Every week some of the players will pitch the Dungeon Master their NPC ideas and he will HAVE to pick one of them to DUN DUN DUUNNNNN... make canon. So let us know if you have any recommendations for us, OR if you would like to submit art, OR if you have your own NPC ideas for us to consider!
This week's art was submitted by artist Matt Garbutt. You can find them on Twitter on @ArtmonkeyMg, Instagram: ArtmonkeyMg & Patreon
So, without further ado, let us introduce Merwick!
"So this is the cave my crew was so terrified of" Merwick thought, stepping down off the rope to the satisfying crunch of shells under his boots. He tightened his belt, the damn thing kept coming loose. He lifted his lamp, and he saw her. A siren, but her lower half was calcified and embedded in the cavern floor and a spear pinned her torso to the wall. Despite that, she had a clean dark pretty face and long blond hair with spiraling blue seashells on her ears. But what drew his attention most was the faintly glowing silver tiara on her brow. Her eyes were closed.
He took a step towards the ancient being. "She is powerful, to have survived like this for so long." He mused. He took another step. By what his crew had said, there should be screaming so loud as to rupture ears, and great flailing arms, and gusts of chill wind emanating from the apparition. All Merwick heard was a dull wheezing. Disappointing.
He removed the earplugs his men had insisted he wears and listened closely. She wasn't just wheezing, she was actually speaking "Free. Me. Free. Me. Free. Me" She said, taking a breath between each word.
He stood over her and listened, looking at her closely. The tiara was clearly valuable. Worth more than his entire ship and its cargo, probably. But he could see it was part of her, like the shells on her ears. "Free. Me. Free. Me. Free. Me" He knelt down, and took care to put on his most earnest face. "My poor dear, how can I free you?" Merwick said. She opened her eyes slowly and whispered "The spear..." she trailed off.
"Pull it out?" Merwick asked
After 5 heartbeats she replied. "Please."
"I want to help, I do. But how do I know you won't attack me like you did my crewmen?"
"They. Woke me. Then sudden pain. From spear."
"So they woke you, and you felt pain, so you screamed thrashed" he stood. She nodded. "I understand. And now you feel too weak to do that, and just wish to be free." She nodded again and looked up at him. She trusted him. Most people did after spending a few moments with him, but he didn't expect it to be this easy.
Merwick tightened his belt and took another look at her. Her head was down, so she wasn't looking at him. He eyed the spear. It was black. Inky black. He didn't want to touch it. So he drew the serrated dagger he used to cut rope. "I have to be fast. I can't let her get too... animated." He began cutting.
There was a lot of screaming and flailing. He forgot to put the earplugs back in before starting, so his damn ears were bleeding, but he kept sawing. And sawing. And sawing. He didn't enjoy this. It was boring. And it hurt. He wanted it to be over so he could leave. He kept sawing for a long time more. She stopped thrashing after a while. And then he was done. He straightened, He attached her head to a hook on his belt. He Drank a healing potion as he walked back to the rope, a satisfying crunching walk back to the rope had him pausing to tighten his belt again before climbing. "Damn thing keeps going loose, going to have to get a new one, maybe from Edrian."
"Curse you" He froze.
"What?" he said at once to the head attached to his belt, that was now speaking.
"Merwick the cursed" He glared at her, and her eyes closed. He was fairly certain she was dead now. The tiara was no longer glowing. "How annoying. How did she know my name?" He climbed up and returned to his ship. A good days work. He wanted to get moving back to port, so he told his crew to sail through the night and promised to pay them extra if they were back in Untherlass by morning. He wanted to spend the night getting the tiara off the sirens head but thought better of it without proper tools, so he went to sleep. He woke a short time later, his skin was boiling and popping.
He screamed and thrashed, and tore his threadbare sheets to pieces. "No." His joints dislocated, his bones cracked. He watched his tearing hands turn into red claws. "NO!" He heard banging on his door, and then a crash as it slammed open. He looked up and saw his first mate Edrian wearing that annoying old belt of his. Then the screaming began. The next day he woke up shirtless on the deck of his now ruined ship near Untherlass. Everyone was dead around him. Papers would later report that Merwick, who says he was the sole survivor of a vicious Sahuagin attack upon his ship, disappeared before being questioned about his ordeal by Marshall Investigators, who had investigated the ship earlier that same day. Reports of a lobster-human hybrid murdering people during the full moon soon followed. Though the Fisher's Guild of Shiprest soon pointed out sightings of the beast seemed to occur only during lobster spawning periods during full moons. - JACK
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Recorded and Produced by Zane C Weber