My Music Stones

Posted under Episode 0, Story On By Chief

You are an apprentice blacksmith living in a quaint mining town. Your family runs a small shop near the castle and you help your father with his work when he needs it. Today you are tasked with delivering a strange package to a special customer, your father wrote a note with a vague description of the recipient.
 You decide to take this job as payment for helping out around the house. The trip will be fairly long so you have decided to make some money on the side by selling items that can't fit into your bags.

> You read the note your father wrote:
 "Take the brown sack to the old woman at the end of the lane." 
As soon as you leave your home, the doorbell rings loudly followed shortly by another loud ring from somewhere else.

> You are greeted by an incredibly tall and lanky man dressed up like a butler.  You try and hand him the package, but he motions you to enter the house.

The front room is filled with beautiful furniture and expensive looking art pieces. In the center stands a grand piano with a red velvet cloth draped over its top. To your left is a large dining table set with various dishes and silverware.

> You look around and notice the old woman sitting in an rocking chair.  You walk up and hand her the package which she opens in front of you.  The package contains

A leather wallet containing 3 gold coins (25 gp)
A wooden box holding 4 emeralds (10 sp)
Two sets of lockpicks, one of them enchanted with magic (2 cp).

> You ask the woman about the magic lockpicks.

"I am sorry sir, I do not know what those are," says the old lady. She then looks down at the ground and smiles sadly.
You give her back the two locks picks and go to sell off the other goods.

Before you leave, the old woman asks you for a favor.
 "Please bring me more magic stones every month or so," she requests. "I cannot live without my music!"
She has also given you three bottles of wine along with a bottle opener made out of ironwood wood.

You go back to the store and ask your father about the magic music stones.
 He tells you they don't exist because he had only ever heard rumors about them. His theory was that since no merchant would carry something like that openly, it must be something that people find hidden inside of things they buy.

You notice your dad is giving you a look.  You suspect that this shop your family runs is actually a front for illegal magic music stones.
 You tell your dad that you're going to check into it later and head towards the tavern.
It's quite late in the evening when you arrive at the local bar where all sorts of odd characters gather.

You look and note tonight's cast of oddballs:
 A pair of drunken dwarves arguing politics; a half-orc who keeps trying to pick fights with everyone around him; an older human man drinking alone who seems completely lost in his own thoughts; a group of drunk adventurers playing dice in the corner...

A hooded figure approaches you.  You ignore him, but he slaps down a large bag of gold coins.  The hooded figure just says, "For the best music stones you have at that shop of yours."
  Before you can react, the stranger is gone.
There are many different kinds of magic music stones, and each type affects a unique musical instrument. Some types affect drums, others brass instruments such as trumpets or horns, some even vocalists.

And there the rarest magic music stone of them all with the song " photograph" by shitelback, a Nickelback cover band.

This particular rocker uses a special kind of music called "rock and roll", a mix between jazz and classical.  It is a very popular style that has been around since the 1920s.

You got into the back room of the store where your father keeps the valuables.  You are not allowed back here, but  you look for the music stones anyway and you find
 the first one right away.
The old woman is sitting on the floor surrounded by a pile of rocks.  You take the small redstone from the bottom of the heap and put it into the old woman's hand.

The old woman tells you that this magic music stone has the song:

"When the wind blows through the trees, I feel the same way, and you, and you, and you, and you..."
She then places the redstone on a wooden stand and starts plucking at the strings with her fingers.

You ask the old woman how she knows so much about music stones.

"Oh, I love music, but my eyes aren't what they used to be, so I've learned to listen with my ears. And with these," she said, pointing her fingers at the music stones, "I know exactly which ones will work with any instrument!"

You reveal your troubled past to the old woman.

"That's terrible, sonny boy, horrible! That poor man, that poor woman, all those people, they don't deserve this! You must stop them from doing this! Tell them it's wrong, tell them that you'll make sure no more magic music stones get stolen!"

The old woman tells you her name

 Madame Esmerelda and she offers to help you if you want.
You are not so certain.
You go back to the front and ask your dad what you should do.
He tells you to keep looking for the music stones, and to come back to him with one when you find

You explain to your father that everyone should be able to listen to music and not just those rich enough to buy these stones.

You tell your father that you're going back out to the bar and that you might find something interesting.
You go back to the tavern and find that you were right, tonight's cast of oddballs has changed.

You look around and notice that the entire bar is filled to the brim with hooded figures.

They're talking amongst themselves and laughing.
You see a figure in the corner of the tavern that you recognize as your father's friend, a half-orc named Kromhaut.
Kromhaut looks over and sees you, he smiles a big toothy grin and walks over towards
"You're the guy with all of that money?" He asks.
"Yes." You say. "What's going on here? What are they selling?"
"It's a little secret, but we're all in on the deal.

Kromhaut picks you up and grabs your napsack filled with music stones.  Kromhaut starts distributing all the stones and collect gold coins.  You try to stop him, but it is too late, all of the stones are gone!

You realize that you have been had.
You take the bag of gold coins from Kromhaut and start walking towards the exit.
As you walk out of the tavern, a hooded figure comes running after you.

It tackles you and knocks the wind out of you.
Then the hooded figure pulls off his mask and reveals himself to be none other than the wizard, Dr. Nefarious.
"How did you know where to find me?!"

Dr Nefarious says, "You came back to the exact spot we first met, is it really such a mystery?  Now where is my music stone that I paid you for?"

You look around you and see the redstone sitting on a table.
Dr. Nefarious takes the redstone and places it into a leather bag.
The wizard then slings you over his shoulder, carries you back inside, and throws you down onto the floor.

Dr Nefarious takes the red stone and places it into a large saxaphone.  You sit and watch as he plays a song.

The song is the most beautiful thing you've ever heard.
"You stole it!" You cry.
"I bought it fair and square, I'm afraid.
But there is no need for you to worry about it anymore.

You try and sue Dr Nefarious for stealing your music stone and playing it for money.

You are told by the court that you don't have any evidence.
"You can't prove I didn't pay you to play that song!" You shout.
"I could just give you the music stones that I already sold to some rich person.

The old woman suddenly enters the court carrying a large sack of stones.  She looks regal, much different from the old decrepit woman she looked like when you first met her.

She is dressed in fine clothes and wears her long grey hair in braids.
The judge is impressed and decides to let you go.
You thank the old woman and ask her how she knew that you would be coming back to the bar tonight.

"Oh, that was simple, sonny boy. It's because you asked me for help before.
You know that the old woman likes music, and when someone doesn't listen to her she gets angry!

Next time on "Music Stones make the world go round":

You go back to your apartment and tell your mom what happened.
You tell her that the wizard tricked you and played your music.
Your mother tells you that she knows the real story.

"You were right to go to the bar, you were right to ask the old lady for help.
You needed to stop the wizard from making more magic stones, and you needed to do it yourself!