to be direct descendants of the original elves! What’s your family name?”

Surge’s eyes were alight with curiosity.

“You seem really interested!” Aesandoral said shyly. Which was true. Surge seemed to tremble with excitement, like he could barely contain himself.

“Well…I’ve always been fascinated by the elves! Especially the ones in the Fey Wild. They’re so mysterious! I’ve studied as much as I could about them. I even managed to learn elvish!” Surge blushed, embarrassed of the way he was yammering on. Aesandoral thought it was endearing for the man to be so passionate about something. “You didn’t answer my question.”

“Oh yeah…my family name is Magvaris.” Aesandoral answered hesitantly.

Surge’s faced blanked for a moment. Like he wasn’t properly able to process the information. Then he came back even more excited than before.

“You’re ROYALTY?” He exclaimed loudly.

“Shh keep your voice down. I-it’s not something I tell everyone. I’m the crown prince, though technically when my parents died, and my sister disappeared, I’ve taken on the duties of the king.” Aesandoral explained quickly, not wanting to cause a scene. He blushed again, a small bit embarrassed.

“And why would an elven prince be traveling in a human kingdom, helping out a lieutenant with a goblin problem?”

“Well I’m still young so the advisors said it would be good for me to experience life! You know, learn stuff about the world before I settle down properly.” Aesandoral said. “I’m still in contact with my kingdom and I make all the big decisions on important matters. Of course, it’s all super scary, like, what if I majorly screw up something and it jeopardizes the state of the kingdom?”
“I understand the worry. It’s a lot of pressure to deal with making decisions that affect a large amount of people. It’s indeed scary.” Surge replied, warmth in deep voice.

“Something like that’s scary, even for you? But you seem so…capable!”

Surge smiled down at him and Aesand0ral felt his heart skip a beat at the look of affection on the taller man’s face.

“I may seem all calm and collected but on the inside I’m definitely a bundle of nerves and stress.” Surge let out a laugh.

“Well I hope that I can manage to help you relax!” Aesandoral blurted out.

“You’re quite enjoyable to be around. It’s very relaxing, being with you. I like it very much.”

Aesandoral stared at him, flustered by such honest words. He was about to give a reply when Surge suddenly stopped in front of a brightly lit building.

“Here we are!”

The elf gazed at the building, taking it in. A big sign declared the location “Cookie’s Diner” and plenty of people were enjoying their meals inside. Surge took him by the shoulder, and they walked in. The staff greeted Surge enthusiastically. He had obviously been here plenty of times in the past. They were quickly seated in a nearby booth and menus were set down in front of them.

“What would you like to drink?” The waitress asked.

“I’ll have an ale.” Surge said with a smile. The two then looked at Aesandoral, who looked frantically at the menu, searching for the drinks. Unable to find them he said the first thing to come to mind.

“I’ll have…uh…chocolate milk?”

“Alright, I’ll be back with those in a moment.”

Once she was gone, Surge let out a small snicker. “You ordered milk for dinner?” He asked, a playful gleam in his eyes.

“I panicked!” Aesandoral exclaimed. “I don’t go to places like this. You know, with menus and stuff.”

“Do they not have restaurants in the Fey Wild?”

“Well, there was a royal chef, so I never needed to! I didn’t leave the palace much when I was a kid.”

“Of course. Well I’m glad I can give you a new experience.”

The waitress comes with their drinks and takes their food order. Aesandoral, not wanting to make a panic decision again, makes Surge order for the both of them. He may have also not looked at the menu at all. They continued talking about various things, enjoying themselves. They exchanged quite a few stories from their respective childhoods. Aesandoral had many exciting stories to share from his own adventures though he skirted around the fact that he had been an assassin. No need to come out as a criminal to a military officer. Eventually they finish their meals and the waitress comes by and takes their empty plates. She comes back shortly.

“Would you like to order a dessert?”

Surge turned to Aesandoral, a large grin on his face. “I know just what to get! It’s what their famous for after all! We’ll have an order of pumpkin pie!”

A large piece of pie is brought to them, more than enough for the two of them. It’s topped with a dollop of whipped cream and looks absolutely delectable. Aesandoral’s mouth starts to water despite being pretty full from the meal they had just eaten. He thinks there’s definitely plenty of room for the dessert though as they start to dig in. He could easily see why this pie was considered famous. It was really delicious! Too soon, there was only one bite left. The two men looked at each other for half a second before they started ferociously battling for it. Their forks clanked together as they tried to push the other away, smiles on their faces. Soon, though, the battle was won as Surge managed to claim the bite as his own. He slowly lifted the fork to his mouth, showing of his victory. Aesandoral opened his mouth to protest and suddenly found his mouth full of the warm treat instead. He carefully chewed the bite, savoring the flavor, while Surge smirked at him from across the table. This was by far the best pie he had ever eaten.

