So, I just had a great day of a Saturday playing the table top rpg Pathfinder with my friends. It’s one of the geekiest things about me aside from the comic collection and borderline obsession with Star Wars and Doctor Who, but it’s a lot of fun, and I really don’t care what anyone thinks, anyway. One of the best parts to me about table top rpg playing, as opposed to video games (which I also love) and other types of gaming is you don’t have that creative aspect to it. And for aspiring writers like myself, sometimes that’s all the inspiration you need.
A few months back I wrote a short story about a part of my character’s backstory, I’d intended to write more on that tonight, but when my fingers hit the keyboard when I returned back home, I instead wrote an account of what happened in the game today, well mostly anyway, but from the egotistical perspective of my character, one rogue pirate Mr. Crowley Bloodborne. Basically take a dash of Sterling Archer, by way of Flynn Rider with a bit of Deadpool and The Joker, with just a slight bit of Captain Jack Sparrow and that’s like a third of Crowley’s personality, and that’s what makes the character so fun to play with, and write for, so when I started writing, I did not intend to write a full seven page story, that took me like three hours to write, but once he gets in your head he’s hard to get out. Well, without further adieu, here’s my latest Crowley Bloodborne story, hope you enjoy it.
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My name is Crowley Bloodborne. Perhaps you’ve heard of me, rogue, pirate, lover, killer in my life I’ve been all of these things and more. But one title I never even dreamed of becoming is now true. Crowley Bloodborne, Mayor of Eastbrook. My group of dare I say, friends, my monkey companion, and I have recently taken over this town in the midst of our quest given to us by our respective deities, to destroy the forces, and eventually in time the goddess herself Iomadae. I forget the specifics as to why after these many months travelling, but that matters not. When your deity, God, Goddess, whomever, or whatever you believe in, tells you to do something, you do it. If you value your life of course, and I certainly do. After all, she saved me from certain death years ago as a boy, cast off into a pit to die by some marauders as a sacrifice to their deity. But Szuriel, the horseman…horsewoman? Of War saw something special in me that day, and brought me back as her champion, to spread chaos and war throughout the realms.
It’s been quite the journey I tell you, going from an unknown son of a fabric salesman in Kelesh, the not crown jewel of the desert, to rogue, eventual pirate. Some call me a desert pirate, judging me on my dark hair and appearance, but I did get to sail the seas before, was Captain for a time, but that story is for another time.
To the story at hand we had arrived at this town of Eastbrook, on a, I don’t want to say vision but I had a feeling that this was where we should go next after escaping in a prison break, that’s a story for itself, but suffice to say when you’re in a group of assassins, murderers, thieves and criminals you’re going to find yourself in prison at some point.. How long you remain in prison, well that’s up to you.
But suffice to say we arrived at this town, and I went promptly to the bar, you may call someone who drinks rum before ten am a drunkard, but in my line of work it just comes with the territory…pirate, remember? I’d talked to the bartender there, who pointed me in the direction of their leader, the Mayor. As Mayors are often want to do, he needed some help, a recovering of this precious box of his, and in return he would pay me, well my companions and me, but mostly myself. So, I gathered up my companions, a foot tall Kobold lizard sniper, named Gunter Snipe, a dark elf, called a Drau woman, and Atalanta, a frog like creature who’s proven her worth many a time in our journey. There’s a Kitsune monk in the group as well, but he’s been lost in a meditation state since we escaped the prison.
Not too far from the town, we encountered the cave where the Mayor’s precious cargo had gotten off to. We journeyed in, and encountered a large group of bugbears, large bearlike creatures that walk like men. Their prey normally is creatures that can experience true fear and terror. But after you’ve died twice, and had your soul taken from your body…which I still need to get back by the way, sorry, sidetracked…it’s a little hard to be afraid of these things.
We battled from the shadows at first, using our arrows, sniper rifles, anything to keep them at bay, as even though I was not scared of them…not in the slightest bit, I don’t want to find out on what it’s like to die without a soul. It was a tough fight, but I got impatient after a while, and decided to use one of my remaining wishes I’d acquired from my Blade of Luck, an item I’d gotten in the prison, which has helped myself out of a jam before. I could always use money, so I’d wished, very carefully that the remaining bugbears were turned into coin. You have to be careful with wishes you see; very careful wording or you could end up getting exactly what you don’t want. For all I know, I could have said my wish for the creatures to be gold, and ended up with a mass of gold statues, way too heavy to carry out of that cave. Or who knows what else could have happened? But, as I was careful, the battle was at once over, and my travelling band of miscreants and I were a little bit richer for our troubles.
