Poppy the Pirate
Dungeons & Dragons,  Poppy the Pirate,  Writing

Poppy the Pirate Vol. 8 – Talisman of Gashti

After pushing her sleeves up to start searching, she digs her Wand of Trapfinding out of her bag. She goes around to make sure they will not encounter anything unwanted. V casts a spell to detect magic and starts going around.

While they are doing that, Jansaadi moves over to a desk covered in papers. She finds a ledger in it and starts flipping through the pages. She goes to the latest entries. She then directs V on where to try and detect magic to find the Talisman Poppy needed.

V heads in that direction and motions at a crate. “Could be in this one.” She opens it up, and some straw greets her. She digs in it and comes across a green circular disc with writing on it. Poppy clasps it to her chest and jumps up and down. She is so happy to have finally found what she needed.

She had no idea finding the Talisman of Gashti was going to be so difficult. However, she would have gone to the ends of the earth to find it. Bringing Kalardash’s killer to justice was all she wanted anymore. She had to do this for him.

Everyone was looking at the boxes, and she saw Jansaadi and Micaiah were looking over the ledger. She heard one of them mention The Blessed Book of Magical Runes. Poppy had heard of that before, but where?

As they looked over the paperwork on the desk, Jansaadi started to tell them what she uncovered. Lord Malchazack and Lady Shirene were bringing essential items back from the dragon hordes. They would catalog them and send them to their new destinations. Poppy noticed she kept mentioning the name Dracanox.

The room got quiet as Jansaadi and Macaiah went back to looking over the ledger. She noticed V trying to get a peek at the ledger, but he ended up going off to look in some of the crates. Poppy kept the Talisman of Gashti hugged tightly. This was not leaving her sight.

She watched people as they worked, going through the crates and such. That was when she remembered where she had heard of The Blessed Book of Magical Runes. Poppy almost kicked herself for taking so long to recall this fact.

In her trade, it was common to learn about new treasures, and this book was precious. She estimated it being over 30,000 gold. She then started speaking out loud; she often spoke without thinking first.

“One of the things I heard them mention from the ledger was The Blessed Book of Magical Runes. It was common knowledge that a dragon had hoarded it for years. Though several months ago, I came across some sailors who mentioned it. They said a Merchant ship had been traveling and hit a storm. They ended up docking down south of us. These merchants went to shore and tried to sell many items for exorbitant prices. One of which was The Blessed Book of Magical Runes. The rumor also said those trying to sell the book were strange. They were near a traveling settlement. Maybe they are still there, or we could pick up the trail to find out more information?”

Sandaare, V, Morthos, & Anastrianna all agreed with her statement. They figured what could it hurt. They had no real direction on where to go next. Other than getting Poppy back to Arvoria with the talisman. She was thankful that this group was so willing to help her; they owed her nothing.

After Jansaadi put the ledger in her bag, she and Micaiah joined the rest of them, and they made a plan. Sandaare had Remidore and The Red Hand take care of all of the items in the basement. So they could be sold, and the group could have the profits. This made Poppy happy. She always liked her fair share.

V has everyone join hands, and she sticks the talisman in her bag and grabs his hand and Anastrianna’s hand. They are formed in a circle. Poppy hates teleporting; she rarely did it before. With this group, she felt she did it all the time. She shuts her eyes tight and feels that familiar feeling of being sucked in. When it stops, she feels so hot and opens her eyes.

After being stuck where they were in a swampy area with barely any sun, she was not used to this direct sunlight. A bright smile passed her face as she saw they were back in Arvoria. There were barely any people out, and those that were were protecting themselves from the sun and sand.

Poppy remembers when she was first directed here. Her trusty Shiv, Siobhan Runewillow, had told her to come here. She said that she heard tell of Kalardash’s name. Shiv would have come with her, but Poppy was unwilling to wait. She came straight to Arvoria after setting things straight with her crew.

Being back here, she was just so excited. The Priests of Gashti had told her the town used to be significant and fruitful. This was until their Talisman of Gashti was taken, and they could no longer pay tribute.

The dragon that took it had gotten sick, so they could no longer do their ritual, and the town was paying for it. The desert was encroaching, and many people were dying and moving away. Their last chance was Poppy. She was happy that in finding her information, she was able to help this town.

Poppy starts skipping away from the group towards the temple. She climbs the step and kicks the door in. As she did this, she held up the Talisman of Gashti and yelled, “I found it!” As she was not one for graceful details, she noticed the temple was full of people praying and kneeling. The priests were also doing the same in the front of the temple.

The Head Priest, Teveral, stands and looks at Poppy with a bright smile and his arms raised, “She has returned!” Everyone in the temple stood and looked at her with admiration. This caused Poppy to be a little uncertain. She was used to this from her crew, but not strangers.

As she walked past them towards the Head Priest, everyone reached out to touch her. She was not prepared for such a welcome. As she reaches Teveral, she hands him the talisman with a smile. She was feeling pretty proud of herself.

