Gipsy Camp – by Alan Arthur King

Session Friday 4 March 2022

Hunting party:

“Hey Alan, we’re leaving! Are you still in your room?” I hear from outside the door. Crap, I must’ve slept so tight I could not hear the rooster outside. Quickly, I grab my things from my room, hoist myself into my chain mail, grab Desecrator (destroyer of Oozes) and run downstairs. From the bar, I grab a slice of bread that’s there for breakfast, check the quest board for directions, and run outside.

In the far distance, I see a group of people walking. That must be the hunting party that has just left. I recognize Myrddin, so I know my assumption was correct. I run after them, yelling: “Hey, hey! I’m sorry I’m late!”

Some introductions later, I know everyone’s name: Buzu, an old man with a major accent in his voice; Crewial, the one that shot ice on the battlefield of Battle Royale; Echo, a new guy that tells us he can shift bodies; and, of course, my buddy Myrddin, who doesn’t need any introduction. After a couple of kilometers out of the city, we find the road to the Gipsy Camp.

At the camp, we see many trailers, kids playing, and a couple of adults working. We all decide to stay at a distance, but Buzu just walks in, playing his instrument. I’m standing next to Echo, who transforms into a child. To cover for Buzu, who I think is a deranged old man that needs protection from himself, I take Echos’ hand, and we walk up to the camp. Buzu is already talking to the Gipsies. When kid-Echo and I arrive, I say: “Hey dad, we’re not that fast you know.” 

Buzu is not paying attention to us at all: he is waving his hands above his head and exclaims he wants to predict the peoples’ future. Amid my sentence, he denies we’re even a family. How stupid, he is blowing all of our covers. I grab his hand to take him back, but he refuses. Echo talks to him in a language I don’t understand, but Buzu is taken aback: “Sinze when dous anyone zspeake my language?”

“Hold on, he’s your grandson, right?” asks the nearest Gipsy. 

“No, no, no… I no ghet what they talking about,” says Buzu. 

“YES,” I say forcefully.

“How did you get here?” asks the Gipsy.

“My dad, my son, and I were walking, the guy with the holy symbol is there for the sanity of my father,” I point at Crewial, “and Myrddin is my buddy.” I end my sentence.

“I’d go back if I were you guys. It’s getting late.”

“Daddy, can I play with the other kids?” asks Echo. 

When I nod and am about to release Echos’ hand, the woman near us stops me. Echo looks at her with big eyes, about to cry. 

“It is not safe to stay here I’m afraid.” the woman says.

“You’re with many people here right, isn’t there any space in a trailer for us to spend the night?”

“We’re with three families here…” 

I see an attractive woman with platinum blonde hair and am distracted for a bit. “You know,” I continue, “my kid just wants to play, so I’ll let him.”

Crewial steps forward. “We’re here because you need to leave. We have nothing against you, but you need to leave – you’re too close to Wesert borders.”

“Ah, I thought so…” says the woman. “However, why in the nine hells did you bring this kid?” 

“Help me…” whispers Echo. 

“What did you do to this child?” the woman asks firmly.

“NOTHING! It is my son!” I respond. 

“Are you safe? Do I need to help you?!” she asks Echo. 

“I cannot say…” says Echo in a tiny voice. 

The woman grabs Echo from my side and leads him to the other kids in the camp. The men grab their spears and point them at us. I get my sword – this can get ugly. Why did Echo do this?! He is endangering us. 

“It was HIS idea!” Echo says when he points his little finger at Buzu. “He brought me from Russia!”

Buzu creates smoke around him and just disappears. 

“Okay. You WON’T get this child.” says the woman. “Are you leaving now?” 

“No, we’re not leaving… You need to leave! We did not abduct this kid.” says Crewial.

“We’ll protect you, my little one!” says the woman to Echo.

“Please leave.” 

“No. YOU leave.”

“I’m not leaving without the kid,” I say. 

I see someone raising an ax, so I raise my sword. The people are getting angry now… Suddenly, I’m entangled in vines. I have to cut myself loose, but I see Myrddin getting nervous in the corner of my eye. 

“NO! BORIS!” the woman shouts. The man with the ax next to me collapses.

“Please go. I’ll cure your husband,” says Crewial.

The collapsed dude, Boris, is revived by Crewial. He is totally terrified but is at least breathing again. 

“Stop! Stop, please stop. We don’t want casualties.” he pants.

“Oh relax man, we don’t want that either,” says Crewial. “Please go. Otherwise, someone will come here and force you.”

I make myself big and approach the people intimidatingly: “LEAVE!”

