“Two Oaths and One Bond” – The Adventure Chronicles of Brightblade – Part 6 (A Dungeons and Dragons Solo Roleplay)

Happy Sol’s Day!

Elana let the water of the fountain pour over her naked body. She was preparing to receive the robes of being an Adept and so the ritual of purification in the fountain near the temple altar was something she was excited about. Two novices attended to her with towels ready to dry her off. The ceremony was an hour away and it was to be quite the affair as in addition to herself receiving her Adept robes, Lief was swearing his oath to become a full Paladin of Sensua. He was somewhere else on the temple grounds doing a similar purification ritual. Preparation was always the thing with these oaths.

Their return to the temple had been greeted with joy and celebration. The Crown of Fertility had been returned and the High Priestess highly praised them. It was clear to everyone, that it had been a good thing that had happened but because of the secrecy about the Crown, most people didn’t know the details of why the High Priestess seemed more happy than usual.

Elana’s own conversation with the High Priestess had been one of praise and pride. She told Elana that such an action earned her place among the Adepts and she would be promoted in a few days. Today was that day. She had of course returned to her duties as an Acolyte, including a couple rotations in the House of Love helping worshipers complete the ritual, but for the most part, all was about preparation for today.

The treasure they had recovered was divided equally between herself and Lief and after the high Priestess had contacted her family, the gems were sold at a good price. It allowed Elana to purchase some better armor. Se now had a full chain mail set including leggings and a tunic. Her shield had been upgraded as well to something made of steel. She kept her mace. She now felt that if she adventured again she would be in a good place to be better protected.

The other aspects of her conversation with the High Priestess were much more serious. The High Priestess had told her that the journal was indeed written in Goblin, and she knew someone who could interpret it. In their absence, Barthon the Vile had struck again. He had apparently been hired to murder one of the merchants in the city. He had succeeded and kidnapped the man’s wife in the process. They found her several hours later: naked, raped, and with her throat slit lying in an alley. Barthon needed to be stopped and she was hoping for some luck with this journal in order to find a clue to bringing justice to this situation. His actions had now become more important to the Trublade family and so she was going to speak with one of the Trublade family about the matter.

It seemed strange that they were going to wait three days, but Elana recalled that Barthon was very cautious. You could bet the murder of the merchant and the subsequent kidnapping, rape, and murder of the man’s wife had been planned with great care. Barthon was by nature a coward but a dangerous coward. He preferred his thugs and magic to do the work while he stayed back in a safe place.

For the rest of the three days, Elana’s mind and heart dwelt on Lief. She was a cleric of Sensua first and foremost, but she couldn’t help but notice that her feelings for Lief were more than just friendship. She had even hoped while she was performing her duties in the house of love, that he might have been one of the worshippers that she completed the ritual. It didn’t happen, but she recognized the longing just the same. He had been gone most of the time and she noticed how she missed his presence. In another hour she would see him again. He to take his oath and her to take her vestments of an Adept. It was going to be an exciting day. Her heart was beating faster just at the thought.

The last three days had been busy for Lief. After returning the Crown of Fertility to the High Priestess, the treasure had been divided equally between himself and Elana. He had given the gems to the High Priestess for evaluation and sale and the next day there was another tidy sum of coins for both of them. The High Priestess had tried to give the three gems back that he donated earlier but he would have none of it. The Temple did compensate Lief for the loss of his spear and shield. No cost to him there but the High Priestess did tell Lief that the oath ceremony involved a magical longsword which he would receive as a gift during the ceremony. He had not sold his old one, but probably would once the gift was received.

Most of the money had been given to his mother. He kept some for personal expenses and to pad his personal bank account a little. Mostly though, it ended up helping his mother buy more favor with the guild and improving the shop as well as making repairs to the building to make it nicer and more looking like the home of a noble family.

“You have to live the part before you actually get the role sometimes”, is what she said.

She even hired a servant. A man about her same age. She was muscled from hard work and seemed to be a little simple but seemingly happy with his mother as his employer. Lief puzzled at this for a moment and then laughed about it. If she wanted a boy toy, who was he to argue.

Lief had spent a lot of time picking out his new shield and spear. He had also debated in his mind the advantages and disadvantages of plate mail. In the end, he felt his current armor was more to his liking as it was not as heavy and gave him more freedom of movement.