Surge quietly pays for the meal while Aesandoral chews and soon they are back on the street, walking back to the compound. Just outside the large doors they stop.

“So…uh…” Aesandoral starts, not knowing exactly what to say. He fidgets from foot to foot, as he looks at his crush. Surge looks at him for a moment, lost in thought, before pulling the elf into a tight embrace. They hug for a long minute before pulling apart, looking in each other’s eyes. Surge leans down to Aesandoral’s level and pins him with a kiss. Aesandoral’s heart is beating wildly in his chest as he kisses back, placing his arms around Surge. With much reluctance, Surge releases him.

“Aesandoral,” he says, voice rough. “Just so you know, you didn’t have to bring me a prisoner to get me to go out on a date with you; you could’ve just asked.”

The lieutenant smiles at him as he stands back up and with a last caress of the cheek, turns to walk inside the army compound.
“Goodnight.” He waves a goodbye.

Aesandoral touches his face where Surge’s hand had been, his cheeks warm and dusted pink.


Session 27: The Pamphlets of Daelkyr

Suddenly, we hear someone knocking loudly on the door. It’s a regular knock, not the secret knock! Agatha looks through the small window in the door to see a tall half-elf wearing a handmade leather vest.

“It’s Freya,” the half-elf says.

“Prove it,” says Agatha. 

Freya starts making chicken noises and doing an interpretive dance. “I went out to catch a chicken so I could make fried chicken for Cee,” she explains, acting out the process of chasing a chicken, catching it, and cooking it. “Then I used my Ranger skills to track you here.”

“Hey guys, Freya’s here!” calls Agatha as she opens the door. “They’re in the lounge room with the pool table,” Agatha tells Freya. 

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Session 26: The Cultists of Daelkyr

Thoma is done getting permits at City Hall, so he goes back to Tex’s Roadhouse. But nobody is there, because everyone is still at Stinky Eddie’s house. Thoma looks all over town but can’t find anyone because nobody left a note. As he starts looking around in the criminal section of town, which is where Stinky Eddie lives, he sees a figure in a maroon cloak turn a corner ahead of him. He runs down the alley after the hooded figure, as stealthily as possible. 

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Session 25: What’s the Tea?

Hildegard wakes up in her room at Tex’s Roadhouse after a very strange dream. She rolls over and lands on something hard. It’s the silver scale sword from the dream! She examines it closely, feeling it all over, trying to figure out if it’s an illusion. She wakes up Lilly to ask her if she can see it too. She can, so Hildegard decides to carry it downstairs to see if Thoma can check it out.

In the adjacent room, Thoma hears a small voice in his ear:

“Hey, you promised to soak me in beer.”  

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Session 24: Halloween

Hildegard, Thoma, and Aesandoral are walking down a foggy road at night. There is a Victorian manor to the east which has a few lights on, and to the south there is a pumpkin patch. The fog is so heavy we can’t see if there’s anything in the other directions.

“Where are we?” asks Aesandoral. 

“Where’s Lilly?” asks Hildegard.

“Is this a dream?” asks Thoma. 

All good questions. With answers not forthcoming, we decide to check out the pumpkin patch. It looks like a pretty normal pumpkin patch at night. Just some pumpkins laying on the ground. 

But then one of the pumpkins moves. 

It’s not just one, it’s a half dozen of them rolling towards us for no apparent reason. They look like regular pumpkins except for how they are rolling, and nobody is around who could have pushed them. Also, they give off an evil feeling. Then, three more pumpkins rise up from under the ground all on their own and reveal that they have legs and arms made of vines. They look like pumpkin creatures. 

One of the rolling pumpkins rolls up to Hildegard and self-destructs right on top of her feet. She’s covered in pumpkin guts and bleeding from pumpkin seed shrapnel. Aesandoral throws a Firebolt at another one of the pumpkins, and when it’s hit it oozes orange out. The pumpkin bombs burrow back under the ground where they came from, and then burst up again right next to Thoma. Eventually we kill all of the pumpkin monsters. 

“Ugh, we’re covered in pumpkin crap,” says Aesandoral. 

