The Mimic

The Mimic

Hidden in plain sight
A fiend you have not known
Waiting to give you a fright
And ‘keep’ you for its own

That keg, that chair,
The table over there…
Those logs, this curtain,
You never know for certain

Where the mimic lies
Due to its disguise
Given a chance
With a quick advance
It takes you by surprise!

And what does it do then you ask?
You’ll wish you had just one more flask
To keep you company
For he devours all he sees!

That door! That rug!
It hides in place so sly and snug,
And there the beast is lurking!
Smiling, no, smirking!

For there the mimic lies,
Hidden now by its disguise!
Just waiting for happenstance
To grant it the perfect chance
To take you by surprise!

Most commonly? A chest!
To draw in the greedy guest!
Altar, trunk, or safe could be
The perfect place to wait and see!

He knows, he knows,
The clever form he chose
Draws prey to him with not thought
And after that… They’ll be forgot!

For where the mimic lies
Without its disguise
It’s not waiting for a chance
No longer seeking to advance
As it enjoys its prize…

So my friends let it be said,
A careless mind could wind up dead
Roaming with no plan or gimmick
Especially if they meet… a mimic!

Long have I loved the concept of the mimic. I remember playing video games and encountering chests that were traps or monsters, and when I learned of the mimic in Dungeons & Dragons I was smitten. Now the party my little bard belongs to has encountered two mimics and of course, I had to write some lines for them. Originally they were supposed to be the lines that concluded my last poem, Keys in the Water, but… I couldn’t resist writing a whole song for the beasties instead! Hope you enjoyed it!

Keys in the Water

Another song from my halfling bard on the adventure path called Shackled City. This is the fourth song Sorsha wrote about things we encountered in the first adventure. Enjoy~

Keys in the Water

Just days ago the children came home
And our heroes went back to the darkness below
There did they stay once again in the fray
Seeking the poor souls yet missing that day

And darkness cloaked them all around
As echoes danced in caverns long
And soon the warriors heard a sound,
The cruel and cowardly slaver’s song!

A pardon begged by their drow mistress
For sins she’d gladly do again!
An offer of release from their distress
For the captive folk from Cauldron!

A bit of fast talking, a smile and a word
Floating on air, fragile as lace
Then we were walking, and casually heard
Our enemies’ cares, the count of their pace

With measure laid thus for the strength of their force
Ryleth turned the tables and set a new course
Then an attack on the drow and her guards
Men of metal with fists just as hard

The drow fell quite swiftly but not ‘fore she told
Of where she had hidden the keys to her gold
Down in the waters of a chasms long bridge
So Ryleth went in, straight over the ridge!

He lept most gracefully to the water below
And met the surface with a quiet splash
Still the sound crept high as a heckling echo
Til the enemy came with a clamor and crash!

Sam, though, had readied his bow
And let fly his arrows into the dark
A hundred feet at least did they go
Through two narrow windows and still found their mark!

As the last stragglers crossed over the bridge
From so far below Ryleth threw a javelin
So one of the dark creepers then was impaled
And soon to the ground he found himself nailed!

Those that made their way across
Found Obash at the door
They saw his ‘glaive’ and were at a loss
Just before he carved them in the floor!

‘Crooked Fang’ we call it now,
His ‘glaive’ that bites so well somehow
Despite the way the ‘parts’ are bound
Obash drives ‘better’ works to ground!

When all was said and done we looked
To waters down below our rest
And Ryleth came up from the brook
The keys we sought he now possessed!

So the prisoners were freed
And safely back to Cauldron brought.
Now we’ve all taken a creed
And thus the Obsidian Order is wrought.

The Battle for the Children

Another song from my halfling bard on the adventure path called Shackled City. This is the third of four songs Sorsha (my bard) is planning to write about things we encountered in the first adventure. If things keep up at that rate she’ll have a pretty hefty collection by the time we finish all this. 🙂 Enjoy~

The Battle for the Children

I’m sure that by now
You’ve all heard about
Children stolen away in the night

And perhaps how
Three men came around
And vowed they would set this aright

These three, pleased be,
Going to battle for a righteous cause!
These three, seized be,
By the need for justice with nary a pause!

