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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 21: Now Serving Number Crazy . . .

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

How you doin cupcake?
NPC Clerks, the true heroes of any campaign!

Welcome back sports fans, I'm your host the DM. Today's lineup included the crazy gnome Quagrim at short stop, with the crazy cleric Tanic at first, the crazy half-elf Calith in far left field, the crazy . . . well, you get the idea. The point is they're all crazy. All of them. And I'm not getting paid enough for this shit . . .

Anyways, as we left our bag of crazy they'd finished enduring the humorous antics of a copper dragon and were on there way back to collect their horses. From the fish people that were undoubtedly force feeding them seaweed.

Eventually they figured out that the latest riddle referred to what was once called the Plains of Gold. Now they were referred to lovingly as The Plaguewrought Lands. Which doesn't sound foreboding at all does it . . .

Again, not wishing to attract the ire of the floating city they tracked back around the mountains the way they'd come and headed for the gap between the Desertsmouth Mountains and the Storm Horn Mountains. They were planning to charter a boat in Cormyr to bring them to these once wonderful plains of gold.

First, a few things about Cormyr. They're . . . a bit more organized (that's probably the nicest way to put it) than your average realm. And they have issues with groups roaming their lands with weapons. At least until said group has registered themselves as an official adventuring band. At which point feel free to carry a full arsenal if you wish. And no, they don't have much in the way of background checks. They just have a fee. Seems a bit like an extortion racket to me, but what do I know, right?

If you've read the sticky at the top of this page then you know where this is going.

They also don't appreciate a bit of good chaotic fun, meaning the cupcakes were going to fit right in . . .

And they like their cats.

/*DM Note: At this point Vex decided she wanted to retrain into an archetype of inquisitor that had animal companions. Now according to the rules you can't do that while traveling, but I figured she could probably get away with spending 4 hours studying while on horseback and four hours practicing at camp, but it would take twice as long.

Or did I . . .*/

The group got their first clues as to the eccentric nature of this quaint opportunistic realm as they made it to the burned out ruin of the town of Tilverton. There, on the fence was a paper that read something like this. And they'd barely made it half a mile from the town before running into a roving patrol of twenty on horse.

The leader was quite cordial, but also quite insistent that the group's weapons be peacebonded until they'd had a chance to register. He could apparently judge crazy at a glance, that one. The group agreed . . . much to my dismay.

Alright I admit it, these guys were far more than they could have handled if they'd resisted. I was actually trying to get them thrown into prison, and this seemed like my best chance for a long while. I'd spent weeks getting a really detailed salt prison put together for them, fully expecting the Netharese agents to drag them there. Preferably kicking and screaming. It would have been great. Then they waxed those agents, and avoided the city entirely. And acted nice to the border patrol here. Was Velic mellowing?

Anyway, the group agreed, and the patrol detailed five horse to escort them to Arabel. Along the way they encountered a group of orcs. As the escort peeled off to deal with them Velic couldn't help but notice the youngest of the group looking scared and cast bull's strength on him as he passed. This act was not lost upon the escort's leader, despite the fact that the group butchered said orcs unhindered.

Two days later they entered Arabel. The escort's leader had a talk with the guard at the gate, and vouched for the group. The group then headed to the nearest registrar to claim them a name. (I'll not recount how exactly they settled on their name. If you don't know read the sticky).

So, after waiting in line for what seemed like hours they finally reached a window attendant and informed her that they would heretofore be know as The Delicious Cupcakes . . . you know, unless that name's already taken. (If you'd like to get an idea of the look this announcement earned them I refer you to this post's picture) I'm quite certain many things went through this good public servant's mind at this. She no doubt found the idea of an adventuring group being named something akin to Tasty Treats a little odd. She probably considered that they had probably joined the wrong line and wondered if she should direct them to the areas for bakery (or house of ill repute?) registration. She may have even contemplated pointing out that it was hardly a name to instill fear into the hearts of their enemies. Or perhaps they were bait for another adventuring group? Or was that simply how they rewarded themselves for a job well done?

But, when you've been a public servant for so long you learn to shrug and avoid asking why. Form stamped, weapons unbonded, the group set out to the local tavern. All except Vex, whose antisocial tendencies seemed to be increasing. Instead she went shopping.

We'll get back to her in a minute. Don't worry, she won't get far.

As the rest of the group were laughing about their latest snub at authority (myself being said authority) and sucking down cheap mead, a dwarf calling himself Tasster approached offering a job. At first they told him they weren't interested (which in retrospect was probably just a negotiation tactic) but he was quite insistent that they hear him out. It was a long sad tale indeed about how his ancestors had been forced out of their hold The Mines of Tethyamar generations ago. A very large, wealthy mine. It was at this point that their purses perked up. He was, of course, on an epic quest to return it to his people. But he needed someone to scout through the Desertsmouth Mountains (that they'd just passed) to ensure no Zhentarim lookouts spotted his army on the move. And he offered 8k gold a piece for their trouble, at which point Velic signed on. Of course the rest followed. Damned peer pressure. Oh yeah, and they had to leave by morning.

Did they ask why he'd put off filling what appeared to be a critical portion of his plan till the last minute? Of course not. Because . . . MONEY!

Meanwhile Vex was perusing the shops of the city. At one point a member of The Order of Steel approached asking if she wished to join an adventuring group. Did she inform him she was part of one? Did she tell him to piss off? Of course not.

Nope, instead she simply yelled 'DELICIOUS CUPCAKES!' at the top of her lungs every time he tried to speak. Even I'm not sure what the poor recruiter thought as he witnessed this lunatic behavior. Was she an escapee from the asylum? Was she threatening to eat him? Was that her demand for a retainer? I guarantee you the one thing that didn't occur to him was that she was already a member of an adventuring group named Delicious Cupcakes. After all its hardly a name to strike fear in anyone's (with the exception of those with an insulin problem) hearts.

Still, it did get all the recruiters in the area to leave her alone. Perhaps I should try it the next time someone solicits me . . .

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