The Very Canon Adventures of Oogi“South west of Giants Drown” said the man, pantomiming the directions. “A right big tower, can’t miss it, made of stone. You’ll find Arkad there, and I bet he can forge that horn into somethin’” Oogi nodded “thank you”, before getting up from the barstool “Hey!” said the man. “I don’t give information away for free you know” “O-of course” replied Oogi, scrambling for his coin pouch “No no no, I aint need your coin, I want that good stuff” Oogi paused for a moment before nodding in understanding, pulling out a waterskin, dripping with a red oily substance. The man snaps his fingers at the bartender. “Gimme a bowl, would ya?” he says. The bartender nods, and returns with haste with a bowl awkwardly carved out of wood, he holds the bowl towards Oogi, who squeezes the waterskin. A crude chili drips out of the tip of the waterskin, into the bowl. The man shudders in anticipation, before reaching for spoon and hastily shoveling the chili down his throat. Oogi observes for a moment, eyes beaming, before stepping away. “WAIT!” shouted the man. “What? What? Can you see I’m trying to leave here, I can’t miss my party going on, probably going to explore the ruins of an ancient king said to tore the earth asunder or something. I gotta be there for it” “You can’t just...talk to Arkad. You need something” “Outstanding charisma? Charming personality? I’m sure me and Arkham can make out a deal.” “It’s Arkad, and no...I’ve heard tell you need something valuable” “I have silver” The man shakes his head, chili dripping off his chin. “I can’t claim to know exactly what he wants, but I’m going to take a guess it ain't silver.” “What do you think it is?” “Something valuable, oh HEY” the man says, snapping his fingers. “This stuff is good!” “Yeah yeah I kno-” “No, you don’t understand, we got a thing coming up in Lestryhonia called ‘The Black Pot’, and it’s…” the man pauses before reaching for a cue card, squinting at it. “It’s...non-canon” he says. “The winner receives a huge golden cooking pot lined with jewels! Surely something like that is sure to entice Arkad, the whole gimmick is that you make something in a black cooking pot provided to you by the judges, and the best pot wins. Trust me, just make some of that chunky- “It’s chili” interrupts Oogi “Yeah yeah yeah, make some chappy into the pot and I swear by the Gods you’ll win by a landslide!” Oogi nods. “Thanks for letting me know” “No problem” replies the man “You’ll find some more information on ‘The Black Pot’ on a bulletin”. The man continues to stuff his face as Oogi steps out of the tavern and into Lestryhonia.
~Oogi and The Black Pot~Oogi steps up to a bulletin and rips off a poster advertising The Black Pot, on it, a crudely drawn picture of a pot lined with jewels. THE BLACK POT DAY FOUR OF SPRING MONTH TWO BE THERE! FREE SAMPLING OF FIVE TIME CHAMPION ‘CRAVEN DEL’LESTHA’S FAMOUS GRUEL (Lestryhonia Market District, 12AM) “Day four of-...that’s tomorrow! I’m going to have to skip tomorrows adventure, I’m sure the team will understand, and when I come back with this golden pot, they’ll be all like ‘wow Oogi you’re actually cool and good!’” Oogi says, folding up the paper... “Why would they call a five time champion a craven?” Oogi gets to work, writing down a list of ingredients. “I’m definitely going to need mushroom powder” he mutters as he shuffles through his notes “Ah, we saw some mushrooms in the tunnels beneath Lestryhonia, very convenient. I definitely have enough beans...could never really have enough though, definitely could enhance the dish with a roux base. Maybe Bark Flour? Meat from the birds in the Tomb of Jotun are a must.” Oogi says as he walks up to a wooden stand with a disinterested looking man slouched behind it. The words “The Black Pot” are neatly engraved on a large sign above the stand. “Hi there” “Hey…” replies the man, unabashedly picking his nose “I’m uh...here to sign up for The Black Pot” The man begins to bite his fingernails. “Craven’s in it again this year” he says. “Yeah uh...okay. Well I’d still like to sign up.” The man sits up, revealing his pimpled face and greasy hair. “It’s a waste