He had been reading as well. The High Priestess had given him a book on the Paladins of Sensua and it outlined the various oaths they could take. Sensua was not one to shut down any of the oaths commonly associated with Paladins. The High Priestess had been guiding him toward the Oath of Vengeance and he had to admit it appealed to him on a personal level. It was also the ‘needed’ oath right now. Brightblade was experiencing larger numbers of undead according to the town watch. Something was going on there and then there was the matter of Barthon the Vile. He must be brought to justice and that justice was what the Oath of Vengence was all about.

For now, though, his thoughts dwelt on Elana. She was going to receive her vestments as an Adept. He would be sworn in as a Paladin by taking his Oath. This would be a great day and a leap forward to his ambition of title and land. Right at this moment he was naked under the pouring water of a fountain and being attended to by two male acolytes. He stepped out of the water and one of them began to wipe him off while the other began to dry his hair with a towel. They dressed him. Loincloth of fine fabric, pants. and then cloth boots. All of white. He then knelt down He then kneeled down so the two acolytes placed a white tunic over his head. The embroidery work for the outfit was a red vine-like design.

The last part was a sword belt. It was of leather and also white with the same red vine design as the rest. A white scabbard was connected to it with a sword frog of a similar pattern. The scabbard with tipped and edged in a silver-steel alloy. It was however empty awaiting the oath sword which was to be given him. Lastly, his holy symbol was placed back around his neck. By this time the light of the sun was dipping down to the horizon. It was time for the ceremonies to begin.

The altar area of the temple had not been changed much. A few items had been laid out carefully over the altar including a red cloth covering the length of the altar which had the same vines done in white as Lief’s tunic had. Lief remarked to himself that it was amazing how versatile the altar was because it had been the place where Fredica had been cremated and now it seemed to be more calm. A simple red rug with no ornamentation formed a middle aisle in front of the altar. People had gathered to see the oaths.

Elana’s oath was not normally a public affair but Lief’s Paladin Oath was and so her ceremony was added before his to save time Lief assumed. The number of people was a little more than either of them expected. Probably 100 or so but mostly these were clerics of the temple of various ranks. But there was a smattering of dignitaries from the city. Lief’s mother was there dressed in her best dress and her hair/makeup was the best as well. She looked noble and was dressed the part of lower nobility. Next to her was the guild master of the Cobblers/Shoemakers guild. He was dressed like he always was – simple but clean and with the best shoes on his feet. Next to him was Lief’s former sergeant and a couple of the men in Lief’s former outfit in the militia. All of them looked proudly at the scene.

The was one figure that was out of sight the Lief caught in the corner of his eye He was under the shade of one of the female House of Love. He was leaning against the pillar of the doorway. He had a frame that was slightly shorter than Leif, He was dressed in a blue tunic with white trim. There was a symbol on his chest but Lief could make it out as the man had his arms crossed over his chest. He could make out that the man had a rapier-style sword at his hip and a dagger as well. His hair was probably dark but once again the light was low. He was leaned in such a way that he seemed very much at ease with the whole spectacle. Like he had seen this kind of thing before. Very relaxed. Lief had little time to think on it further. The ceremony had begun.

Elana went first down the aisle. She was still dressed in her Acolyte Robes and flanked by the two female Novices that had attended her purification. She approached the altar and stopped just short of the first step of three steps that lead to its edge. She stood as one of the attendants undid the clasp of her robe and then with a simple shake the robe cascaded down to the ground leaving her naked. She stepped out and the attendants gathered up her robes and disappeared to the side.

Lief’s view was from behind and he couldn’t help but notice how her naked silhouette was stunningly beautiful. Her dark olive skin was a lovely earth tone whose color seem to captivate him. He watched as the two novices disappeared and were replaced by two Acolytes. The Acolytes helped Elana into her new Adept robes and then bowed to her. Symbolic of her new station and authority over them. Elana only looked slightly less stunning in her robe of red trimmed with gold. She in turn bowed to the High Priestess. The High Priestess approached and touched her forehead.

“May the Blessing of Sensua follow you, May you know her joy and respect her authority over your body, mind, and soul”

“I so swear, and pledge my body, mind, and soul to the goddess Sensua.”

Elana then stepped off to the right from Lief’s perspective.