I’d acquired the box that the mayor was looking for, but was unable to open it, as despite my years of being a professional criminal lock picking was not something that I had to do, I had people for that always. And that proved to be the case in this instance to, as Gunter was able to pick the lock, and what valuable treasure did we risk our lives for? Three cigars. Three stinking cigars. We’d been played, and if there’s one person you don’t play, it’s Crowley Bloodborne.
I concocted a revenge scheme to get this mayor taken care of, we would keep one of the cigars, stuff it with some potent drug Atalanta had acquired during our brief prison stay, in addition to framing the mayor in a sex scandal, and it was going to be brilliant. So, we’d made our way back into the town, passing by the temple of Iomadae that the Drau had attempted to burn down earlier, and I made a mental note that we would need to destroy that place later on, after I’d gotten my revenge of course. So, while the Drau distracted the Mayor’s attendant, I’d barged into the Mayor’s office, holding the chest with his “precious cargo”, which I tossed onto his desk.
“I’ve got your treasure back, Mister Mayor! Was a bit of a challenge, almost died over this box you know.”
“Oh, that’s great news Mister Crowley, great news indeed”
“Why don’t we have a cigar to celebrate this great victory?”
“Well of course, do you have any cigars handy?”
“I know what’s in the box Mayor, you had us risk our lives for cigars?! “ (He didn’t need to know that the battle was over not too long after it started, I’d been played, dammit)
“Ah, yes…well you see, the cigars weren’t really the treasure; I don’t even smoke to be honest with you. It was a test, to see if I can trust you. “
“As if you can’t trust me, the great pirate Crowley Bloodborne…oh, ok, I can see that the pirate thing doesn’t exactly lend itself to honesty…”
“And actually, I was wondering if you could help me, this town has become overrun with these Iomadae worship, always going on about Truth, and Justice and all this stuff…the whole town being broke thing, that’s cause of me.”
“Well, sir I like your style, and to think I wanted to have you framed, humiliated, and maybe beheaded later on for double crossing me.”
“Come again for Mayor Fudge?”
“….It’s not important now, what’s important is that you and I, we have similar goals, my friends and I were already planning on blowing up that temple anyway, so we are back on the same page here, all I ask in return is…”
“Already have that covered, son. “ The Mayor said as he opened a cabinet revealing more jewels than I’d ever seen in my life, about 52 of them to be exact. What, I haven’t seen a lot of jewels in my time, even as a pirate it’s mostly all gold these days.” Just five of them bought my Kobold friend three buildings in the town, one of which I’d had ideas for a Crowley Bloodborne, Legendary Rogue Pirate merchandise store. After all, who hasn’t heard of me?
“The people in this town, for one.”
…Yet, that haven’t heard of me, yet at this point. But I digress; you want the story, so I’m giving you the story. I left the Mayor’s office, and talked to my Drau friend, about the new plan. “Yeah, the Mayor’s on our side, he wants to kill the Iomadae worshippers too” I said in the Common tongue, and the Mayor’s right hand man and bodyguard, who’s name I didn’t catch coming in, overheard me, and immediately bolted for the door. I attempted a chase, but he was too far gone…the kid could run.
“Okay, so new plan”, I discussed with the Drau in Elven, so no one else could pick up the conversation, “ We blow up the temple of Iomadae, like the idea was before, but now we have official sanction, from the Mayor, and I , I mean we are getting paid for it.”
“Sounds great, so when do we start?”
Upon returning to the abandoned building across from the church, future site of the Crowley Bloodborne store, or CBB as the Kobold referred to it, it was catchy I admit. I sent him out to the town to acquire some explosives, fireworks, anything that went boom that we could use on the church that night. Explosions look cooler at night; I can’t explain it, its science.
But night soon fell, and the Kobold had come back empty handed, it seems that none of the townsfolk either had explosives for sale, or wanted to sell them to a Kobold, either way it was time to improvise. Again.
