I saw Casino Royale…great movie. I wholeheartedly recommend it, unless you’re expecting another Die Another Day. I’m surprised that some people didn’t know it would be a reboot. One guy at school was especially that gadgets weren’t the primary focus of the film. “That car chase lasted like four seconds,” he says,” and in the last movie the car was invisible!” And that’s exactly what was wrong with Bond. People get too absorbed with the creative gadgets. Bond needed a reboot, especially after the mindless fun that was Die Another Day. DAD had too many otherworldly scenes (Bond surfing in that one scene, invisible car, etc.). Casino Royale effectively reboots the series and is, hands down, the best of the modern Bond movies.
Anyway, Casino Royale is really, really good. People skeptical of Daniel Craig need to quit being paranoid. He’s good, damn good. My favorite scenes have to be the opening sequence, followed by Bond beating Dimitrios in poker (taking his money and car), seducing his wife, and then killing him, and the events in the Casino Royale itself. Awesome. I’d give it a 9.3 out of 10.
Now, D&D…which picks up from here.
The elf traveler Tharivol peers around the blood-coated door as his human companions, Lord Freman and Sigmund, dismantle the last of the animated chairs. The trail of the gnome serial killer Nebin has led the trio to Diocese’s fishing grounds. Now that the chairs have been destroyed, the party can focus on the only, other living thing in the room…a halfling peasent.
“Who did all this?” Lord Freman asks the halfling a simple question, gesturing to the crime scene around him. Bodies are strewn all around the place outside, mutilated. The river runs red with the blood of D’ourden peasantry. All in all, a gruesome scene.
“Who did this?” the halfling repeats, calmly. His cool manner is soon lost as he accelerates his breathing and begins to laugh hysterically. “Who did this!? Who do you think!? That crazy, insane, mass-murdering, psychopathic gnome Nebin!” he reveals. He breaks down emotionally and begins to weep as he finishes.
Tharivol is not leased by this sad display, this sad excuse of a halfling. He smacks the sorry soul across the face, before grabbing him by the throat. Tharivol situates the halfling on his feet before asking him what’s on all the party’s mind at this point.
“If Nebin did this, then why are you still alive?” Tharivol glowers. Sigmund and Lord Freman concur, nodding in agreement. They too wonder why this one halfling was spared at the expense of everyone else.
The halfling stammers, not knowing what to say. The trio closes in around him, intimidating the poor peasent. “I-I-I d-don’t know! The g-g-gno…Nebin is l-legally i-in-ins-insane, after all!” the halfling stutters through chokes and gasps of air. Tharivol’s hold on his throat tightens. The halfling begins to cry once more, unnerved by the party’s appearance. Lord Freman is especially intimidating. He wears a huge, black cloak and has a greatsword that could cut through the halfling like butter.
DM note: This is all role-playing here. No intimidate checks, no diplomacy checks. Just “simple” questioning.
Tharivol discards the halfling, dropping him to the floor. The party towers over the halfling as they debate their next move. The halfling is their only link to Nebin’s location, but he’s too mentally damaged to say anything coherent. Sigmund brings up the idea that the halfling could be Nebin in disguise, which causes the halfling even more torment. The trio decide to leave the halfling amidst his brutally-murdered colleagues and head back to the village.
However, a small voice stops them. “It’s as if he wants a challenge.”
“What did you say?” Sigmund hesitantly asks the halfling, eyeing the small creature alongside the rest of the party.
“It’s as if he wants,” the halfling repeats, slowly,” a challenge.” He seems to contemplate his own words for a few seconds. Suddenly, the halfling beams with demented joy. A light seems to click in the halfling’s fractured mind. “That’s it!” he exclaims,” That’s what Nebin said!” He repeats Nebin’s own instructions to the trio,” Tell anyone who comes here that they can find me by a cottage south of the village. I prefer a good challenge, after all.”
The trio are, understandably, creeped out. Lord Freman breaks the silence that follows the halfling’s display of happiness. “So, where is this cottage?” he asks.
The halfling breathes a sigh of relief before describing the cottage to them. It’s a simple, wooden building with a thatched roof, roughly a day’s walk south of town. What he doesn’t tell them is that the cottage was once a lodge for rangers in the area. About a hundred years ago, a vicious lycanthrope plague hit the region. Many rangers who took shelter in the lodge were turned into vicious werewolves, sly wererats, or helpful werebears. Since that time, the only visitor the lodge has had is it’s caretaker. The village of Diocese doesn’t wish for it fall into decay, but attempts to open the lodge back up have faltered.
The trio thank the halfling for his help and begin their trek towards the cottage.
“Sorry, that last hand almost killed me.“