We all know Braemar is living under a dark cloud with all the undead lurking on the outskirts of town, that strange crypt in the cemetery and Halmar talking about doom and gloom all the time, but it’s still a nice place to live. Or at least it was until Halmar’s grudge against me hit an all time low and I lost my building permit.

While out adventuring, I decided to maintain a minimum residence in Braemar, just the essentials – an outhouse. But a sturdy and well built outhouse with plenty of ventilation, trees for shade and even a small fountain. I admit, it’s no desert oasis, but it’s better than digging a hole out back and throwing lime on it from time to time. I thought it was done quite tastefully.

But while I was out punching evil in the face and breaking the ribs of the undead, Halmar was at work undermining all my good deeds. In between his dozens of trips into the pub, he got the local council to condemn my meager dwelling and not only did they uproot my belongings, my building permit has been revoked and I can’t put anything on my own plot of land. Nothing can be placed until this dispute is settled. I’m not sure if fines need to be paid, palms needs to be greased or amends need to be made, but until my name comes up on the docket, I’m out in the cold.

Under normal circumstances, I would simply make rude hand gestures at Halmar, threaten to slit his throat in a back alley under the cover of darkness and seek shelter in my other residence. Alas, my other home and indeed the entire town have been obliterated from the map. I’m not sure if this is Halmar’s doing – I doubt he was that kind of sway, but as I left Braemar and walked down the road I noticed Greystone and all my pants were gone. All the signposts and markers had completely vanished and were instead replaced with markers for Khali. I’m the neighborly type and perfectly happy to share the space, but we can’t share what we don’t have. Khali is not Greystone and Greystone is not Greystone. I couldn’t get in. No note from the Town Crier or Banker, no signpost pointing to where the vagabonds had gone. How do you misplace an entire town? What manner of rapscallionism goes on here?

But I had another trick up my sleeve. Through the power of conjuring, I was able to mystically make my way back home. Low and behold, there it was! My house in all it’s glory, the banker and crier just where I left them. Then it struck me. Greystone was empty. I was the only resident.

Oh no! We’ve been sucked into a vortex. A black hole of Armageddon from where none shall return! But on the other hand, it’s certainly peaceful and quiet.

I don’t know where in time or space Greystone exists, but I have made a few decisions. I have proclaimed myself governor and since no one can come into town except me and only through magical means, I have decreed Greystone my secret hideout. Lots are still free to purchase, but obviously you will need to make special arrangements with me and pay an absolutely excessive fee to take you there. Please fill out an application if you’re interested.

Since I have no home, no place to call my own, I decided to go out and live with the animals. First, I grabbed some meager trinkets from Braemar and made my way to Owl’s Head. If was going to live amongst the noble beasts of the forest, it seemed only right that I should control them – bend their will to my own.

In the public crafting pavilion, which that punk ass Halmar can’t stop me from using, I began to fashion the tools of my trade. I had previously been over to Ardoris to visit with the alchemist and got the secret recipe for making a taming collar and summoning whistle. With the right tools in hand and making sure no one was looking over my shoulder I worked through the smelting, blacksmithing, milling and tailoring process to make the collar and whistle. Everything was going according to plan when I hit a roadblock. Where the devil is the alchemy station? How can I perform magical incantations and practice witchery if there is no alchemy table in Owl’s Head!

So am I to gather that Lord Enmar is in league with Halmar and they are both out to get me? Hiding the station from me eh? I knew your names were too damn similar!

Fine! You won’t stop me! Kingsport has what I need and Julia has no problem with me using her stuff. You don’t mind me saving ol’ Winslow, but putting together a taming collar is just too much for you? It’s not like I want to walk through town with a skeleton in tow or go into the pub with a lich by my side. I just want to mind control a couple of wild animals. What’s the big deal? What could possibly go wrong?

Just as I had threatened, I went over to Kingsport and imbued the collar and whistle with the magical properties of silver and it worked like a charm. I then set out into the forest to tame my quarry.

I had my sights set on casting a bear under my spell. They are majestic and strong creatures who instill fear and inflict great damage. Plus they are furry and warm and that could be useful come winter time if I don’t get this grievance settled with Halmar and I have to spend the winter nights out under the stars or in some stanky, abandoned cave.

I decided to start from the bottom and chose a grizzly bear. I figured if it worked well, I would still have a bear to aid me, but if it went wrong and the blasted thing tried to eat me, well, I stood more of a chance with the grizzly than an Obsidian Bear. And I just didn’t feel like walking to another forest.

I had great success and soon won over the beast. Like an iron clad pied piper, I seduced the bear into doing my bidding. Soon we were off and showing those wolves a thing or two!

We caused a great deal of havoc out there in those woods, although we do need to work on his combat skills. Far too many times I found him sneaking off behind a tree to do his business rather than flinging himself headlong into combat. Stop eating everything you find on the ground and you won’t have to go so much!

Live and learn I suppose. But once he gets the hang of my combat mechanics he will be a long-toothed force of flesh-tearing devastation! And if it doesn’t work out, well, he’ll make a nice coat and gloves.

I got my eye on you Halmar. Don’t make me come into town and have this bear tap dance right on your @#$%ing head!!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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