That Other Game
Astranda and the Confused Fish
You get carefully situated on Sparkles and ready to head back out again. With a wave, the farmer moves off down the road on his creaky wagon.
Achmed is talking quietly to himself, lost in thought as he writes “The farmer’s wagon and the ditch of E-V-I-L”
Composing myself, rearranging what happened in a manner that reflects my integrity and nobility, and not so much my falling and bruising.
Speaking over my should to Achmed, “Perhaps you should add a band of goblins to your tale, to make it more exciting”… and continue on our way.
He seems aghast. “You would not be suggesting that I am to be telling one lie?! That is against the sacred order of feat-keepingers!”
“Not a lie, merely a reinterpretation of a tale being told, with extra circumstances to add to the flavour. Artistic license and what not.” quickly realizing that I’m beginning to sound petty, add quickly. “But it is no matter, this is just the first tale of many to come. Let us return to our journey!”
As you start away, you suspect he’s trying to find a rhyme for “over quickly”. Nevertheless, he follows you up the road. You pass by the farmer whose wagon your nearly broke your tailbone for. The farmer gives yet another friendly wave as you pass by.
As you continue on, trying to ignore the throbbing in your lower back, you pass over a bridge. A young man is fishing from it. “Astranda! Astranda!’ he yells in excitement of seeing you.
“Greetings my friend!” I shout out quite enthusiastically. “How fares the biting of the fishes this day”
“Not too good,” he replies with a matter-of-fact face that looks older than his years. “Poppa told me that if I don’t come home with at least three mud trout I wouldn’t be able to go to William’s house to play Swords and Monsters. Today was my day to be you!”
Achmed may or may not have rolled his eyes.
Frowning at the thought of a young man not getting to pretend to be his hero. “Well we can’t have that, can we? Let me see if I can help you catch at least one fish.” hop off sparkles and head over to the boy with the rod.
(yay more chances to embarrass myself because “Fishing” isn’t a NWP that I took!!)
You dismount more gingerly than you’d like to have, and walk over to him. Your hair floats about your head gently. The lad’s eyes light up when he sees you walking over to take up his fishing pole from him. It is little more than a stout branch with a line and a hook. “I bet you’ll catch all the fish, Astranda!”
“Now, now my young friend. While of course my prowess as a fisherman is probably almost as well known as my skill in battle. It would be unfair to the other fisherman if we took all the fish from the stream”
Walk over to the boy and take the fishing rod And attempt to catch a fish.
When he hands you his fishing pole, what you find is basically a large piece of branch with twine tied to it attached to a hook. It’s a wonder the boy has caught anything with it at all, ever. He hands it to you with awe in his eyes.
Achmed twangs a couple of his strings on his sitar.
Perform skill check “fishing” oh wait this isnt 3e
I fish with the rod
You let the hook down into the water, and stand in silence with the kid, who is looking thoughtfully at the water. Then back to you. After an awkward moment, he rubs his hand on the back of his neck and says, “Um. Astranda, sir? Fish won’t bite a hook unless it has food for them on it. You know, bait?”
Cue snicker from Achmed.
“See that’s the trick, you have to confuse them first. Make them curious”
Wait a couple more moments.
_"That should do it…" Raise the rod and bait the hook this time. _
You bait the hook, narrowly missing gouging your finger, while the boy looks on with eyes wide. When the hook properly has a suffering creature impaled on it, you lower it into the water, and nearly immediately, the bait is taken and a fish tries to take off with the pole.
Roll a dex check not to lose it.
(I rolled under half wisdom. The prof check is wis -1. The roll came up 1. Well now.)
As soon as the fishing rod yanks, your hands, used to quick actions honed by battle, instinctively tighten on the stick as the tip bends towards the water.
The boy states the obvious boisterously and repeatedly. “YOU GOT ONE!! YOU GOT ONE!! YOU GOT A BIG ONE!!!”
Reel the fish in and give it to the kid with a wink. “There you go, kid. This should be enough to let you play with your friends tonight.” Pat the kid on the head
Smile egotistically at achmed.
Despite himself, while trying not to, Achmed bears an expression of grudging respect. He silently watches as the kid runs up to you.
“Thanks Astranda!” the boy exclaims. “I knew you’d catch one! You had me confused with tricking the fish with the empty hook, but it worked!!! I’ll do it your way from now on!!”
Saying this, he gives you a mighty hug and then scoops up his fish and pole, and runs happily down the road.
Achmed says, “You did the needful only well.”
“We were all young once. It’s nice to be able to provide a positive influence to the impressionable” said a little smugly.
“Onwards! Let us find more good deeds to accomplish!”