A student newspaper that is part of the “Enchanted Forest” D&D campaign.
From the Editor’s Desk
It has been more than three months since we published an outer planes issue of The Dragon Egg Gazette. This paper originally came about from a conversation I had with Ann Wycoff, my human friend and frequent visitor to Dragon Egg from the outer planes. She sometimes plays a sort of storytelling game with her friends called Dungeons & Dragons, which is one part board game and another part acting where the players take on the role of a hero or adventurer. Ann is usually the facilitator or “dungeon master” of the game.
The most interesting part of Ann’s game, in my mind, is she uses our real world as the setting or backdrop, but all of her players think it is a fantastic realm of make believe because their reality doesn’t have any dragonborn, elves or even goblins!
Apparently there have been a lot of big, important things going on that has put Ann’s D&D game on hold for awhile now. So she hasn’t been around to help us with the outer planes stuff. Fortunately, Ann visited Dragon Egg recently to procure some ingredients for a magic wand, and to “check out the Haunted Bridge for myself.” (Scary! I wish my parents would let me go see it.) She also stopped by our offices and made arrangements to publish this issue you are reading now for the humans back home. Thanks, Ann!
If you have an article you’d like to see published in The Dragon Egg Gazette, let me know in the comments or email me (c/o Ann if you are a human from the outer planes) via the email address on her Greetings page.
The Haunted Bridge
by Staff Writer
“The keen-eyed traveler will notice a stone block here, poking up through the verdant carpet of the forest floor, perhaps another nestled under a fern before coming upon the crumbling, masonry pilings that are all that remains of the site once called Blood Drinker’s Bridge,” Forcrath Silverspur wrote in Points of Interest in the Enchanted Forest: An Adventure Tourism Guide, which introduces his article about the Haunted Bridge.
The ruins are located some distance south along the road a little over half way from Dragon Egg to East Egg.* Here are five facts you may not know about the Haunted Bridge from Doctor Forcrath’s 1972 book.
- The now non-existent stream, which the Haunted Bridge used to cross, was magically dried up in 1605 when a vampire named Torsten the Fierce and other unknown casters completed a powerful series of spells that evaporated all of the streams, pools and other natural, standing bodies of water within the Enchanted Forest. This took place during the Vampire War and was done because it is well known that most vampires cannot cross such bodies of water. Torsten’s actions were a prelude to a general invasion. Such was the power of Torsten’s magic that the stream has never come back in the more than four hundred years since.
- The site is not believed to be intrinsically dangerous, but it is thought that select dark spells and the creation of forbidden items can be facilitated by ingredients available on the site, such as certain powdered minerals and odd salts. As such, the Haunted Bridge is sometimes frequented by dangerous individuals it is better not to meet. Be careful if you visit!
- No one knows who built the bridge. Scholars agree that it dates back to the 12th or 13th Century and facilitated trade with the human inhabitants on what was then the edge of the Enchanted Forest, which was much further south then than it is now.
- While plant life flourishes in the environs around the Haunted Bridge, magically-inclined or sensitive people report feelings of “general unease,” nightmares, and so forth when they stay in the area for more than a few hours. Some also report bouts of bad luck after prolonged contact with the ruin.
- Mindless undead are attracted to the area. The Dragon Egg Special Arbor Service conducts regular patrols to deal with the skeletons, zombies and so on before they build up to a level that becomes a problem.
* See Issue One for a map of the Enchanted Forest containing among other things, the location of the Haunted Bridge (Ed).
** Photo credit: Thoolmar the Magnificent. I’d love to learn that spell she used to make a picture while she was looking at the Haunted Bridge once I get far enough along at school and learn to cast high enough level spells. Perhaps in a year or two you’d like to trade, Thoolmar? (Ed.)
A Short Interview with the Introverted Hermit
by Biri Blackwing
We have been following the exploits, for quite some time now, of the human artist from the outer planes known as The Introverted Hermit. She is best known in Dragon Egg for her Monday Mandala feature, where each week she shares a new mandala of her own creation. The Hermit is up to #47, as this paper goes to press, so she has been doing this for awhile.
The Introverted Hermit also recently started an Etsy shop. She is currently selling black & white downloads of some of her mandalas suitable for coloring. Seems like coloring one of those with crayons or colored pencils or maybe even using some water colors might be fun.
Hermit: I’ve always had a need to be doing something creative – whether it was painting, dancing, writing, or drawing. It speaks to and calms my soul in a way nothing else does.
Q: ‘Mandala 25’ is very attractive, especially with your colorization. I have talked to several elves, who speak very favorably of your use of geometric patterns. I read in your article, “Progress,” your reference to “Native American” and “Nazca art.” What inspired you to create this piece, in addition to evoking themes from the aforementioned traditions?
Hermit: I think every artist is inspired by something. I’ve always been fascinated with geometric, abstract patterns as well as by the art of the Nazca people. I’ve also always had an interest in the art of Native Americans, since that is part of my own heritage. The feelings those patterns and themes evoke allows me to explore my own thoughts and feelings during the process of creation.