Lief walked alone in his white tunic and his empty scabbard swung lightly. He noticed his mother’s face beamed with pride and he smiled back at her. The High Priestess was joined by the High Priest on the dais. The High Preist was much older than High Priestess. She was probably in her early thirties, but he looked more like a man in his sixties but strangely full of vigor for a man half that age. Although it was said he got tired more often, he was still able to perform his duties. He was as tall as Leif with a regular build and his hair was cut short. His eyes were brown and it might have at one point matched his hair.

Lief stopped just short of the steps. He stood tall and proud. The High Priest spoke in a voice that was strong and very masculine.

“Lief Crispen, you have shown your valor, you have served the temple with distinction and recovered something close to our heart for us. You did so as a Squire of Sensua. We now offer you the blessing of being a full Paladin of Sensua. Do You Accept?”

“I Do, with all my heart.”

“Which Oath are You Taking?”

“The Oath of Vengence”

The High Priest nodded, “This is a grave oath that commits you to bring vengeance against those who harm life, love, and fertility. Do you understand the oath that you take today cannot be broken without the gravest of consequences from the goddess herself?”

“I understand and accept that possibility, but may it never come to me.”

“Seeing it was the High Priestess who accepted you as Squire, it is she, standing in the place of Sensua, who will stand as witness to your oath.”

The High Preist Stepped aside and the High Priestess stepped down from the dais and stood before Lief. She unclasped her robe and her robes fell to her feet. Her naked body glowed with a holy light.

“Place your right hand between my naked breasts and swear your oath!”

Lief placed his right hand between her breasts and spoke his oath.

“To Sensua, goddess of life, love, and fertility, I swear my Oath of Vengence. I will not spare those she commands me to destroy, I will always fight the greater evil. I will have no mercy on the wicked. I will use any means necessary to destroy the wicked. I will help those who are harmed to the best of my ability by the wicked. So Help Me, Be Sensua I Swear it!”

The glow that had been surrounding the High Preistess’ naked body now began to spread over him. He felt the goddess’s power wash over him. Then he heard her voice.

“My servant, my love, go forth in my guidance and destroy my enemies. You are my Paladin, My holy knight.”

Leif dropped his arm and the High Priestess turn around and received a sword from the Hig Preist. She then turned back to him and presented it.

“Take this sword and use it against the wicked, against the enemies of the holy goddess Sensua.”

The sword was beautiful, its hilt was simple with golden and silver vine patterns over the steel. The grip itself was leather of the finest quality. The blade was the finest steel and was shown with a magical sheen. He knew the blade was enchanted just by looking at it. He grabbed the hilt with his right hand and lifted it, He then held it up to the sky. Sensua’s glow was shown a little brighter around him as he did so. He then sheathed the weapon in his new scabbard. There was a cheer from the crowd.

The High Priestess was helped back into her robes by the same two acolytes that had helped Elana. She then returned to the dais next to the high priest. She raised her hands and the cheering crowd grew silent.

“There is one more thing to do today. Sensua has guided me on this next item. A Binding must take place. A binding between our new Paladin and one of our clerics.”

Lief looked puzzled. A murmur fell over the crowd ad once again the High Priestess raised her hands for quiet.

“In recent days, several paladins were slain in a battle with local orcs north of the river. In large part, this was due to the lack of support by the clerics who were not present to heal them. We have often viewed these duties outside of battle. But recent actions by our Paladin and Elana have shown that partnership is far better. It is the will of Sensua that all Paladins now be bound with a Cleric as a companion and battle partner. This starts today with the two that showed us the way. Paladin Lief Crispen and Adept Elana Bentor step forward.”

Leif moved forward to the edge of the dias again. He stood on the left and Elana joined him on his right side.

“Leif hold out your right hand, Elana your left. Palms upwards”

The two arms went up next to each other palms upward.

The High Priestess approached both of them. In her hand was a silver dagger. The hilt was in the form of a holy symbol of Sensua and the blade was a fine silver steel.

“This is to be a blood oath.”

Lief and Elana both nodded toward her. She pierced their palms with the blade. She then gave the blade to the High Priest. She moved Lief’s hand over Elana’s and then turn his palm downward and then brought the two palms together.

“Clasp Hands.”

Lief and Elana felt their warm blood mingle together as they held each other’s hands. The High Preist approached with a silver and gold cord. He wrapped it around their wrists and bound them together.

