Worms of the Senses, Tricks of the Mind
The Brawl at the Yawning Portal Tavern, by Scott Murphy
In the city of Ashtesma, in the heart of the Low Quarter is a tavern much like any other. It’s run by a halfling named Jules Applewood who has owned it since purchasing the inn using some cash he’d earned adventuring. It’s largest claim to fame had previously been the stout cider and delicious lizard stew he’d serve. These items made the tavern quite popular with the adventuring types and its place in the Low Quarter make it popular with the less-than-reputable folks in Ashtesma. However, these days the tavern is better known for the hole that rests roughly center of the main floor. Several years ago one of Jules’ cider kegs broke through the floor, where it was quickly revealed that the tavern rests over the top of one of the old city’s largest and most intact buildings discovered to date, which connects to the sewer system of old Astura, and provides unprecedented access to the old city. Members of the Astura Historical Preservation Society soon contacted Jules and asked him for access to the ruins, and with some generous donations he agreed. A small wal was built up to keep people from falling in. However, as you can see from the unfortunate drow immortalized here in Murphy’s painting, it doesn’t always work too well, especially when a fight has broken out in front of the famous Goblin Hearth, which Jules had moved from the ruins below his tavern and installed above.
Avalyn the Life Giver by Larry Elmore
The people of Forste Verden value their shamans very highly. They are more than just spiritual leaders, they are the keeps of history, and sometimes the saviors of death. Here, a Verden shaman evidently named Avaline tends to a Verden warrior hat seems to have been slain by the giant Grend the Mighty. Avaline tends to his wounds and restores him to life so that he might fight another day. Magic such as this is rare, and sometime its usage can lead to unforeseen consequences with a host of powerful beings – the Inevitables and gods of Death among them.
Bloodstone Lands by Larry Elmore
In his extensive travels through the nation of Forse Verden. Larry Elmore once found himself in the sliver of a region known as the Bloodstone Lands – a small area in Forste Verden rich in the red ore known as Realgar. Here we have a Verden shaman doing battle with a hedge knight in service to the Massey Material & Mining Co. who has been encroaching on their Jarldom to claim the ore for the Company.
Dragon Slayers by Lary Elmore