of time” he says, his voice growing more nasally. “Just give me the damn sign up sheet” The man begins laughing “H-hey! Get a load of this guy! Yondal! Yondal!” “What” groans a deep voice, as a mountainous man steps behind the stand. “Man-tits over here is going to try and beat Craven!” They both let out deep belly laughs. “By the Gods just give me the damn sign up sheet!” Oogi shouts Both men pause, before the scrawny one leans forward. “There is no sign up sheet you fucking idiot. You just show up.” The men erupt into laughter once again “F-fine! I’ll be back here at 12 tomorrow!” “Alright see you then, pork rind” “I’m going to have to pull out all the stops if I want to beat this Craven guy” Oogi mutters as he returns to the tunnels of Lestryhonia to gather mushrooms. He pulls out the map. “Wow, nicely drawn. Whoever drew this is a real artist and is loved by everyone” Oogi’s thoughts were interrupted by the skittering of a giant tick. He pulls out a throwing axe in preparation. The giant tick reveals itself, and in a flash, leaps towards Oogi’s face. Instinctively, Oogi shields his face with his hands. The tick jumps into Oogi’s hands, and it’s twitching legs flailed around searching for a solid place to latch on, it’s teeth biting mindlessly. Oogi grabs it firmly and holds it away from his face. It squirms even more, and in one swift motion, Oogi takes a hand off the tick slams it into a nearby wall, and plunges his throwing axe into the center of tick, blood drips from the wound and onto the blade. “Gods this is easier when you have like, seven human proxies”. The tick spasms a few more times before becoming limp. Lighting a torch, Oogi returns to the place where Dvain was swarmed and killed by rats. His body is no longer there, there are black feathers strewn across the floor and claw marks all over the walls. The rats that plagued the team previously seem to have all been killed. Some kind of monster roams these tunnels. Oogi steps back from the scene and into an intersection. Mushrooms are growing from the cracks and corners of the walls here. He picks them promptly, and exits the tunnels with haste. It’s nearly sunset. “Bark Flour next…” he mutters “The roux should thicken up the chili”. Oogi makes way for the tree where the team discovered eight statues with lilac gems for eyes. He makes it there in the dead of night, rain gently pittering. The bloated corpses which once hung from the tree are now gone. There are claw marks going from the base of the tree to the top. He peels off several pieces of bark from the tree. The rain begins to pour, Oogi takes shelter beneath the tree. “Claw marks again” he mutters. “Maybe something is following the team around…” He quickly jots this idea down. “Whatever the monster is, it’s claws are as fine as knives, and they seem to be extraordinarily large.” He takes a look at his reflection in his throwing axe. Oogi dozes off beneath the tree. He jolts awake during the twilight hours of the morning. The rain has died down. “OH Gods I have to get that bird meat from that tomb!” The grass is tipped with morning dew. He gets up and cracks his back, before heading to the tomb. The sky is clear, and he makes his way east without much incident. “It’s getting close to 12AM.” Oogi mutters, looking at the sky. A pillar of smoke arises, and Oogi notices a campsite near the tomb. “HALT!” shouts a voice. Oogi looks around and sees no one. “H-hello?” A large man steps out of a tent. “Who goes there?” “Uhm...Oogi.” replies Oogi meekly. “Who are you” “We are the Sons of Kronus. We’ve already sent a group of dimwitted adventurers to slay the Magi of the Trepanted Circle, so you’re going to have to-” “Uhm...I’m not here for that, sorry.” The man’s brow furrows. “Why do you wish to enter Jotun’s Tomb?” “Well I was here a few days ago and there is some birds in there, could really use the meat for a meal I’m making for The Black Pot.” “Ah, The Black Pot! You know that’s…” the man takes out a cue card and squints at the text on it. “Non-canon, right?” “Yeah yeah yeah, I know. I’m kind of tight on time here, can I go in.” “I don’t see why not. Gods be with you on your