The Yawning Portal

The Hand of Destiny was eating at their table within the bustling tavern, enjoying the music flowing over the crowd. There were people everywhere drinking, singing, speaking in crowds. Some unsavory characters lurked in the shadows of the bar waiting for willing victims to stumble across them. Durnan, the bartender, was handing out mugs of ale and cups of wine with the dexterity of a well trained expert. 

Aleera was staring in rapt attention at the bard who was singing. He was a human male wearing a beautiful jacket of embroidered green silk with matching pants. His undershirt was an explosion of lace as it burst from the lapels of the jacket. His blond hair was long and straight, framing his beautiful face. Kaladrax started to get jealous, especially when the bard came to a stop for a break and walked over to their table. He greeted Aleera like an old friend and they embraced after months of not seeing each other. 

Threestrings was the name of the bard. He was charming and courteous as he greeted the other members of the group. Seeing that he was nothing more than a friend, Kaladrax calmed down. He unclenched the hands he hadn’t even known he was clenching. Aleera started talking shop with her friend asking about good spots to perform at. He recommended a few spots, reminding her that the Yawning Portal was always the best spot in town for a good performance. She lit up at the mention and ran over to the bar to ask Durnan for a spot. 

He looked her over with a critical eye and after a few moments of hesitation he asked her to come in bright and early tomorrow for an audition. She agreed and ran back to her table to share the good news. Kaladrax, in the meantime, had moved his attention from the bard to the giant hole in the center of the tavern. He looked down into the darkness but all he could see was the stone of the hole disappearing into the inky black of the Underdark. 

Milo was wandering around the tables looking for easy marks when he found a table playing cards. He joined, hoping to get some unknowing chumps’ money. He gambled for a few rounds but instead of the big jackpot, he lost and came away with nothing. He came back to the party’s table after a few minutes with a dejected look on his face. He sat down and joined in the eating and camaraderie of the group hoping to chase away his loser’s blues. 

They were all talking and having a good time when there was a sudden commotion from the bar. A few men had been arguing. The drinks had been flowing and eventually they got drunk enough that violence was seen as a valid argument. A brawl broke out as they hit others and jolted people from their own seats. Kariss went to stop the fighting but Aleera had other ideas. As the brawl continued, she used the distraction to pick the pockets of the people looking on in morbid fascination. She was able to get quite a bit of gold before Kariss managed to calm the situation down.

Just when they thought the fighting was over, a sound was heard from the dark pit at the center of the bar. From the darkness emerged two gigantic trolls looking for trouble. They began swinging their massive weapons, smashing tables and people as they rampaged. Everyone began to run from the bar except the adventurers, who were used to fighting monsters in awkward places. As the bar emptied, they spread out and began attacking the trolls together. Milo began attacking from the shadows, covering the trolls in small cuts that streamed blood. They were small but would overwhelm the trolls with time. 

Aleera saw that Hepolita was about to get smashed by a troll that had climbed onto the edge of the pit and was towering over her. So she did the only thing she could think of. She cast her newest spell, Polymorph. She aimed it at the troll. It looked like it didn’t work for a moment and then the troll hiccuped and turned into a fluffy white bunny. Hepolita looked at Aleera and then the bunny in surprise. The bunny troll was standing on the edge of the pit now, twitching his nose and looking confused at his new state of existence.

With a grimace Aleera picked the bunny up and held it over the pit before releasing it from her grip. It dropped down with barely a squeak. Everyone stopped fighting including the other troll who had seen his friend be turned into a tiny thing and chucked over the edge like trash. There was a long silence followed by a very small muffled thud and a weak groan from below. Hearing that his friend was hurt but not dead, the other troll began fighting again. With only one opponent, the group did away quickly with the threat and as soon as the commotion died down people began to slowly trickle back into the bar. 

The party gave their statements to the soldiers that arrived too late to take out the threat. They asked a bunch of questions and then let them go on with their business as long as they didn’t cause any more issues. They sat down after their statements were given and were enjoying their meal when a strange man approached their table with a strange request.

Published by dndwife

My husband and I run a dungeons and dragons table together and I write about our crazy adventures both in and out of the story. My husband DM's and I am the table artist. I paint minis for everyone at the table and provide crafted gifts like dice boxes, bags, and artwork.

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