Already freed
Were two or three
Who came along to seize their fate

Far they had gone
In halls of black stone
To songs of chains and fire’s praise

The chorus of tears
Rings out through the years
And weathers all the stone away

So now, bare and gaunt,
The victims, they haunt,
The place our children had to stay…

Four pillars, reaching to the skies-
Or at least what should have been
For all the black there to be seen-
Rings on each where chains now binds,
The gentle wrists of precious life
To be bought with gold that night
But for how Fate wends and winds…

Well, Sam, with his golden hair,
He made it his affair
To creep into that haunting room

Once he was within there
He, with the utmost care,
Set up a trap – soon would act as a tomb!

Never once did the slavers stir,
Nor the children stare at his shadow!
Never once did a single murmur
Issue forth, bet they wish it had though!

He rejoined us skillfully,
Obash and Ryleth waited, ready…
We burst the doors in willfully,
And we caught the vile slavers unsteady!

One for the selling and one for the buying,
Two Dwarves that seemed half something else!
And how many people had they both seen dying,
Each just a coin weighing down fine their belts!

No remorse the slavers showed
No respite would be bestowed
And so did our battle begin!

Quick was the seller on his stout toes,
Alas, Sam’s chains chose to interpose,
The seller was caught up within!

Obash charged forward into the fray.
Soon did our friend make a grand display!
As glaive sank into the Hound of Quills
Its howl gave us all a bout of chills!

The Buyer, he vanished right into the air,
It seems he wanted naught of this affair…
A door did he open, but couldn’t pass through,
Before I rolled under him, what else could I do?

I listened as I braced the door,
My friends, my foes, what must be gore…
Sam told me when I could enter again
And my how the battle had changed by then!

The Seller was free of his iron anchor,
The Buyer was becoming quite a canker,
But ‘Quills’ I could see now lay dead.

Ryleth, with his mighty mace, was engaged,
With the Seller’s sharp axe as the battle raged,
But Sam shot the buyer right in his head!

Down fell the Dwarf, the half-something-else
And all that was left was his kin…
Knowing this, I turned while meaning to help…
But Ryleth had caged him by then…

Caged the leader behind the foul deed
Of bringing so many souls here…
And with neither a lock or a key;
He held him with nary a fear!

This is the tale of the Children’s Plight,
The Battle we fought to return them to light,
I’ll always remember the deeds of that night…
Thank gods they are free, and the world now is right….

Behind the Bronze Cog

In case anyone who reads this is better at naming things than I am… I think my bard is probably going to end up naming our adventuring party since she’ll likely be asked their name once she starts singing about them all over town. Right now I’ve been trying to come with something that relates to/embodies a strong sense of justice, wanderlust, and compassion. I’ve got nothing so far. Anyways, suggestions are welcome in the comments. That said…

This is another one from the halfling bard. Her name is Sorsha by the way. Full name Sorsha Vanderboren. The Vanderboren family is a human noble family of Cauldron that adopted Sorsha from an orphanage. She’s spent more time now with her human parents than her halfling parents, though she is very, very much a child of two worlds. She enjoys noble evens, you see, but she also loves to go ‘slumming it’ as some would call it. Dancing barefoot at parties the commoners and merchants of Cauldron are hosting, singing at taverns ‘below her station’. Anyways, this is the song of her adventuring party’s battle with a rather interesting D&D creature called a Grell (possibly/quite likely inspired/copied from mythology as many of D&D’s monsters are).

Behind the Bronze Cog

Wavering, teetering, far up above, a cog the size of a horse,
Bronze and still gleaming throughout the years hidden away in the dust!
We walked most calmly into the room, not one of us running away,
And yet we did know that we would meet soon; a creature which words cannot state!