journey.” The man shrugs, and Oogi scoots past the encampment. A crashing sound lances through the tomb as Oogi enters. It sounds like someone chopping wood, suddenly a cracking sound and a slam. Oogi heads southeast, passing the disturbing statue of a giant. There are blood splatters on the walls, and arrows litter the ground. “They really cleaned house…” Oogi says as he steps forward. “Why did you make her cry!?” a familiar voice explodes through the complex. “I better get outta here fast before things take a turn south” Oogi enters the room where the party killed the giant bird. Another bird is there, pecking at the corpse of the old one. Oogi opens the door a crack, the bird spots Oogi and a stream of black vomit flies out of its mouth, to which he closes the door quickly and can hear the splatter of the vomit on the other side. Oogi opens the door again and throws his axe with all his might, it merely glances off the bird and it rushes forward with its talons outstretched. Oogi holds another axe out in from of him and the bird charges into it, it’s talons dig into Oogi’s massive stomach but the axe lodges itself in the birds throat, with a flap of its mighty wings, it retreats. Oogi pulls out his final throwing axe. The bird’s laser focused on Oogi, a blood and black bile swill drip out of it’s throat, along the edge of the axe. Oogi looks down and sees his blood piling up on his shirt. “I’m on a time limit…” “FUCK!” screams a voice from the distance, the sounds of a scuffle echo through the tombs. Time slows as Oogi winds his torso back and releases, like a spring board, throwing the axe with incredible force, and with incredible force it slams against the wall behind the bird, before limply falling to the ground. Black vomit oozes from the cut in its throat, it covers the axe and the bird rears its head up. Oogi ducks and rushes in as a stream of the vomit flies overhead. He grabs the handle of the throwing axe lodged in the birds throat and rips it forward, twisting the head of the bird 180 degrees, and with a satisfying snap, the bird falls to the ground, and blood and vomit being to pool beneath it. Oogi collects his throwing axes and begins to drag the bird out of the complex by its feet. It leaves a trail of blood behind it. “By the power of the almighty lizard queen, I strike thee down!” shouts a voice “W-what the-” Oogi looks around “I’m just leaving! Just leaving…” Oogi picks up the pace. “Lizard queen...lizard queen, I gotta write that down for the party, there’s some crazy stuff in here. I don’t remember those Kronus boys mentioning a lizard queen…” As Oogi exits the complex, he’s greeted by a Son of Kronus. “Greetings!” the man says heartily. Oogi looks up in the sky, the sun is almost in the middle. It’s almost time. “Excellent haul” he says. “You don’t wanna go in there” “We sent warriors in to slay the -” “Magi? Yeah. There’s a lizard queen in there.” “Wha...I’ve never heard tell of such a thing” “Yup. Lizard queen. I may return with my party and assist in the extermination, if your current hirelings happen to perish that is” The Son of Kronus nods “Can you help me out here?” Oogi says as it motions to the bird. “Where do you need the bird?” “I’m taking it to The Black Pot.” “Ah! Me and some boys were going to go there anyway, I’ll be glad to help you out. It’s the only time of year when we get to try Craven Del’Lestha’s gruel.” The man hoists the bird over his back and walks with Oogi. “You’ve got some stones to take on the Craven herself” says the man “Ah, she’s a girl, whats the deal with her? Why do you call her that?” replied Oogi “Well, she calls herself that. Rumor says she was banished from Hils, for what, we can only speculate. Apparently he first name was erased by the curse of a witch, and now she only carries around her family's name as a mark of shame. I can’t really confirm any of this, but she’s a strange old lady. However we appreciate her, whatever she did to get banished, it was a long time ago. She’s helped us enough, and everyone deserves a second chance. Her amazing cooking skills help too.” Oogi nods. “I’m rooting for you, second place I bet” continues the