“At least it’s not raining,” says Hildegard. 

There’s a thunderclap and rain starts pouring down immediately. We decide to go up to the manor. Hildegard approaches the door intending to knock, but it opens on its own. We cautiously go inside, and the door slams shut. When Thoma spins around to look, the door has turned into a blank wall. Some lights come on, revealing that there isn’t much in the room. We stealthily go up to another door inside the house, not breaking stealth for once, and open it. 

The door leads to a corridor which is spinning around. 

“This should not be happening! This is the worst architecture ever!” complains Hildegard. 

The door behind us slams shut, even though nobody remembers actually walking through it, and we are trapped in the spinning corridor. Along the walls, 12 sets of armor and some flying swords come to life and attack us. After a tough battle in which Hildegard gets bloodied, we fight them all off. 

Hildegard sinks to the floor and takes a short rest. Outside, the thunder and lightning has gotten even stronger. There are two doors next to each other at the end of the corridor, and no other way out since the door we came in from has disappeared. Thoma and Aesandoral both investigate them heavily but can’t come to any conclusions about what is on the other side.

After a long bout of investigating and brainstorming, a piece of gold paper floats down from the ceiling and settles on the floor. Hildegard looks up but doesn’t see any windows, vents, or places where the paper could have come in from. 

Thoma picks up the piece of paper. It says in Common, Just pick a fucking door! 

Thoma shrugs and opens the door on the right-hand side. “Always choose the right-hand path, am I right?” he says rhetorically. 

Just as Thoma walks through the door, he has a split second to see a chest in the middle of the room before the door slams shut behind him and he is struck blind. (There was some kind of light source in there, he wouldn’t have walked into a pitch black room)

“Is there anything else in the room?” David asks Felix, the DM.

“Not that you can see,” replies Felix

This should get some kind of bad joke award

Despite being blind, Thoma can tell that the room is full of beasts. He can hear their feet on the floor, their breathing, and their growling. Thoma closes his eyes and concentrates. It sounds redundant but it helps him imagine that everything would be there if he opened them again. He hears something move and determines that it’s right in front of him. Thoma casts Hypnotic Pattern and the sounds of movement stop. Then he casts Witch Bolt directly forward and he hears the sizzle of the spell and a thud as something falls to the floor. 

Thoma blasts Witch Bolts over and over. It seems like they will never stop. It’s like one of his nightmares. No matter how many times he casts the spell, there is an infinite supply of aberrations and he can never save himself from them. He can never be fast enough. I can never be strong enough. They’re coming and when I get tired they’ll turn me into an aberration like them. 

Thoma casts a spell that he doesn’t use very often because it scares him. It’s called Evard’s Black Tentacles, and it makes black tentacles. But the tentacles go in the wrong direction and rebound on him and slap him across the face. 

Thoma reflexively opens his eyes when he gets slapped. That’s not supposed to happen! he thinks. Is this a dream? There’s a sconce on the wall, I’ll get it and–Thoma realizes that ever since he opened his eyes he can see. 

It’s a dream! 

And just like that, the aberrations are gone, and there is no sign of any of them ever having been there. Nothing is left in the room except some wall sconces and the chest. The door from which he came in must have vanished. 

Thoma checks the chest for traps, finds none, and opens it cautiously. Inside is a sword and nothing else. The sword is an average length for a one-handed sword, made of metal with a purple sheen to it. The hilt is made of the same purplish metal with lots of eyes molded into it. Based on his jewelry knowledge, Thoma suspects it’s either anodized titanium or painted with a heavy gloss topcoat.

Putting a pair of leather gloves on, Thoma reaches inside the chest and picks up the sword. When he touches it, the eyes open, and he is so startled he drops it. The eyes close again. He experimentally pokes it with a finger and determines that the eyes open when he touches the sword, and close when he is not touching it. So, he picks it up once again and gives it a test swing. 

“Hi,” says the sword, and Thoma almost drops it again. 

“What?” Thoma asks. 

“I said hi. I’m a psychic sword,” says the sword. 

“No kidding,” says Thoma. “So you’re a psychic sword?” 

“Yeah, that’s what I just said, genius. I do 2d8 psychic damage and give you +3 Charisma and +3 to attack. Are you proficient in swords?” 

“Uh… yes? I’m not really a sword person but I have proficiency,” Thoma replies, not understanding half of what the sword is saying but at this point he’s decided to just go along with it. 