“You are now bound by Sensua and blood. Whatever dangers you face, face them as a triple-bound cord. Paladin Lief Crispen, Adept Elana Bentor, and the Goddess Sensua herself”

“We will,” both Elana and Lief said in unison.

A golden glow appeared around their clasped hands. After a few moments, it faded, the High Priest removed the cord and they unclasped their hands. The attending acolytes then washed their wounds and then a quick prayer or each of them healed them altogether. Elana and Lief smiled at each other and hugged. The high Priestess approached them and leaned in close so only they could hear.

“There is only one thing that remains. You must close the circle and complete the ritual with each other. It is a private but intimate part of the ritual. You may use my quarters this evening as I will be engaged in other matters. Matters which we will discuss in the morning. Once you are free of all the well-wishers make your way to my quarters and complete the binding. This is essential so do not forgo it.”

With that, she left them. Leif’s mother and friends all congratulated him with hugs and wrist shakes. Elana for her own part had many friends of all ranks give her hugs and even kisses on the cheeks and mouth. Soon though the crowd began to break up and Lief spotted the stranger again this time. He was about fifty feet away and he was talking with the High Priestess. Leif recognized him at that moment. Caric Trublade, fourth and bastard son of Baron Erik Trubalde, Lord of Brightblade City. Half-Elven thanks to his mother’s blood. He was also the Spymaster of the realm. Lief watched as the two interacted and noticed they seemed very familiar with each other. Lief then noted that Caric took her hand and they walked off out of sight.

Lief felt a tug at his shoulder and turned to see Elana. She smiled at him and then winked. She urged him to bend toward her.

“You know, I am very happy we are to be bonded. I would have never wished for it in my wildest dreams but here it is.”

Lief smiled, “Hmm. we need to get to the High Priestess’ chamber as soon as we can,”

Elana mocked being shocked, “Sir, that is rather forward.”

“Forward your luscious ass. I have seen you naked twice and yet never known your embrace. We need to change that.”

“Yes, it is important to close the circle and complete the bonding ritual,” she said with mock seriousness and piety.

“Oh, we are going to do more than that.”

Elana giggled like a schoolgirl for a few seconds and then she gave her hand to Lief and he led her away.

Moments later Lief was climbing into bed between her legs, and as he penetrated her, she pulled him close with both her arms and her legs, gasping in pleasure. The circle was closed and the two oaths and one bond were complete. More than that, for a brief moment in time, they both enjoyed love and embrace. And Sensua smiled from the corner.

Writer’s Notes:

This one took me longer than usual. Part of the problem was having to build more of the world and the other part was introducing new relaitonship concepts. Normally in relationships in fiction, the relationship grows slowly but Lief and Elana are part of a religion that emphasizes and promotes the normalcy of both nudity and sex as part of the worship of their deity. Their concept of these elements is going to be very different and probably far more casual. One of those factors is intimacy is accelerated.

For instance, Lief has had sex with both the High Priestess and now Elana. The High Priestess knows this and there is no jealousy, To the followers of Sensua, jealousy has no place. Jealousy is the disease, and Love is the healthy condition (cue Robert Heinlein). Nudity is beauty, clothing is hiding that beauty. Sensua is about the expression of love through physical contact in order to remove the disease of jealousy and embrace nakedness to express beauty. Healing through making love. Eros in its more true form.

This is the point of the story where our third character will be introduced. We have our fighter type, Our healer and soon we will have our rogue.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


“The Cave” – The Adventure Chronicles of Brightblade – Part 2 (A Dungeons and Dragons Solo Roleplay)

Happy Sol’s Day!

Lief Crispen slowly made his way down the path that was marked on his map to, as it said, a cave entrance. He placed his hand on the talisman of the goddess Sensua around his neck and could almost feel some sort of divine influence. His mother’s prayers probably. Her devotion to the goddess was well known and it was a great comfort to him.

Had it not been for the map he most certainly, even with his good powers of observation, missed the path. It was purposefully hidden by brush and branches. Once on it, the path took Leif up the side of one of the many hills in the area. It was slow going, because of the need to push brush aside at points and the steady incline up the hill. Finally, he found himself at the entrance arch of the cave. It was about noon and five hours or so since he had left his mother. For an arch, it was, crafted of stone. He recognized, as most citizens of Brightblade would, the Old Empire symbol of the dragon head as the keystone and the rest of it simply carved. Beyond the light didn’t show much being overhead and not shining down into the cave.

