Background: This is the story version of a challenge that occured on the Hero Forge Creators Guild page where you made a miniature on the site and posted it to the FB group and people would join. This is what my brain came up with.
Fenkenkabradon Silverstreak, the silver dragonborn, tapped his taloned foot as the bearded bard with an eyepatch plinked his lute in a manner he’d never seen or heard before. The patrons of the Challenge Forge tavern were curious about this loud rhythmic music emanating from the stage but mainly they were here for ale, gambling and potential work. The song ended with thud. Fenkenkabradon clapped appreciatively, several other gave polite claps and the room returned to chatter.
“I’ve been great!” the bard yelled across the room before stepping off the stage and into three eager ladies waiting nearby. Fenkenkabradon started over to him when a half-elf with piercing green eyes in a purple jacket stepped in his way.
“The barkeep tells me you’re looking for help?” He inquired.
“That is an amazing coat!” Fenkenkabradon exclaimed. “Yes, my friend, yes. Come let us sit and chat. I am Fenkenkabradon Silverstreak.”
The half-elf raised an eyebrow. “Fen-ken-ka…”
“Frank! Easier to say Frank,” the dragonborn smiled. “May I feel your coat? Is it fur?”
“Sit, my friend, sit. Ale? Wine? Water?” Frank guided him to an empty chair at the large wooden table.
“Your eyes compliment your coat!” Frank stated. “Your colouring is amazing. Now ale, wine, water, cheese? What can I get you…I didn’t catch your name?”
“Vincent. Vincent Taryth.”
Frank shot out a clawed hand and took Vincent’s. “Very nice to meet you, Vincent. I am assembling a group to help me seek out…” He paused and looked around. “The Ashen…
“You have to be the weakest looking dragonborn I've ever seen!”
Frank paused and turned to the woman’s voice; Vincent placed a cautious hand upon his sword’s hilt whilst readying a spell. Standing near them was a woman with grey-white hair dressed in green while lurking nearby looked to be one of her relatives; a man with white hair, axe strapped to his back and an aggressive stance.
“You’re hiring for a job?” She asked.
“Yes!” Frank stood up; hand outstretched. “Fenkenkabradon Silverstreak, but please call me Frank.”
“I'm Orlaith.” She spun a chair around to sit upon it backwards. “That is my brother Tadgh. We come as a package deal. You hire one of us, you hire both of us.”
“Ooooo,” Frank clattered his claws together. “Two for one, that is most excellent.”
Orlaith began to protest. “I didn’t say th…”
“BARKEEP!” Frank yelled. “Ale for my new friends!”
“You’re not listening lizard-breath!” Orlaith growled.
“Ev.ning! Got a spare groat for the 'omeless?” said the older man who’d sidled up to the table.
“Beat it!” Orlaith snapped at the old man.
“Don’be lyke that.”
Tadgh stepped forward and grunted at the scruffy man, who smiled, bowed and tossed a small blue bag onto the table. “Best cat burglar in five towns, ne’er been caught. Should keep yer valuables secure missy.”
“That’s my purse!” Orlaith yelled as she snatched it back.
Fenkenkabradon stood up and applauded. “Oh, most excellent sleight of hand and pickpocketing my elderly ally. I could use a nimble-fingered gent. Your name sir, what is your name?”
“'Arry 'Oudin,” He doffed his cap and sat at the table. “Gettin' outta tight spaces the game.”
“Do that again to me ever again and I’ll chop your head off and my brother will stomp it into paste!”
“Welcome to my growing band, Arry. This is Vincent, you’ve met Orlaith and her brother and I am Fenkenkabradon but call me Frank. I was hoping for a few more…”
“Um yes, hello!”
The table paused and looked around for where the voice was coming from.
Fenkenkabradon stood up to see a gnome standing close to the table, almost hidden from view by the table edge.
“Well, hello down there.”
“Very pleased to make your acquaintances,” the gnome clambered up and got up onto the table. Oh...wow, everyone here is so tall... My name is Ptolemy Shatterdeep, but you can call me Tommy if you like. As you can tell I’m…”
“A gnome!” Orlaith snarked.
“An Alchemist. I'd be happy to join up on this quest,” Ptolemy threw his hand up and a puff of raspberry smelling sparkles danced through the air. “But what are you looking for?”