The people eventually accept that they’ll need to leave: “We’ll leave in the morning…” they say. We decide to stay for the night and gather around the fire to keep warm. The setting is tense at first, but then we start talking, and the vibe loosens. Buzu contributes to that because he is sharing his booze. I don’t drink that kind of alcohol – I only drink the finest wines Abu Fabous can offer. The woman approaches and introduces herself as Esma. She asks if we would like to do a Tarot-reading with her. Unfortunately for her, the party declines.

Suddenly, after a few hours, when it has already turned dark, the people around the campfire look around – terrified. They pick up their weapons, and I follow their lead. Apparently, we’re under attack! I hear a very distinct howl. In the west, I see a big wolf or dog with big claws. Its chest seems to radiate a red glow, and its eyes are red – it feels demonic. These dogs might be from hell. Arrows are released to defend the group of people, but I cannot see how they are going to keep them at bay. Someone has to step up to give the hounds something to do. I dash to the front, through the spears and spells.

Hell Hound

Standing in front of the Hellhounds, I can see there are about six of them. I raise my Desecrator and gather all my strengths: “GO AWAY AND LEAVE THESE PEOPLE!” I bellow, to turn these undead dogs around. I can see some of them are intimidated by my action and prepare to leave. Two hounds are getting closer. Buzu and Crewial attack one of them, but get a lot of fire damage because of one hound that uses his fire breath. I grab my sword tight and smash one wolves’ head clean off. “You should’ve gone with your friends!” I yell. After a couple of seconds, the intimidated hounds are gone, and the two left are killed by the party. Esma helps Buzu and Crewial to regain consciousness after the breath of fire, and we’re all okay again. The Gipsies are still very shocked by the attack.

“It was almost like you knew they were coming…” says Crewial. 

“Yeah, we knew there was a possibility of them finding us. They’re hunting us. There is a reason why we are not entering Wesert.” 

In the meantime, I gather some powers to heal Crewial some more. When I touch his wounds with my gloved hand, the blood disappears, and the burns on his skin fade away a bit. 

“Why are they hunting you? What did you do to get them mad?”

Esma says: “I’m not really human. I am a unicorn.” 

I walk up to her and say: “I don’t believe you. Unicorns are mythical creatures.”

“I’ve been transformed. I am a human, but still have some unicorn powers.”

“Esma, we were testing you. You’ve passed,” says Echo, walking from the stables. 

“Who are you?”

“I was the kid.”

“Can you guys PLEASE be honest from now on?”

“Oh, it was all Buzus’ idea.”

“Let’s leave this behind us.” interrupts Crewial

“Yes. Let’s. As a thank you for killing and chasing away the Hellhounds,” says Esma as she walks to her hut. She returns with some items: “we have this scroll for you, and this…” she opens the box she carries and shows a Unicorn-horn. She tells us that this is her brothers’ – murdered by Hellhounds. Esma gives it to us to protect other people. “The reason you couldn’t spend the night was because of the Hellhounds… Most nights when the hounds are chased away, they don’t come back for a while. However, we’ll leave this place.”

“You might seek refuge near the West Coast, there might be more space for you. Or you can go to the mountains, to be further away from villages.”

“The latter is a great idea. I don’t want us to be close to other villages or towns, because the Hellhounds might find us again – we don’t want to endanger anyone else.”

After this talk, we’re allowed to stay the night. We make sure we keep watch to be sure the hounds don’t return without us knowing. I take the first watch and wake Crewial next. I stay near the campfire when I go to sleep, so people can wake me if anything is wrong.

In the middle of the night, when I’m already vast asleep, Myrddin wakes me. “Psst. Alan. I have the feeling we’re being watched.” he whispers. I am super tired, but after a short investigation, we don’t find anything. I am super tired, but stay awake until the sun comes up. After a while, some children come out of their trailers to play, and sometime later, the adults start making breakfast and pack up their things. We help them to break up the camp. All people thank us, and when they leave the clearing they set up their former camp, we head back to Heroes roost.

When we arrive at the guild, Violet greets us. “Oh, I was worried, you guys! You’ve been away ALL NIGHT!” 

“Yeah, there were gipsies and hellhounds, but they are all gone now.” 

“Great to hear. I’ll get your reward.” Violet leaves. As she returns she brings five pouches. “This quest was for four adventurers, but you’re with five. However, we’ve made the decision to add something to the reward to pay you all the same amount as was promised.” She also gives us an envelope, which I immediately grab from the table. I shake it: a ring falls into my hand. Great – I put it on my finger: it is silver with gems and an engraved cross. I walk to Rogma to identify what kind of ring this is. Rogma tells me it is a ring of protection. I bring it upstairs and leave it on the table for my party. I am already protected enough. Buzu, Crewial, Myrddin, and Echo are all discussing who should get the ring, but I take off: I have to make sure my armor is repaired.

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