Well, we've reached the end of our campaign, and that means it's time for some end of season awards. It's been a more intense and enjoyable commitment than I ever expected. We've had highs, lows, close calls and blue balls (sorry it didn't work out with Gaurus, mate). We've had caves, castles, mountains and villages. We had towering bugbears and gleefully murderous goblins. We've had dungeons, and you'd better believe that we had a bloody dragon. It's been a fucking wonderful rollercoaster of daring deeds and swashbuckling adventure, and we all deserve a pat on the back.
So, let's begin the announcement:
The award for Wildest Wildcard goes to Methos, the Tiefling Warlord, and the obvious choice. Just as likely to fry a companion with a crackling bolt of lightning as he was to fry an enemy, Methos' short stint on the trail of Gundren was nothing if not entertaining. He was as aggressive as an owlbear without any honeyed rats to eat, and as mysterious as the public taxation system of the Neverwinter metropolis.
Methos is either dead, or in prison, or leading a travelling circus of reformed bandits through the countryside. You never could tell with that guy.
Best Spell Use:
Xarina, the timorous human Druid with a heart of gold, takes home the award for Best Spell Use. Stumbling through a dark, dank tunnel on the way to the Redbrands hideout, Xarina fell prey to a jagged spike pit – a simple yet effective death trap that had claimed the lives of many a brave adventurer before her. As soon as the ground gave way beneath her, potion-laced synapses fired, her mouth spoke the sacred words ("Can I turn into a bird, you guys?") and her dainty figure instantly transformed into a soaring dove. Through quick thinking and a courageous disregard for the rule book, Xarina saved herself from almost certain peril, and won the respect of her fellow adventurers forever.
Chaddius Longshaft. A more deserving recipient of this award there has never been. You started this adventure by being shot in the shoulder by a lowly goblin, then falling out the very trees you hold dearest, landing upon the very same shoulder, then hiding, covered head to toe in mud, in the rafters of an inn to recuperate. I won't lie to you mate; we came pretty close to dropping you into the well near Barthen's Provisions then going about our merry way.
BUT THEN – as the dice started to roll your way, and the Little Fat Lambs became fewer and further between, your budding potential blossomed into a fabulous homoerotic death flower. If you asked me at the beginning of the campaign which of us would single-handedly save us all from certain death at the hands of a malicious, soul-sucking wraith, I wouldn't have guessed Chaddius. But here we are. You are certainly not the hero that Phandalin deserved, but absolutely the one it needed.
The Spirit Award:
Even Sigurd Frostburn himself would tell you – a band of adventurers is only as strong as its spirit. Without clear minds and full hearts, any group travelling the Triboar Trail has an ill fate before them. However, our own Sylus Silvertongue ensured that the company's morale never wavered, not even in the face of terrible evil, entrenched corruption, or Chaddius' rank puns about his own dick.
Rather, Sylus (the recipient of the Spirit Award) simply cleared his throat, plucked the strings of his lute, and managed to find sixteen different words that rhyme with 'goblin'. If that isn't valiant persistence in the face of adversity, I don't know what is.
Myself and the party wish you all the very best with your future endeavours, whether they be seducing maidens, sweeping princesses off their feet, flirting with ale maids or simply bedding whores – I'm sure you'll do it with characteristic style and grace.
This is an easy one. From start to finish, whenever we needed a hulking lump of flesh and rage to throw between us and the enemy, we didn't even have to ask. Yorick Gladstaff hurled himself into skirmishes with seemingly insurmountable odds more times than he hurled ales down his own gullet, which is really saying something.
Not only was Yorick consistent in combat, he was consistent in character. A loyal companion to friends and a resolute foe to the undead and supernatural, you always know where you stand with Yorick – or rather, where you lie, bleeding and unconscious, as whatever foul spirit that he's needlessly provoked this time killed all in its path except, somehow, Yorick. They should rename the 'Most Consistent Award' to the 'Yorick Gladstaff Award For Unyielding Bravery/Stupidity, We're Still Not Sure Which.'
The Quinlan Mac Lir Award For Don't Worry Guys, I Got This:
I have actually renamed this award, from 'Sixth Man of the Year' (which sticks to the NBA post-season awards theme I was initially going for, but is inarguably a pretty lame award to win).
Though he was late to join the Jade Frogs, Quinlan Mac Lir and his literally never-ending bag of tricks more than deserve the inaugural Quinlan Mac Lir Award For Don't Worry Guys, I Got This.
Truly, Quinlan was a master of surprise. A real David Blaine of murder. Instead of pulling a string of handkerchiefs out of his sleeve, he pulled out bombs made of thunder. Instead of pretending to saw a woman in half, he literally cleft enemies in twain while also somehow keeping us all alive using only his words. Instead of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, Quinlan pulled a WEAPON MADE OF MAGIC LIGHT THAT CANT BE KILLED out of his shapely human glutes.
Whenever we had our backs against the wall, Quinlan always came through with an absolutely clutch play from the depths of his brilliant mind, staying calm as ever, and I'm very sure we'd all be dead as Glass Staff if he didn't come along.
This one is easy. It's our main man with the big books – the one who goes hard in the paint (and with the paintbrushes), who conjures up joy and sadness and relief and worry with a few well-chosen words. The master and commander. First one to sit down, last one to get up, every single session…
So, it's with great pleasure that I present the MVP trophy to K'yoloth Goldto – nah, just kidding. The unanimous MVP for the 2016-17 season of D&D is CRAIG BERRY aka the Based God aka Becky with the good dice aka the Master not only of Dungeons, but of all our hearts.
You crafted an experience that'll I'll honestly remember forever. The fact that you managed to bring us all round that table every weekend or two with just some books, dice and enthusiasm is actually incredible. As long as I've known you, I'm still amazed by the incredible level of passion that you bring to every new hobby, interest, experience – it's a virtue that you should be very, very proud of.
We all appreciate all the hours and dollars you've poured into our new favourite game, and I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I'd love to buy you a shitload of beers in thanks.
All in all, what a bloody ripper of a time it's been. Good job everyone. See you on the trail xoxo