Gunter perched himself at the window of the building across the street from the temple, rifle at the ready, and the Drau and I waited out back near the broken window caused by her Molotov cocktail the previous night. Atalanta sat perched up on a roof fifteen feet above the rest of us, keeping lookout and waiting the signal, which Gunter would soon provide us with.
One of Gunter’s boons that his deity had given him was the ability to summon a a fairly large ant, but not control it other than one command. As we waited to hear the signal, presumably that of a large ant crashing through the front door of a building, Atalanta picked up something off in the distance, a rumbling at town hall.
“Citizens of Eastbrook, you have been lied to, you have been deceived, well the deceiver shall deceive you no more, there is a New Order taking over..”
Now me not having super hearing, or just from years of cannon fire ringing in my ears, I did not notice that at all, but what I did notice was the distinct crash of an ant bursting through a door. It was on like my monkey Kong. I tossed up my grappling hook, and climbed up into the broken window, along with my friends. Once we got inside it was a terrific sight of three Paladins, three holy knight warriors duking it out with a gigantic ant, well it wasn’t quite gigantic, about the size of a carriage, but compared to the size of a normal ant, that’s pretty freakin huge. I fired at one of the Paladins with my crossbow, injuring him, and then I waited to see what the ant would do next, which as it turns out, was die. After the Paladin struck the killing blow on the ant it disappeared, as if it was never there, but the hole in the building would seem to say otherwise. It was time to kick some ass. The Drau had leaped into combat with the Paladins, along with her fighter companion wielding two Scimitars he must have acquired from my home country or somewhere near that desert land.
I never just do anything the easy way, I was going to use my acrobatic skills which I’d perfected over the years during a brief period with a travelling circus (a story for another day) and something I hadn’t done in a while. I did an awesome, you should have seen it type forward flip combo, landing in front of one of the holy Knights and stabbing him in the neck with a piece of broken glass. Now the Drau and her companion may have weakened the knight before I got down there, and the ant too, but I was the one that took him out.
The battle didn’t last too much longer after that, and soon enough, the knights were dead, and I used my monkey’s innate ability to throw his own poo at things to create enough fertilizer of sorts to set this place ablaze, after we had destroyed the Iomadae symbol of course, crushing it on top of the broken bodies of the knights. We walked out into the night as the building burned behind us, I’ll always picture that memory of us in slow motion, with a cool song behind it, but in actuality we were probably moving pretty quickly as Kong’s poo is quite flammable.
It was at that point, outside the building, that I finally noticed the ruckus at the Town Center, the entire town was gathered around, as the Mayor’s bodyguard was yelling about a new order that was taking over, his I was assuming, seeing as he had the former Mayor’s head on a spear he was waving about. Atalanta and Gunter maneuvered themselves onto nearby rooftops with their rifle and bow at the ready respectively. The Drau, her fighter and I walked over to the crowd, and tried to blend in unnoticed. But soon the “bodyguard” noticed us.
“It was them, they are the villains in league with the Mayor that wanted to kill each and every one of you! Who are you anyway?”
“Really, you have no idea…I am Crowley Bl..”The Drau covered my mouth, preventing me from reminding them of my greatness
“I am…” The Drau paused for a moment, trying to think of an alias, the others are more careful with revealing themselves “Dan Animals”, giving them the name of an unusual yet capable Iomadae knight that we had encountered at the start of our journey.
“And who are your companions?” The Iomadae high priestess, who was watching in the back along with a handful of Paladins
“The Funky Bunch.” I stated, thinking of the first name that came to mind, we would have to be more careful with our identities at this point, outnumbered by about 200 people or so, if a battle erupted, it would not go so smoothly for us.
“Dan Animals, and The Funky Bunch”, the High Priestess said yet again.
“Surely you’ve heard of us.” I said with a grin. “Cacaw!” I tried signaling Gunter to fire his rifle, but he had forgotten the signal it would seem. “Cacaw!” Still nothing
The Drau said “Don’t mind him, that’s just a cough he’s come down with.”
“You are ill?” The High Priestess asked
“The illest.” Again with the smile, it’s what I do, sue me. “Sorry, just a cough I’d picked up on this long journey, “Cacough!”
At that point Gunter had remembered the signal, or just heard me finally, either way a shot rang out hitting the former bodyguard turned assassin.