man. “Nothing beats Del’Lestha” “I’m hoping to be a challenge” Oogi and the man return to the stand. “Here for The Black Pot!” announces Oogi. The scrawny man behind the stand shakes his head. “Oh, it’s you again” he scoffs “Didn’t think you’d show. Only a few more moments and we’ll be starting” he points Oogi towards a man giving out large black pots. “Grab one of those and head to the show area. You’ll know when it starts” Oogi nods and he and the Son of Kronus part ways, Oogi grabs a large black pot and carries it and the bird to the show area. It’s a circle, marked with a yellow outline. It’s all dirt, and there are six sets of kindling in a row. “Contestants! Please place your pots on the kindling, and when I sound the horn, you may set it alight and begin cooking! We’ve supplied basic ingredients but anything not there you’ll have to bring! You’ll find your ingredients in a chest next to you!” Oogi places the bird down, and puts the pot on the wood. A few other contestants place their pots down. An old woman hobbles up to the pile of wood next to Oogi and places a black pot down. Her back arched, her nose hooked, she has long frazzled black hair and a large backpack. Her shawl is torn, and her long boney arms seem scarred. “Hey.” says Oogi. The woman ignores him, and waits patiently for the sound of the horn. “Are you...Craven Del’Lestha?” The woman nods, and waves to Oogi. “Good luck” she says, her voice gravely and scratched In the chest, there is a bucket of water, some spices, some bases. It’s general stuff for any kind of stew. Tools too, a mortar and pestle, large wooden spoon, bowl, knife, a torch for lighting the fire among other things. Oogi waits for the horn to be sounded. He looks over to Craven Del’Lestha, who’s as still as a statue. Her backpack wiggles for a moment. “What the-” A horn blasts through the air, Oogi grabs the torch and sets the kindling alight. Pulling out the tree bark he begins to grind it into a fine flour. “You have three hours to present us with a dish! What do you think of the competition Yondal?” says an announcer. “Same old same old, it seems” chimes in another. “I hope they’ve brought something new else Del’Lestha’s gonna sweep the whole thing again!” “We got a newbie this year also! What are your thoughts on him?” “Well I think he’s in for a shock, Toka, Craven is getting right at it, pulling out ingredient after ingredient from her huge backpack! She knows exactly what she’s doing! She’s got a plan! This new contestant looks a little green around the gills if you know what I mean” “I understand completely Yondal, our other contestants are pulling out the usual stops, if newbie doesn’t pull off a miracle I don’t think he stands a chance!” Oogi tosses the newly made flour into the pot along with some butter. He turns around and chops at the bird with an axe, getting a cut of breast, he rips it up further “I don’t know what our new guy has planned but if he’s trying to show up Craven he’s about in for a nasty surprise” “Ignore them Oogi” Oogi mutters to himself, dumping some water into the pot, he begins grinding up the mushrooms in the mortar and pestle. He looks over at Craven who’s working like a machine. He dumps mushroom powder into the mix and adds beans. “He’s making some kind of bean mix! What do you think about that Yondal?” “I can't quite make out what he’s making Toka, but whatever it is, it’s going to have a kick to it, see him add those peppers and tomatoes? Going for a savoury flavor it looks like to me Toka!” “Let’s take a look at Craven and, dear Gods she’s adding mince meat! For all that is holy, who can stop this woman!?” “I can smell it from here Toka, I got a cravin’ for a craven and it look likes Del’Lesthas gonna deliver!” Oogi works up a sweat as the pot beings to boil, he tosses in onions and places a metal sheet on the top of the pot and begins to grill the bird meat on it. “We are only fifteen minutes in and the competition is heating up! But Del’Lesthas unphased! She’s an absolute monster! Our other contestants are at it, Griff’s adding, oh damn is that parsley? Holy fucking shit Yondal it’s parsley” “He better be packing more heat