He slung his shield over his left shoulder and took a torch out of his backpack and lit it with the tinderbox. The flame sputtered to life and he held it aloft and with his spear, in his right hand and torch in the left, he went forward into the cave. The cave had a musty smell to it. People had definitely taken the natural formation of the cave and changed it. Adding stone wall here and chipping away at the rock there so a square hallway arched forward.

It didn’t take long for Lief to discover enemies. As he stepped out of the first hallway and into the first chamber, he spotted an Orc. The average size for an orc, it had grey skin and average-length tusks. The Orc spotted him too and sprung to life brandishing a cruel-looking axe and a round wooden shield. Lief had enough time to drop the torch and slide his shield on his left arm when the Orc struck swinging his axe toward his head. Leif countered with his spear and the blow slid down the shaft. Then the two faced off.

Lief for his part, had never actually been in combat before, but in a few moments, his guardsman training began to take over. Lief had the advantage of being able to keep the Orc at a distance with the spear. This proved to be decisive after a number of missed blows on both sides, Lief struck the Orc on his exposed side and pierced the Orc’s shoulder. Black blood seeped out of the wound. This also knocked the Orc off his feat. Lief closed but the Orc did the unexpected and threw sand from the floor of the cave into his face temporarily blinding him. The Orc stood back to its feet and slashed Lief’s arm leaving a flesh wound and then unexpectedly ran off down one of the two corridors that lead out of the chamber.

Lief cursed his luck and started to run after the Orc. Within a few seconds, Leif slowed and stopped realizing he would lose the Orc in the dark and he returned to the chamber and retrieved his torch which was still burning. He considered his options as he began to inspect the room. He noticed a small sack in one corner and opening it quickly he discovered food rations and not much else. He looked at the other exit beside where he had come in and decided against it. No, he had to follow the Orc and see if there were more of them. Cautiously, torch and spear in hand, he followed behind the Orc.

The path shifted slightly but then opened up into another chamber. Cautiously Lief walked and then froze when he heard and hiss from one of the corners. Shifting toward the sound, the torchlight revealed a large snake. It was at least ten feet long and a foot in diameter. It slithered slowly toward him and Leif dropped his torch on the ground and readied his shield. He noted the gold and silver coins on the floor around the snake. The snake reared up and its head swayed back and forth slightly about four feet off the ground. Lief gripped his spear a little tighter. The snake reared back and it struck, at that moment Lief stepped aside quickly and thrusted his spear at the snake’s neck. He felt the spear point bite flesh and as the snake thrashed its head sideways it pulled the spear from his grasp. Leif backed up and drew his sword. The snake had been wounded badly but it turned to face him again. Leif could see green venom dripping from its fangs.

This time the snake seemed to want to circle Leif. It’s being more cautious. Lief decided to strike himself leading with his shield toward the snake’s head. The snake struck and Lief smashed his shield against its head. stunning the creature. Leif wasted no time and slashed his sword at its neck and with a single blow severed the head off. The body thrashed around and Leif backed up to avoid it hitting him. In a very few seconds, it fell completely still.

Lief pulled off his pack and retrieved a cloth to wipe his blade and then after recovering his spear did the same with the point. He then turned his attention to the floor of the chamber which glittered with gold and silver coins. He looked at them – crowns (the gold coins of Brightblade) and lords (silver). He found a sack on the ground as well which still had some coins as well as a few small gems. He wondered if this was the treasure from the map and then realized the map never really said it was to treasure, but to a hideout. If this was the treasure there were roughly 300 crowns worth of coins and 200 crowns of gems. He couldn’t be sure about the gems as he was no expert.

He collected everything into the sack and as he looked around he saw there was only one route that the Orc could have used. He found his torch which was still burning and returned to the entrance chamber. He placed the sack next to the other with the food and then returned to where the snake lay dead. He was relieved that no Orc patrol party had found him but he was puzzled as to why.

He decided to continue as the wound he got from the Orc had started to sting a little, but it had stopped bleeding. The path continued for about fifty more feet and then opened up into a third chamber. He paused and looked around the corner cautiously and to his surprise he saw a beautiful woman who was sitting in a meditative position with her eyes closed.

