Monday, 3 December 2012

Story Hook: Tea Leaves

Story Hook: Gentlemanly cleric sends party on suicide mission to retrieve rare plant, makes worlds greatest cup of tea with it. Goes into berserk rage when a party member adds milk to the tea


"Two bloody weeks we spent in that jungle," the captain said, looking rather disgruntled. Truth be told, he was a bit of a mess. A long gash ran down the side of his face, neatly connecting his eye to his chin. It had a hint of infection about it, and looked like it needed to be cleaned badly. His left arm was in a sling, and the sleeve of his right arm was stained dark red with dried blood. The rest of the adventuring party looked no better. The parties rangers cloak was torn to rags and he was covered in dirt and mud. The hulking barbarian was covered in cuts, and in several places his clothing was stained black or muddy red. He was carrying the groups wizard, a frail looking man at the best of time, who had sustained a bad blow to the head. 

The group stood in front of a fairly nice looking hut situated on the seaside. A few boats were moored at the dock in front of it, and a couple traders stood on the dock talking. It was a trading hut, run by an old seaman who had seen the benefit of a trading hut here and did a reasonable amount of trade. The captain frowned at the other occupant of the hut, a cleric doing missionary work. Crisp white robes fluttered in the sea air. He looked like he'd never done an honest days work in his life.

"Two bloody weeks in the jungle," the captain reiterated, "So I hope this plant was bloody well worth it. We need medical attention, and bad. The wizard took a nasty hit from a goblin and my arm needs a brace." The cleric glanced across the party. "What happened to the guards?" he asked. "Killed by the blasted goblins," the captain spat, "and we lost two of our own to some damned snake twice the size of the outpost. Meanest critter I ever met, should have killed every one of us. All for a bloody plant." And with that, the captain passed the cleric a small pouch.

The cleric opened the pouch and smiled at the leaves inside it. "Your wounds will be attended to captain, please bring your men inside" he said with a smile. The captain and his party trudged into the trading hut. Inside was all bustle and the cleric led them through to the small chapel he maintained, where he found them beds to rest on for a moment, and then disappeared.

Muttering, the captain dug around for some bandages and began seeing to the barbarian. The wizard lay on one of the beds passed out and the ranger began seeing to her own wounds. A few minutes later the cleric returned, with a pot of boiling water and a tea kettle. "Water for cleaning your wounds," the cleric said, holding up the pot, "And tea for whoever wants some, made from the leaves you brought me." The captain stared at the cleric. "Tea leaves!" he yelled, "You sent us on that bloody mission for tea leaves!"

"Yes," the cleric said, "Its very hard to get good tea out here you know." And with that he poured several cups, and proferred one to the ranger, who sullenly took it. The captain stared daggers at the cleric. "Its tea," he said, "Surely you could have gone without." "Impossible," the cleric said with a smile, "A good cup of tea is quite important for a productive day." The ranger rolled her eyes and drew a flask from her pack. She poured a small amount of milk from the flask into the tea.

Seeing this, the cleric gave a shout and grabbed the tea from her hands. "You have defiled it!" the cleric cried, "why would you do such a thing to such a perfect cup of tea!" Dumbstruck, the party could only watch in awe as the cleric became angrier and angrier over the tea, screaming obscenities and smashing the teapot. The captain gave a laugh as the tea splattered all over the hut. "Right then," the captain said, "I think that's about the last time we do anything for you." And with a curt nod the captain grabbed the ranger and pulled her out of the chapel, followed by the barbarian carrying the wizard, and leaving the screaming cleric, who had begun throwing things at the walls.

Standing outside, the captain frowned slightly and searched the dock for a boat out of town. Screams could still be heard emanating from the chapel, and he watched with interest as the thugs employed to prevent thieves walked in to the temple, and then came out carrying the struggling priest, who, still screaming obscenities, was tossed into the water. The captain shook his head. This was the last time they traveled into the south, the people down here were all nuts.

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