than parsley, Griff, a very consistent contestant. Always in the top three. He always brings his best, always a bridesmaid never a bride though, think that can change Toka?” “Potentially, we don't know what newbies going to bring to the table but he’s unlikely to kick Griff out of his spot, a stubborn guy that one and- oh, OH! Amazing play from Farsoni, he’s adding three sticks of butter! Gods he’s putting his all into it!” Oogi ignores the announcers and the cheers from the crowd to focus on his craft. He grabs a spoon and stirs gently, he scoops his grilled shredded chicken into the mix. Craven puts a lid on her pot. “Goodness gracious it looks like Del’Lestha’s finished adding ingredients!” Only half an hour in and she’s done, she has this down to a science, Yondal, a science!” “I like to think cooking’s a little art, a little science, and a lotta love” “Well said Yondal, well said” “This has to cook for a while so I better hurry up with the ingredients” Oogi mutters as he dumps spice after spice into the mix. He swiftly puts the lid on the pot. “What the- What is this!? Newbies done too! He’s clearly put in the work, he’s put in the practice! Finishing right behind Del’Lestha, can you get me this guys name? This guys amazing, Yondal” “I-...yeah, I just got word in and his name is Booger.” “Amazing job Booger! Our new guy is really showing up the competition with his prep time and planning, our other contestants seem dazed and confused by comparison!” Oogi lifts the pot lid and stirs gently before closing it again. Craven Del’Lestha walks out of the ring. “Dear lord! The absolute disrespect from Craven! She’s walking out like she doesn't even need to be here! Her pot in still in the ring, what do you think she’s heading out for?” “I’ve no idea Toka but honestly I think she has this planned. Maybe she’s off to relax beneath a tree while her gruel wins her the competition, she’s that good, and as long as she returns before the 3 hour mark, she’s still in!” The crowd erupts Oogi eyes Craven as she leaves, her backpack rustles and shutters, Oogi adds a pinch of salt before following her. “Oh- oh and Booger is stepping out too! This is unprecedented! What do you think this means Yondal!” “This is obviously about a message, Toka. Booger came in strong and isn’t going to be shown up easily, but can his bravado alone win The Black Pot!?” Oogi follows Craven behind a building, everything becomes quiet as the shadow of the building encompasses the two. “It’s not polite to stalk, young man” “Where are you going?” asks Oogi “You needn’t know” she says as her backpack wiggles some more, she puts her hands on it. “What is that? What’s going on here!?” “Back away sonny, back to The Black Pot. I’ve got some business to attend to.” she says as she darts into the woods. Oogi trails behind. “Something isn’t right here” he mutters “There’s some kind of bullshittery going on and I’m not about to lose The Black Pot to someone who pulls suspicious tactics…” He heads into the woods, there are black feathers along the ground, its quiet, a gentle breeze sways the branches of the trees. “You shouldn’t have come here, young one” says Del’Lestha, her voice seemingly coming from nowhere. “What is it!? What’s the secret!? What are you trying to pull?” A haggard Craven staggers out from behind a large tree, hands dripping with blood. Her backpack bursts open, huge black raven wings unfold, and a blast of wind swirls around the two. Craven’s hair flies back revealing a wicked smirk, razor sharp claws extend out from her fingers by at least a foot. Oogi snaps his fingers “I knew it! The secret ingredient is people! I knew it!” The wind calms for a moment “Wha-..what? By the Gods no. Criminey” replies the Craven in a cacophony of voices “But...but what about the missing corpses...and the...the claw marks and feather I saw” “I’m looking for something you have, a mystical bone that melts metal. I’ve scoured every place you’ve been to, I’ve looked through every corpse, asked every person you’ve interacted with, Ive-” “Wait...the secret ingredient isn’t people...why do you want that skull” “Ah...it’s a skull.” “Uhm...no” “I’ve