“Excellent showmanship my diminutive friend,” Frank slid a tankard of ale in the gnome’s direction. “As I was about to tell everyone, I have recently acquired a map to the whereabouts of the Ash…”
“DON'T WORRY, BOROVAR IS HERE!” The table rocked as a large man slammed what could only be a custom-made tankard upon the wood. “I AM BOROVAR BOULDERSHOULDER; WRESTLER, WEIGHTLIFTER AND MIGHTY PALADIN OF THE PLATINUM DRAGON, AND YOU MY FRIEND LOOK A BIT LIKE HIM ACTUALLY.”
“A paladin,” Frank mused. “Muscles, loudness and holiness, yes that could be a useful addition. Welcome Borovar. This is Ptolemy, Vincent, Orlaith, Tadgh and I am Fenkenkabradon Silverstreak.”
“PLEASURE TO MAKE YOUR ACQUAINTANCE,” Borovar raised his large ale. “TO HEALTH, MUSCLES, AND THE GREAT DRAGON!”
Frank sipped his ale; the others joined the odd toast. Up on the stage the one-eyed bard resumed his spot and started singing another heavy but catchy ditty.
“So, Frank,” Vincent leant forward. “You were about to explain what you needed us for.”
“Yes, yes, sorry, but I do love this tune, I feel like joining in with my fiddle.”
“HAVE I TOLD YOU THAT I ALSO LIKE TO SING?” Borovar added.
“Perhaps the minstrel will let us accompany him?” Frank mused aloud. “Oooo would you look at that lovely creature at the bar.”
The group turned to what had caught Frank’s attention. Standing at the bar chatting to the barkeep was another dragonborn but unlike any they’d ever seen before. The barkeep pointed at the group and slowly the dragon walked smoothly towards them. It bowed slightly. “I hear you are looking for adventurers. You may call me Saturn.”
“You have exquisite colouring, my friend. I have never seen anything like you in my life,” Frank gushed. “You are quite simply; beautiful.”
The stone dragon seemingly blushed at the compliment. “Thank you. My mother was a silver dragon, my father a dao. I am the first stone dragon.”
“Amazing!” Frank stood up. “BARKEEP! ALE FOR MY NEW FRIEND!”
“RIGHT!” The roar came from the stage as the music halted. “COULD YOU SHUT UP?!”
The group looked at the rather angry bard glaring at them.
“I’m trying to play!”
“Oh, I am dreadfully sorry my cycloptic fellow, I do apologize. I am organizing a party to aid me in a quest for The Ashen Crown.”
The bar went silent. All eyes fixed upon the dragonborn.
“Why didn’t you say so. Ulrich Rockson, it's a pleasure to meet me! Sounds like fun, I’m in.”
Frank clapped his claws together. “How excellent! You must teach me that interesting style you play.”
“Ashen Crown you say?” A goblin in black cloak approached. “That’s where you’re going to need a goblin’s touch. Bombastic I am, the best tinkerer you would have on your team. You need explosions? How about magic items? Walking ballista? I've got you covered. And I speak goblin which you’ll need.”
Frank looked around at the now full table and smiled. “A bladesinger, a stone dragon monk, two fighters, a gnome alchemist, a goblin tinkerer, a muscly paladin, a one-eyed bard and an old rogue…what a fine assortment!” Frank unfurled a map from his sleeve upon the table. “This is my new friends is what I seek.”
The group drew near around the parchment.
“The Ashen Crown. Deep with the goblin lands is this ancient artifact, a crown of immeasurable worth and power according to legend.” Frank ran a claw over the map. “We are here and have to travel here. It won’t be easy friends, but I can guarantee it will be an adventure. So, let us drink then rest and set off upon first light.”
“HUZZAH!” Cheered Borovar. “TO THE WARRIORS OF THE CHALLENGE FORGE!”
As Fenkenkabradon Silverstreak stumbled up to his room after a raucous night of bonding, singing, drinking and some punching. As he pushed open his door a figure stood in the entry way; mysterious and clad in red.
“Greeting Silverstreak, I've heard you're in the market for some adventure?”
“And w-who might yoube?” Frank slurred.
“They call me Lady Red Hood.”
“Eggsellent, your hired!” Frank stated before promptly passing out in front of her leaving the assassin of note somewhat puzzled.