(“Well, maybe -mine- can.” She gives an exaggerated wink to the audience.)

Down the cog fell with a thunderous thud, and startled me, rightly of course!
But what followed after surpassed all my fears, you’ll forgive me for that I must trust,
It had wrinkles like pasta that pulsated too, a beak sharper than any blade~
And from underneath, with ends like a harpoon’s, tentacles wanting a plate!

(“Of food that is, especially halfling sized.” She gulps dramatically.)

Well what, oh what, were we to do?
We couldn’t just turn and run-
And what do you think my friends thought too
When they saw that thing coming toward us!?

Well- Obash, you may have guessed, charged on in
His peg-leg not slowing him down a bit!
And Ryleth soon followed with hammer again
To see if this creature, its’ life would quit!

(“Ryleth’s the guard remember, and Obash the half-orc…”)

Sam Galanae brought the bow to his hand
And wouldn’t you know, he was great with it!
An arrow flew true for his silent command
And Sam nocked another, lickety split!

But the creature, it squawked as I never have heard,
And a feature I’ve yet to reveal-
The tentacles lashed out from that twisted ‘bird’
And many true strikes did they deal!

You see the Grell’s harpoon tips, they have a strange effect
They make you so you can’t move~
So if you lack common sense, even the beast predicts
It can make short work of you~

To our surprise Obash did not fall, instead he grew rather enraged-
He stabbed our enemy true with his glaive, payback for the wounds he now wore
And Ryleth, not idle, for battle did call, was up on the balcony where he now staged
An attack! An attack! I would not dare try, for a leap and a lash the Grell came to the floor…

(“And by the way, I’m not sure if you can really call it a glaive. You’ll understand if you see it.”)

Ryleth is valiant, and strong, and fierce, but eight stabs of the tips laid him still,
And yet his part was fulfilled even then, for the beast was now well within reach,
Even I took a chance and managed to pierce the creature with such evil will!
And Obash and Samuel knew that this was when their strikes could silence its’ screech!

Arrow and glaive dug into the brain, and out they soon came through a now-broken beak!
Still I pray most truly I shan’t meet again a creature with just that physique!

The Guard and the Bandits Three

The Guard and the Bandits Three

A half-elven guard strode through Cauldron’s fair streets under the stars high above…
When who, of all people, do you think he meets but three most unsavory thugs?
Faces all painted in white and in black, swords in their hands most unkind…
One weary soul in an alley is trapped who was, by these foul knaves, confined…
The guard challenged them with surety then, saying they must yield to the laws..
But as we all know, these sorts of men, make trouble for any small cause!

Oh-ho, the swords did gleam beneath the light of the moon,
Oh-ho, with comrades beside him, the guard set them right mighty soon!

But wait, I guess, there’s much left to say! For how did the skirmish go down?
Ryleth and Samuel rushed to the fray, much to their mutual renown!
Though Ryleth’s fine hammer flew swift through the air, he had no intent to kill,
And Samuel’s rapier, wielded with care- well they likely remember it still!

Oh-ho, two did they engage, parrying blows as they came!
Oh-ho, and surprise, surprise! A half-orc rushed onto the stage!

This one was quite tall, fearsome, and strong, with a pegleg in place of one boot!
But it didn’t take long for us all to see he wasn’t just some mindless brute!
Obash did growl as he knocked the third out, but left me and the cleric alone-
Yes! The man they’d assaulted, now watching the bout, in service his path has been sewn..
But now, my friends, Obash went to join brave Ryleth Farmere and Sam Galanae
And without ever asking for a single coin these stalwart men won us the day!

Well, as you may guess, I’m in a new D&D game. Have to say I love 5th edition so far. My biggest gripe with 4th was how many options I felt it took away (especially in regards to magic). In 5th I feel like they simplified a lot of things and retained variety for classes and for magic. : )

Anyway, in this game I am playing a halfling bard and the adventure path we are running is Shackled City… The city’s name is Cauldron. As always, I hope you enjoyed the poem~