heard enough” announced Del’Lestha, as the winds picked back up. She raises a finger towards Oogi. “Now die!” Hundreds of crows seemingly appear out from behind Del’Lestha and rocket towards Oogi in a swarm of beaks and talons. Suddenly out from the swarm, Craven appears, one claw extended towards Oogis gut as she rushes forward with the winds. Oogi steps to the side and trips as Craven charges past. The crow swarm dissipates, Oogi scrambled up and wields two axes at once, Craven jumps forward and crashes both of her huge clawed hands into the ground, ripping up dirt and grass. Oogi steps back, only evading by a hair, he ratchets back and unleashes a flurry of axe swings, all to which Del’Lestha deflects effortlessly with her massive talons. The Craven’s wings whip up a gust of wind that Oogi gets pushed back by, he digs in his heels. Del’Lestha whips her claws out from the left in an attempt to slice Oogi in twane. Oogi crashes his axe into the claws, and they only barely graze him as they fly by, blood is drawn. Oogi kicks Del’Lestha in the chest, she stumbles back. As she gets her footing back Oogi jumps forward, arms outstretched, axes in both hands. Without a moment of hesitation Del’Lestha swipes away one of the axes, and the other one lodges itself firmly into her face. An ungodly shriek fills the forest as a swarm of crows surrounds Del’Lestha, and she rockets into the sky, a gust of wind pushes Oogi down as Del’Lestha’s giant wings flap in the air. She sails through the air with extreme speeds before disappearing behind the trees of the forest, on the ground, Oogi’s bloodied axe. “W-wait! I still have questions!” Oogi shouts “Why’d you leave the competition!? Why do you want the metal melting horn? Why were you in The Black Pot!? Who are you!?”. The attempts to communicate are fruitless as his shouts echo into the forest, the only thing remaining is blood stains, claw marks on the trees, and a few jet black feathers. Oogi looks directly at you. Yes you, the reader. He’s looking directly at you, and says “Wow, huh, I guess there are some open ended questions that may be resolved if I happen to go on any more wacky adventures during downtime. Maybe there is like a narrative unfolding here, maybe like if I miss our parties adventuring date it isn’t all bad because it furthers my own personal narrative, you know maybe-” A thought enters Oogi’s head. “Oh shit, The Black Pot!” Oogi leaves a trail of blood behind him as he staggers back into the ring. “Booger’s back! But where’s Craven!?” shouts an announcer “I don’t know Toka but she has 15 minutes left until the deadline, her gruel shoulda been stirred more in my opinion! Whatever she left for, it must be important!” “This is the edge of your seat action you get when you pay for a tick-blah blah blah blah” The sound faded out for Oogi, his vision blurry, his hands shaking. He looks under his shirt, the gash Del’Lestha left was deeper than he thought, and blood poured out of it like a crimson waterfall. The sky grew dark as Oogi collapsed onto the ground. … He awakens on a cot, a bandage wrapped around his wounds, caked in dried blood. “Whats going on?” he stammers “Relax, Oogi. You’ll be fine. You’re being tended to by the best apothecaries in Lestryhonia” speaks a soft feminine voice “D-did I win?” “Ahahahahahahaha- No. You threw up in the pot and tipped it over trying to steady yourself and got all your blood in your chili” “Give it a few days, and you should be up and back in action.” “What about Craven? Craven Del’Lestha” “No one knows where she is…” Oogi pause for a moment, before he gets up, and the world tilts. “Sit down, sit down” commands the voice. “Relax for a few days please, these gashes are pretty deep. Where did you get them?” “Del’Lestha turned into a giant bird monster and gouged my stomach with one of her incredibly long and incredibly sharp claws” The woman pauses for a moment. “A few days rest, then you can get back on your adventuring like nothing ever happened, alright hun?” Oogi nods before drifting back to sleep, the dream of a quick payday from The Black Pot shattered. “I guess it’s just back to regular old adventuring”