“Great! Then you get a proficiency bonus if you use me,” says the sword. 

“That’s cool but I won’t be doing any sword fighting if I’m stuck in here. Do you know the way out?” he asks the sword, feeling ridiculous. 

“I’ll tell you for beer.”

“Uh, I don’t have any beer. But, if I can get out of here and get home, I’ll soak you in beer, is that OK?” 

“Deal. Look under the chest,” the sword tells him. 

Thoma puts the sword down, then strains with both arms until he manages to shove the heavy chest to the side, revealing a trap door. He pulls open the trap door and there is a rope ladder going down. 

“OK, let’s go. Sorry about this, but I need both hands for that rope ladder,” Thoma tells the sword. He pulls off one of his socks, puts it over the top of the blade, and carefully slides it under his belt. It’ll have to do until he can get a proper scabbard. Hopefully his bag is waiting for him back home. Then Thoma starts climbing down the rope ladder. 

When the door slammed shut on Thoma and disappeared, it disappeared on the other side too. Hildegard beat on the wall and called for Thoma for a long time, until Aesandoral convinced her they just have to go. With trepidation, they open the left-hand door. It opens into a dimly lit stairwell that goes both up and down. 

“Upstairs or downstairs?” asks Aesandoral. 

“Upstairs?” guesses Hildegard. She leads the way up the stairs. And up, and up, and up. From the outside, the house looked like it was two or three stories at the most, but they’ve been climbing for over ten minutes and haven’t reached the next landing yet. 

“This is bullshit. We should have went downstairs,” complains Aesandoral.

“OK, this doesn’t seem right. Let’s climb for one more minute, and if we still haven’t reached anything, we’ll turn back,” Hildegard declares. 

Sure enough, they keep climbing and there’s still nothing. 

“Fuck this shit, let’s turn back,” says Aesandoral, and Hildegard agrees. They turn back and go down maybe 20 or 30 steps and somehow reach a landing. It looks different from when they entered the stairwell. 

“Let’s check this out,” says Aesandoral, and opens the door. It leads to a mostly empty, windowless room with a chest in the center. Like most of the other doors in this house, the door shuts behind them and seals into the wall. 

A gold piece of paper somehow flutters down from the featureless ceiling. Aesandoral picks it up and it says in Common:

Solve these riddles three:

The person who built it sold it. The person who bought it never used it. The person who used it never saw it. What is it?

Hildegard says confidently, “A coffin!” 

The text flashes, and the ink the riddle was written in sizzles up and evaporates off the paper, leaving it as smooth and blank as if nothing had been written there.

The next riddle says: I am a body with a leg, an arm, and a head but I look like I am naked and bare. What am I?

Hildegard is totally stumped but Aesandoral gets it, it’s a skeleton. 

The second riddle flashes and evaporates off the paper just like the first one did. 

The third riddle is: What is tall when it’s young and short when it’s old?

Hildegard and Aesandoral both know that this is a candle.

The third riddle disappears off the paper, leaving it completely blank. 

When all three riddles have been answered, the paper itself jumps up out of Aesandoral’s hand, does a little origami fold, and somehow turns itself into a key. Aesandoral picks up the key and tries it in the chest. It works perfectly. Inside the chest there is a silver sword and a platinum bracelet. There are no traps on the chest.

“This looks Elvish, I want it,” says Aesandoral, taking the bracelet and putting the sword on the floor. 

“OK, it’s only fair I get this sword,” replies Hildegard, picking up the sword. It’s a silver one-handed sword with a scale design etched into the hilt. It kind of looks like dragon scales, although to be fair they could be almost any kind of scales since most scales look alike. Some small markings on the blade indicate that the sword will do radiant damage. 

“Who would leave this stuff here?” Hildegard wonders as she investigates the sword and then the chest. 

Aesandoral doesn’t respond. He is inspecting the bracelet and saying stuff in Elvish. Suddenly, when he says a certain word the bracelet turns into a platinum bow. Aesandoral immediately raises it and tests the draw strength, only to find that when he pulls it back it loads itself with arrows made of fire. 

“Awesome!” exclaims Aesandoral in Elvish. 

Meanwhile, Hildegard notices a wobble in the chest, so she pushes it to the side and discovers it wobbled because it was sitting on a trapdoor. 

“Hey look at this!” 

Aesandoral checks the trapdoor for traps, then opens it to find a rope ladder. 

