By Sam "Ezra" Teatum
Story-Tellers is usually a simple Friday night affair. There are three small quests, each thrown by a different person. You PC two of the quests and NPC one of them, and go home satisfied. It’s an opportunity for people to do smaller, more personal stories, to sow the seeds of a new plot, or just have less experienced EHs try their hands at throwing a quest. It’s been a staple of the Realms calendar for 10 years.
This years Story-Tellers was a bit different. This year we had a whole weekend of questing! There were 2 quests on Friday night, 5 on Saturday, and 3 more on Sunday, with another story running continuously throughout the weekend, thrown by a variety of different EHs and casts.
Describing them all would take some time, so here’s a quick synopsis of each quest.
· The famous Randyland Reality Eggs made their triumphant return! The heroes of the realms hunted all across site for them, only to find them back where we began.
· A mysterious set of riddles appeared in the center of the tavern, with the answers held by various monsters and inhabitants of Wendmor. Through trickery, negotiation and violence (mostly violence,) we collected the answers, solved the riddle, and were rewarded with treasure!
· The Adventurer’s Guild sent us to stop some bandits attacking a town in Wendmor. What started as a simple job became a run-in with some trolls, a minotaur, and finally a pair of demons who were attempting to destroy the world. Just another days work for the Adventurer’s Guild!
· Tricky things were afoot in the dreaming! The adventurers fought zombies, bandits, and dragons as they sought to fix a mysterious fountain, a “birthplace of life.” After a harsh fight, the heroes had to ferry “dragon fruit” (water balloons) back to the fountain, as zombies attempted to burst them. In the end, the fountain was fixed, and in its waters, a magic sword was forged.
· The lands of Rua Thar Cinn were plunged into chaos with an outbreak of paradoxes. The Avatar of Chronos appeared and asked us to set things right. (He also informed us that Chronos is in the market for a new champion, if that’s the kind of thing you’d be interested in.) The heroes dealt with a cleaning up paradoxes and setting time right again. Did they succeed? I don’t know, because midway through the quest, I made the mistake of catching a Time Snarl when it was thrown at me, and was removed from the quest. Which brings us to the next quest…
· Some idiot fell through a Time Snarl and was held hostage by a drow goddess! The adventurers who hoped to rescue him found themselves racing to find the pieces of Ezra’s fractured psyche before an angry squad of drow caught him, in a high-stakes game of manhunt! Ultimately, they were successful… more or less. Just don’t ask Ezra why he’s a dark elf now.
· A strange organization opposing the Risen Kingdom requested the aid of adventurers to collect chemicals to build a strange magitek weapon. But complications arose as the heroes encountered resistance from the Risen Kingdom themselves! The night quickly became an intense fight for survival, and in the end, the heroes tracked the Risen Kingdom’s forces back to their portal. The portal was closed, but at great cost- in the attempt to seal it, the adventurer named Orion jumped in, and it closed behind him!
· Oh, and during the day, Rosetta took a Reality Egg, and with the help of some trusted friends, used it to make a Rune of Reality.
Sunday: (This is all secondhand, as I was unable to make it on Sunday)
· Throughout the weekend, the players had been interacting with a number of disembodied voices called “Small Gods”, who were in competition to ascend to godhood. Over the course of the weekend, the players had the opportunity to help the small gods, giving them strength by naming them, designing their holy symbols, and beginning to worship them. On Sunday, the heroes finally had to choose who would be the lucky contestant to ascend- and instead they made a new option. With the heroes’ help, the Small Gods ascended to demigodhood as a family.
· The players went to rescue Orion! I haven’t been able to find out much about this quest. Geez, I hope it went well.
· The players were given the chance to go anywhere (or at least into a simulation thereof) using the Delta of Infinite Possibilities. They chose to see how the Risen Kingdom rose in the first place, and learned much.
What I loved about this year’s Story-tellers was the staff’s dedication to their players. Everyone had the chance to feel involved and engaged- the staff went out of their way to make sure that everyone got their own “moment.” Whether it was a player getting his family blade reforged into a magic blade, getting to make a holy symbol for a god, or getting a whole quest thrown for their character, the EHs showed a willingness to roll with the punches and give the players agency on a scope I rarely see in the Realms. The level of effort put in by the Event Holders, Magic Marshalls, and NPC's was above and beyond the call of duty throughout the entire weekend, and it’s that that makes next year’s Story-Tellers a can’t-miss event.