Q: Is there an element of Art you enjoy the most? What do you find the most challenging? Why?
I think the most joy I get out of creating is in the process itself – allowing my own thoughts and feelings out onto the paper without worry or fear. The most challenging part for me is to quiet my inner critic and to allow the joy and wonder of the process to just flow. I think we all subject ourselves negative self-talk and overcoming that criticism, that fear of failure, can be very difficult.
Q: I read some of your thoughts concerning being an artist, “imposter syndrome,” and so on, here and here. (We think you’re a great artist by the way.) How would you define what it means to be an artist? Do you think there is a distinction between an Artist versus ” a creative” versus someone who simply “does art?”
Thank you! I think everyone is an artist – it’s just that we sometimes don’t recognize it. Working with numbers is an art. Working with words is an art. Cooking is an art (one I certainly haven’t mastered!). We all show our creativity in different ways, but everyone – from the tallest to the smallest, from the richest to the poorest, is an artist in some way. And everything overlaps. A painter is an artist, sure, but there are many other things they have to know – color theory, composition, lighting, musculature, how bodies move, ratios for color mixing, etc. Art, and artists, are everywhere, if you just look.
Q: One elvish reader asks, “I see from reading your work that you sometimes encounter challenges moving forward with your work and getting things done. I have started having this problem more and more myself, especially after I passed into my fourth century. Do you have any tips or tricks to recommend that I could use to continue to move forward with my projects? Thank you.”
I think as we age, it’s easy to become jaded and bored with things we want or need to do. One thing I find that helps me is to have several projects going at once. That way if I get bored or frustrated with one, I can move to another one and give myself a bit of break. Once you’re concentrating on something else, your subconscious will often work out a solution to a problem and you’ll be able to see it when you return to the work. And sometimes, we all just need a break – a rest, to recharge those artistic impulses.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m flattered to be asked about my work. One of the best things about creating something is to see how other people interpret what you’ve done. Often, they will have a reaction that you weren’t expecting, and for me, that’s one of the biggest joys. It’s like watching that creative spark jump from my work into someone else and that’s an amazing thing.
Shopping in Dragon’s Egg
by Thulunil Ummair
Everyone knows that adventurers love nothing better than to go shopping after getting back to town following their latest successful quest. Smart adventurers know that some of the best shopping around can be had at the businesses in our own town of Dragon’s Egg. Even people from the outer planes sometimes come here for their magical and mundane needs! Here are five well-known establishments.
- Bamira’s Stones (Gems and common magical components). Owner: Bamira Burntree (dragonborn). While her public shop is quite small and features mainly mundane items, a much more extensive collection of wares can be had if you are one of her “preferred customers.”
- Feather Fall Archery. Proprietor: Oram Brightspear (elf). A wide selection of long and short bows as well as a sideline of thrown weapons. There is a sign prominently visible as one enters the shop that reads, “Crossbowmen not welcome.” Even mentioning the word “crossbow” is enough to receive a permanent ban from the shop!
- Kobold Or Go Home (General Merchandise). Owner: Queequeg (kobold); Proprietor: Gree (kobold). Does a lot of business with goblins, which is ironic because Queequeg is well known to dislike goblins. Yet he has a reputation for scrupulously fair dealing, and some of the people who sing his praises the highest are the aforementioned goblins.
- Temple of the Green Dragon. First Priest F’Rhogar Goldleaf (dragonborn). The religious center of Dragon Egg dedicated to our god, Great Dragon. Aspects currently emphasized are The Warrior, The Guardian, and The Healer. A green dragon magician, Chrysophylax, lairs on the premises. There is also a shrine within the outer gardens dedicated to all of the other gods, both draconic and otherwise.
- Twelve Hammers (Metalwork). “Dragon Egg’s Finest Smith Shop.” Owner: Falasar Moonclaw (dragonborn). Large staff of artisans fabricating everything smithing-related from basic tools to highly ornamented weapons, gatework, etc. Can also contract for precious metals work, and so on. Has a reputation for high prices and excellent quality. Can have long waits if you are not a regular customer.
Corrections & Clarifications
The Temple of the Great Dragon contacted us concerning our story, “Raising the Dead: Did You Know?” from the previous issue. They pointed out that Great Dragon commonly gifts clergy with the spell Revivify, “making it possible to return an individual to life, who has just died. This dweomercraft is effective even in the absence of a great vow, and has saved many lives on the battlefield, during parturition and so on.”
The temple representative went on to say, “Spells like Revivify are common magics but gods can gift us in many marvelous and unusual ways too. Their will and power sometimes transcends system and category. Remember First Priest Goldleaf’s words: “Those who think that magic or magical beings follow universal laws or some system of Causality or Necessity are gravely mistaken. Doubly so for worthies who put their full trust in tomes, grimoires, and so-called ‘handbooks.'”
Biri “Wondermist” Blackwing, Editor-in-Chief
Thulunil Ummair, Assistant Editor
Ann Wycoff, Contributing Editor/Outer Planes Correspondent
Your Name Could Be Here!