“We might as well…” says Aesandoral, motioning for Hildegard to go first. They both climb down the rope ladder and land in a huge room with marble walls, chandeliers, and big fancy wall sconces. To Hildegard’s delight, Thoma is in the middle of the room, kneeling over a prone figure. To Aesandoral’s delight, the prone figure turns out to be Lt. Surge. 

Aesandoral and Hildegard run over and Aesandoral wakes Surge up. He’s not injured. The last thing he remembers is going to bed in his tower and then waking up here in the middle of this room. 

Thoma tells him (and us) what happened and shows us his new sword. 

Aesandoral shows off his bow and says, “Wow, we just answered some riddles.” Thoma looks miffed. 

Just then, we hear a laugh, and a rider on a night mare appears. The room has high enough ceilings that it looks plausible and not totally ridiculous like a horse would usually look inside a house. 

“So you’ve come for my treasure!” the rider says.

“That’s a Death Knight! He’s a CR 17!” gasps Aesandoral. 

“What’s a CR 17?” asks Surge. 

Aesandoral shoots his horse with his regular bow. “Aim for the horse, he’s going to be immune to fire while he’s on the night mare!” 

We do target the horse first, and manage to slow it down some as it charges our way. The Death Knight rides up to Hildegard and slashes her, leaving a wound tinged black with necrotic damage. 

Lt. Surge hits both of them with Ice Storm and the night mare goes down. The Knight falls off the horse and lands on the ground, slipping on the ice and falling prone. Now he isn’t immune to fire anymore. 

Hildegard strikes with her new sword. She watches as it glows white-hot with radiance as it strikes the Death Knight. It seems much more powerful than any other sword she’s used before. Thoma jumps in with a Hex. 

“Fireball in the hole!” yells Surge, and Hildegard, Thoma, and Aesandoral retreat. Then, Surge drops a Fireball right on top of the Knight. The explosion is literally blinding. 

When the smoke clears, the Death Knight is gone, and a chest is in his place. Aesandoral checks it for traps, then checks it twice at Thoma’s insistence. He opens it to find 10,000 gold and a whole lot of fog coming out. The fog doesn’t smell like it’s poisonous but it gets thicker and thicker and until nobody can see anything anymore.

Then Hildegard wakes up. 

Session 23: The Parent-Teacher Conference

“I am Phebanlexia the druid. You wanted to see me?”

Phebanlexia is a bronze dragonborn wearing armor and a mud-stained green cloak. No shoes, of course. She’s well over 6 feet tall, a head taller than Hildegard and towering over everyone except Lt. Surge. She has gold eyes and is carrying a magical scepter that appears to be handmade from a tree branch. As a bronze dragon she has an affinity for lightning, just as Hildegard as a copper dragon has an affinity for acid.

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Session 21: Kokumotsu

Aesandoral is still having a great long chat with Slobbo, which sounds like gobbledygook to those party members who can’t speak Goblin.  

Suddenly, 10 wolf-riders and 3 direwolves appear in the distance, cutting the interview short. Hildegard gets off an arrow first, but the goblins shoot back, hitting Lilly and Aesandoral. He and Lilly retreat and heal. It occurs to Lilly that this could get dangerous. We haven’t had a chance to heal since the last battle, and she and Baccob might run out of spells. 

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Session 20: Interview With a Goblin

Today we are escorting eight merchant wagons to Kokumotsu, the grain-farming village that Hildegard, Thoma, and Lilly had visited a week ago. We are going out on a patrol using borrowed horses from the army stable. Since the army horses only have numbers instead of names, Aesandoral decides to call his horse Chicken.

We have been riding for about 3 hours and we are perhaps half an hour away when we see a pack of wolves in the distance. It’s 10 goblins riding wolves and 3 direwolves out on patrol. When Aesandoral sees them, he throws a low-flying Firebolt, setting the dry autumn grass on fire in a huge line behind it.  

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Session 19: The Master Plan

The next morning, it’s time for breakfast at the Texas Roadhouse.

“Pardon me, we’re out of fireWOOD,” says Tex as he heads out the door. Aesandoral looks up with a start. He thought he saw something shimmer when Tex said WOOD. 

“Did you see that?”

Cee sighs heavily. “I hope they get the GRAIN shipments in soon.” Aesandoral sees gold sparkles over Cee’s head when he mentions GRAIN.

“Don’t worry Cee, we’re going to investigate today,” says Lilly reassuringly.

“Something is wrong! I’m seeing sparkles!” says Aesandoral. 

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