“Murderers! The bodyguard shouted, brothers and sisters of Iomadae, who will stand and fight with me?” The towns people had scattered at this point from the gunfire, and the paladins and the high priestess just took a step back. Iomadae worshippers worshipped truth, and justice, what this man had did was just as disgusting to them as what we had done.
“Who will stand with…” He never got to finish his sentence, as one of Atalanta’s arrows had pierced his throat, and he fell to the ground below, dead.
“Well, that was rather unfortunate. You lot, you “Funky Bunch” leave this town now and never return, we have much work to do here in the name of our goddess Iomadae.
“Thank you for your offer”, The Drau said, and I started to turn and walk away, our mission was finished there, there was nothing to prove by fighting more Paladins and a high priestess, who knows what kind of powers she had access too?
“Thank you for your offer, but we’re not leaving….it’s you who will be.” The Drau had told the high preiestess, defiantly. “Well damn…” I thought . The Drau’s fighter companion charged forth and started to attack one of the Paladins with his twin scimitars. Another had tried to attack my person, but fell over. I walked over to him, grabbed my Blade of Luck, and stabbed him, it’s good for more than just wishes.
The battle itself was long and brutal, not the deadliest fight we’d ever gotten ourselves into but it was tough. The high priestess had The Drau immobilized using a holding spell for a good portion of it, but eventually the “good guys”, well the bad guys really, but I’m telling this story so we’re heroes in my book.
“And in the eyes of the townsfolk as well, the poor deluded bastards.”
Yeah, them too. After the battle was over, the Paladins dead, the High Priestess merely unconscious, the towns people that had actually came back to witness the fight asked me to speak, which is all one really has to do to get me going,
“People of Eastbrook, your Mayor was brutally murdered by one of his own, and then the representatives of your goddess did nothing to help you, where is Iomadae now I ask you? Nowhere to be found I will tell you that, certainly not here, in Eastbrook tonight. But you know who was here, I Crowley Bloodborne, was here. And I fought for you, no, we,…The Funky Bunch, we fought for you tonight. So cast off this relic of the past, this Iomadae, she has brought you nothing, but pain, death, and destruction. Go live your life, do whatever you want, call it chaos…whatever, I call it life!, Now I cannot stay here, in this town, but know that I have eyes, I have ears, we will be watching, and if you ever need us again…”
The Drau pulled me to the side, “We can’t just leave this town like this, I know we’re not heroes, but still, we’re not heartless…well most of us aren’t anyway, she looked over at the Kobold and Atalanta, both of whom were just slightly more chaotic in their approach to evil than the rest of us. And besides, this could be a great base of operations for us. “
I thought about it for a second, she did raise a good point. It would be fantastic after years of searching and wandering to have an actual home, the wandering rogue act has served me well, but you can’t do this forever. Fine, I decided, we will stay here, in this town, and you, my Drau friend will run for Mayor.
“I’d love to have that kind of power, but I’ve got some other plans in mind for this town, and our priestess “friend” over here, why don’t you run for office, and I can keep an eye on things from the brothel I’ll open up.” “Pretty genius idea, I like it,” I said.
I don’t even know why I bothered saying I was going to run for office the townsfolk just basically gave me the position right there on the spot. And there you have my story, oh lady Szuriel.
Szuriel looked back at me with those pitch black eyes and raggedy teeth, wings black as pitch, flapping in the breeze.
“So, my Agent of Chaos, my Champion, settling down…leading a town….this I did not foresee.”
“Neither did I my lady, but sometimes the best way to inject war and chaos is to do it from the inside.”
“I suppose so, but let me warn you my Champion. Don’t let yourself get attached to these people, chaos is a singleminded mindset, one cannot afford to have attachments, as you’ve learned from the past…remember the girl, what was her name…”
“Don’t say her name…you don’t dare speak of that!”
Szuriel merely smiled back at me, with those sharp and jagged teeth. “That’s a great bit of emotion for someone without a soul, my Champion. Just remember, I can always replace you…after all, it wouldn’t be the first time.”
“No, no….you’re right. You’re…right. Now I’ve just got one question for you Szuriel…where’s my soul?
“Quid pro quo my dear Champion, there’s something you need to do for me first, and it so happens both our problems are in the same place…tell me, have you ever heard of the Bottle of the Bound?”