The Vanguard Institute – Part 6

Q: Adventure Status – Unstable 4 (12)
Developer: PC Enabler
(1d20: [15] = 15)
Birth, Message, Target

Season: Spring

Night 1
Weather: Warm
Terrain: Forest
Developer: But…
(1d20: [8] = 8)
Ability, Silence, Information

Order of Watch

  • Nyx 1d20: [19] = 19
  • Sasha 1d20: [9] = 9

Q: Does Rhesus watch with Nyx?
(1d20+0: [4]+0 = 4)

Order: Nyx & Austin, Sasha and Rhesus/Kis

Q: Does anything happen on Nyx’s watch?
(1d20+0: [18]+0 = 18)

Q: Does something attack them?
(1d20+0: [16]+0 = 16)

I was lost in my head most of the day. I had always known Sasha’s sexuality was fluid. When you can be anyone you want to be it makes sense. But he kept his flings away from me — out of protection or something else maybe, I didn’t know, but I rarely met the girls, and apparently guys, he was seeing.

In the back of my head I knew Sasha liked men. Could like me. But, I never really knew for sure. And now I knew, for certain he could. And he didn’t really feel that way about me. I didn’t blame him. Most people didn’t do more than stare anyway. Somedays, like today, the fire within felt like a curse — a burden, I was forced to carry. But the vision spoke otherwise. I was dying — and now I am not, burning with the flames of the Phoenix. The fire light my eyes and skin from below. My hair took on a flaming appearance. My skin was flush all the time, and fine glowing lines radiated a cross my skin like long sleek feathers just waiting to burst out and let me fly away.

Sasha said it was beautiful — I was beautiful. But few others had the the same opinion. They looked on and stared at the freak.

The old man stopped us for the day. “We should find a place to camp for the night. The sun is getting low.”

Sasha looked around, even got down off his horse and checked things out. We weren’t on a path, stopping anytime was likely a good enough thing. Sasha shrugged. “Here works? We got a few wayward pines to shelter under should it rain.” He pointed through the brush and smiled, “And it looks like someone else has thought the same idea.” A straw and mud structure stood not to far from where Sasha tied Aurora to a branch and started setting out about making camp.

We all followed suit. Austin looked around.

Q: Insight into Austin? (6)
(1d20: [19] = 19)
Minor effect or Damage +3
Developer: And…
Employment, Luck, Bell
(1d20: [2] = 2)

Austin felt nervous. He looked around like we were missing something, but he didn’t say a thing. It wasn’t his place. But he saw something in Sasha’s choice that he didn’t like. It was our test. We had to learn.

I watched Austin for any signs that what he thought would happen was about to happen as we finished making camp. Rhesus ordered Kis around. Sasha worked in silence and Austin readied a fire at Rhesus suggestion. I made notes about our trip in my notebook, and thought I knew where we were on the map and penciled it in.

“Who’s taking first watch?” Austin asked looking to Rhesus for the answer — he was our so-called leader.

“I’ll take first watch.” I said.

Austin nodded. “I will join you. Rhesus and Sasha can take second watch.”

Rhesus started complaining. No one really listened. Sasha kept staring at a piece of paper.

“Why do I have to take a watch?” Rhesus complained to Austin.

Austin tried to explain but I moved over to sit next to Sasha on the ground next to his legs. “Something wrong with the paper?”

Sasha handed it to me and shrugged. “It’s blank.”

Q: Does anything happen when Nyx touches the paper?
(1d20+0: [7]+0 = 7)

Q: Is the writing triggered by heat?
(1d20+0: [3]+0 = 3)

Q: Investigate the note? (12)
(1d20: [19] = 19)
Minor effect or Damage +3
Developer: But…
Track, Decrepit, Secure
(1d20: [8] = 8)

“From Trevan?” I asked.

“Yeah.” Sasha said but he didn’t elaborate.

“Do you want help? Or do you want to figure it out on your own?” I asked.

“I have no idea what to do.” Sasha said.

It didn’t look like the paper had been spelled. So likely something anyone could do. I lifted the parchment to my nose and sniffed. “Lemon juice.”

“What?” Sasha asked.

“It was written in lemon juice.” I rested the note on the palm of my hand and handed the ever darkening text to him. “A trick I read about.” I concluded.

Sasha plucked the paper from my hands and laughed. “Thank you.” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to the top of my head. “You are the best.” He rushed off to his bedroll and I was left sitting against the log he’d vacated staring into the dying fire.

At least I still had the cloak he gave me. I pulled it around my shoulders and relished in the warmth it provided.

After Rhesus and Kis finally went to sleep I kicked dirt over the fire and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. Austin chuckled in the darkness. “I suppose you don’t much need the warmth of the fire.”

“I’m sorry.” I said, hurriedly sitting up to rekindle the flames. “I can…”

“No, it’s fine. It’s not that cold. And you’ll get to see the beauty of the forest without the fire.”

“I’ve seen it. Camped in it plenty of times as a kid.”

Austin chuckled. “You mean those times, you and Sasha ran away from home?”

“Sasha didn’t run away. I did. He came to take me back.”

“That’s not how it looked.”

“Because he ran away with me knowing he’d talk me into returning.” I shrugged.

The woods were indeed beautiful at night. The trees and bushes all around us started to glow in iridescent greens and blues. Some soft pinks started to show shortly after with yellows and oranges following their glows. The whole forest was coming alive with vibrant colors.

The bushes rustled around us in the quiet of the night.

Austin was on alert.


We both stood up and I walked over to our sleeping friends and shook Sasha awake and whispered, “We have company.”

Sasha was up dagger in hand. Rhesus was soon to follow with his axe and shield. Kis curled up under his blanket and hid in the darkness.