“We are forever in your debt. I know we have an agreement, and I promise to tell you as soon as we perform the ritual. There will be feasts in your honor if this works.”

Poppy nods; she knows this town needs this sooner than she needs information about Kalardash. Standing with her comrades who had come with her, they watch as they perform the ritual. Poppy was just hoping there was no sacrifice needed.

The priests circled the talisman and began their incantation. It involved prayer, chants, and holy water. Poppy kept waiting for them to bring out a baby, animal, or virgin for sacrifice. After an hour, she could hear rumbling in the distance, and the sun started to be blocked from the windows. It looked dark. Then she heard a loud crack, and it was as if the sky opened.

Poppy looked out the temple door she had kicked in, and she could see it was raining. Everyone in the temple ran outside and started dancing in the rain. Poppy started to bounce, and a huge smile crossed her face. She looked at each of her new comrades and knew she could not have done this without them.

Teveral comes up to her, “If you come with me, I know we have some business to discuss. Do you wish for your friends to hear this as well?” Poppy shrugs, “If they wish to, without them, I could not have completed this task. They might as well know why.”

She skipped following him to a back room, and the rest of the group decided to come along. They get in the office, and she sits down where he directs her too, and everyone else takes a seat or stands.

“My name is Teveral,” He introduces himself. “Poppy was asked to find the Talisman of Gashti as a Dragon had taken it. We had an agreement that we would pay tribute in exchange for allowing us to perform our ritual. This year was different, and none of our emissaries returned. In exchange for the talisman, we would tell her information about her father, Kalardash.”

He clears his throat and then looks at Poppy. “That also reminds me, we are not the only ones who have been anticipating your return.” He turns and opens a back door and whistles. In comes Amaranth with Pollock riding on his head. Poppy runs forward and wraps her arms around Amaranth, “I have missed you both so much!”

Amaranth wags his butt at her and licks her face, and Pollock is grumpy as ever, “F*cking left me.” Poppy rolls her eyes, and he hops to her shoulder, and then she goes to rub Amaranth’s belly.

She returns her attention to Teveral. However, she continues to pet Amaranth and Pollock in turn. “I hope you can forgive me for not trusting your intention when you arrived. I sent you on this mission in hopes that you were who you said you were. I believe that since you returned with what we asked for, you can be trusted with the information we have. I will return in a moment and tell you what we know.”

He left them, and Poppy noticed Morthos looking around and saying in his raspy voice, “There are no windows…” He starts looking around as if looking for a way to exit if things go wrong. Poppy smiled and shook her head, and went back to petting her friends she missed so much.

After a few minutes, he entered the room holding a baby. Poppy stood up straight and looked at him, confused. “This baby is a quarter Orc. He was left in the desert to die.” Poppy listened, but she still had no idea what this had to do with the information she was seeking.

“The man who was instructed to leave it to die could not do it. He came across the desert and asked us to keep the child. He said it was the baby of a prominent merchant’s wife, but it was not his own. As it was explained to me, this is the baby of the Captain of The Salty Dogs.”

Poppy looked at him for a moment before it came to her, “This is Kalardash’s child?” He nodded to her, and she ran forward and stretched her arms up, “Let me hold him.” The baby was almost as big as she was as she held it as best she could. She was looking down at the young baby boy at most of 9 months old. A tear came down her cheek, “No one will harm you. We will have vengeance for our father.”

She was struggling to hold him, and Jansaadi came forward, “Can I hold him?” Poppy nodded, and as Jansaadi was cooing over him, she asked, “What is his name?” Teveral shook his head and looked to Poppy, “It is up to you to name him if you wish.”

Without hesitation, “He is Kalaradash Jr.” Everyone nodded in agreement to it being a good name. Poppy started to play with the tusk of Kalardash she wore around her neck. This was not what she was expecting.

Teveral gave her more information about the family and where they were. She had a gut feeling the man who had sent Kalardash Jr. to the desert to die could have sent assassins after them. She was angry but would not act without the exact proof if he had done it.

Teveral spoke to Poppy once more, “What would you like to do with him? He can stay here if you wish and be raised.” Poppy shook her head quickly, “I will take him to the ship his father and sister have served on. He should be safe there.”

Jansaadi spoke up, “If you wish, he can be taken to my castle. We can have guards watch him there. If this man finds out the baby is still alive, he may send assassins again. Your ship may be the first place he looks.”

Poppy thought this over for a few moments. It was a fine place to raise a child. She had been on a ship since she was three. However, she knew that Jansaadi spoke the truth. He would be safest there. “Okay, we can keep him there for now. I want him as safe as he can be.”

Teveral smiled, “I am happy to see a family reunited. If you should come back after we have harvested our crops, we will have fests in your honor. You are all welcome here.”

Originally Posted on Vocal

This was a campaign for a Dungeons & Dragons character I played

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Aspiring Author. Currently working on book two in a series with Liliana Cresswell, The Shieldheart Series. In her downtime, she spends time with her kids and pets.


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