“Be ready folks.” Austin said.

The hum of fluttering wings crashed through the brush from the direction of the mud and straw structure. A three meter long insect rushed at us, stinger first.


  • Austin 9
  • Rhesus 12
  • Sasha 1d20: [12] = 12
  • Nyx 1d20: [19] = 19
  • Glow Wasp 12

[!danger] Creature
L4 Insect HP 25, damage 6 (stinger), L6 Mind Disrupting poison attack (6 intellect damage & cannot take an action for 6 rounds), flying long

[!success] NPC

Austin: L3 Tough Explorer who Helps Initiates, HP 17, damage 4, armor 2, L5 adventuring skills, L4 might defense

Rhesus: L3 Vicious Warrior who Descends from Nobility, HP 14, damage 7, L4 tracking creatures who wronged you, (+3 damage on attacks), Berserker (unstoppable, L2 intellect defense to stop, attack allies if fail to stop), L4 intellect defense, L4 initiative, L4 speed defense, armor 2, L2 Ranged attacks

Order: Nyx, Sasha, Wasp, Austin, Rhesus

Round 1

Nyx: Shroud of Flame (1 int)
Sasha: Apply L6 Poison (mind disrupting) to dagger

Q: Does the Wasp attack a Austin?
(1d20+0: [16]+0 = 16)

Wasp: Attack Austin with stinger & poison
Q: Austin might defense against wasp (12)
(1d20: [19] = 19)
Minor effect or Damage +3

Austin: Uses L7 Shocker
Wasp: HP 25 -> 18

Rhesus: Attack the Wasp in Berserk Rage
Q: Attack the Wasp (12)
(1d20: [19] = 19)
Minor effect or Damage +3
Wasp: HP 25 -> 8

Round 2

Nyx: Cast Onslaught (1 int)
Q: Cast Onslaught (12)
(1d20: [3] = 3)
Developer: PC Inhibitor
Son, Oppress, Advance
(1d20: [13] = 13)

Sasha: Attacks Wasp with Poisoned Dagger
Q: Attack Wasp with poisoned dagger (6)
(1d20: [16] = 16)
Developer: PC Enabler
Girl, Shame, Crack
(1d20: [15] = 15

Q: Wasp intellect defense (18)
(1d20: [18] = 18)

Wasp: HP 8 -> 6

Wasp: Attack Rhesus with stinger and poison
Q: Rhesus might defense (12)
(1d20: [5] = 5)
Rhesus: HP 14 -> 4, incapacitated 6 rounds

Austin: backs away from the wasp

Round 3:

Nyx: Cast Onslaught (1 int)
Q: Cast Onslaught (12)
(1d20: [3] = 3)
Developer: None
(1d20: [3] = 3)

Sasha: Attack with Dagger
Q: Attack with Dagger (6)
(1d20: [17] = 17)
Damage +1
Developer: None
(1d20: [5] = 5)

Wasp: HP 6 -> 3

Wasp: Attack Rhesus with Stinger
Q: Rhesus speed defense (9)
(1d20: [8] = 8)
Rhesus: HP 4 -> 0

Rhesus: incapacitated

Austin: Shoot the Wasp
Q: Shoot the Wasp (12)
(1d20: [16] = 16)
Wasp: HP 3 -> 0

Nyx casts Blessing of the Phoenix (Heal) on Rhesus
Q: Nyx casts Blessing of the Phoenix (Heal) on Rhesus (6)
(1d20: [10] = 10)
Developer: None
(1d20: [7] = 7)
Heal: 1d6: [5] = 5

Rhesus: HP 0 -> 5

The fight only lasted a few moments in time. It was all a blur. Both Sasha and I took a moment to ready ourselves. Flames erupted all over my skin. If hit it would do damage and it protected me from fire — not that I was worried about that from a flying insect, but at least when it hurt me it would get hurt back.

Sasha poisoned a dagger. It was one of the things he was learning to do with Trevan. The sneaky side of adventures. Parts I didn’t really want to associate with, but I didn’t begrudge Sasha for it.

The Wasp dove in toward Austin and the old man easily dodged out of the way and struck him with a shocker. I didn’t know where it came from but the Wasp jolted with electricity like a lightning bolt had gone off inside it.

Rhesus with axe and shield in his grip rushed towards the wasp in a fit of rage and his axe took purchase splattering a green glowing goo everywhere.

I curled the fire up inside me and shot it out of my hands like I had done so many times before but the wasp was already turning tail and rushing towards Rhesus, even while Sasha stabbed at it with his poisoned blade. The blade struck true, but the poison did little against the insect.

The stinger landed in Rhesus’ shoulder and he howled in pain, but it was caught off as his body froze from the poison coursing through his veins. Shit!

Austin backed away from the creature and he took aim.

I fired off another bolt of fire, but it still missed again as the large insect fluttered about erratically.

Sasha took another stab at the underbelly of the creature and his blade sliced more goo and gore from its damaged body.

The wasp stabbed again at Rhesus and his body collapsed to the ground, his wounds bleeding out, with his eyes wide open and in horrified pain.

Austin’s bow was drawn and the arrow knocked and flew straight and true into the eye socket of the large insect. It fell to the ground in a heap next to Rhesus fallen body.

I rushed over to him and laid my hands on him and sent the warmth of the Phoenix through him. He gasped with air that flooded his lungs. He couldn’t move, but the poison should wear off soon. At least that’s how Sasha’s worked.

We all sat by the now cold fire until our hearts stopped racing and Rhesus was recovered enough. Kis was fast asleep under his blankets, I wasn’t sure when the creature had taken back to sleep, but soon Sasha and Rhesus joined the sleeping Kobold in their slumber.

Austin and I sat up until it was time to wake the others for their turn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close