She was dressed in chain mail armor with a small helm. He didn’t see a shield but could see her mace laying on the ground in front of her. Around her neck was the holy symbol of Sensua much like his own. She was wearing a red tunic with silver trim under the armor. An Acolyte, but what was she doing here? Acolytes usually never travel alone or too far from the temple. But then he realized he didn’t really know much about the clerics of Sensua other than his own experiences with the priestess at the altar and the dozen or so acolyte females he had competed the ritual with over the years. He knew they were great healers but what else did he really know?

He rounded the corner wondering what to do and the woman’s eyes fluttered open. They were lovely blue to match her blonde hair. He remembered seeing her in the house of love but had not ever completed a ritual with her, so he didn’t know her name,

“Oh my Sensua be praised, my prayers have been answered. I was afraid I was going to have to rescue my friend alone. OH, you’re hurt, Let me help with that.”

She stood and Leif saw she was only a half head shorter than him. She approached and touched his arm where he was wounded. The wound closed completely and then disappeared altogether. Lief was not shocked as he had seen something like this before when a few of his mates had been hurt during practices. They always kept a cleric of Sensua nearby for such things.

“Acolyte, why are you here?’

“Trying to rescue a friend. Elana and I were praying in the garden when we felt very strange. A strange man walked into the garden and he was chanting. I realize now it was a spell. Both of us fell asleep. When I woke up, Elana was gone and a note was left on my chest. It demanded ransom for her or the person would kill her in a week. So, I set out to the place is said to leave the ransom – this cave. The problem is the man who took her has no intention of letting her go.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because the man who took her is Barthon the Vile. He would more likely be interested in taking any money I brought and then capturing me as well.”

Lief had heard of Barthon the Vile. He was a wizard with a criminal past. A very vicious and, as his name suggested, vile past.

“You are probably correct with Barthon. His tastes would not involve letting female prisoners go alive.”

The acolyte nodded.

“My name is Fredica. I see the symbol of Sensua around your neck. Will you help me?”

“Yes, but I was chasing an Orc. Have you seen any?”

“Yes, one ran by some minutes ago. He was wounded. Your doing?”

“Yes, so Barthon is here and at least one Orc.”

“So it would seem, but there are two of us as well.”

Lief nodded.

After some moments the two of them headed down the passage that Fredica has seen the Orc run. After about 50 yards they heard voices and could see the light up ahead. Lief put out his torch and the two silently went forward. The voices became louder.

“Get up Orc. Who else did you see? Just a warrior with a spear and a cleric of Sensua.”

“That’s all Master. Just those two. I ran here as fast as possible after the warrior wounded me in combat. Please don’t hit me again. We could trick them.”

“Perhaps. hmm.”

Fredrica touched Lief’s arm.

“That’s Barthon’s voice. They are not expecting us, we should surprise them.”

Then Lief heard the chanting of someone casting a spell. It was Barthon’s voice. When it finished the Orc spoke.

“Oh, that is good master. No one can see you now.”

Fredica whispered quickly, “Now before they can prepare more.”

Lief moved into the chamber ahead with his spear and shield ready. All he saw was the Orc which let out a surprised cry and then charged with his axe. For a few moments, Lief lost concern for where the wizard was having to deal with the Orc.

In that battle that followed Leif and the orc struggled to get an advantage, but eventually, Lief got the upper hand and with a strong thrust drove his spear into the orc’s belly. He tried to pull out his spear but it was stuck and as he looked around he saw Fredica swinging the mace seemingly at the air. Lief abandoned his spear and drew his sword.

Then the chanting of a spell began again and Barthon appeared.

He was younger than you would expect being a wizard. His black eyes, black hair, and short small frame appeared about 50 feet away on the other side of the chamber from where both Fredica and he were at. He had a cruel smile and wore black clothing with a hood over his head.

Barthon’s magic caused four glowing darts to appear in front of him. He waved his hand and two of them streaked toward Lief and the other two toward Fredica. They were so fast that there was no time to react. Fredica fell to the floor and didn’t move. The two that flew toward Lief suddenly struck something like a magic wall a couple of feet away from him and disappeared. Puzzled but angry, Lief moved forward toward the spell caster. Barthon moved backward toward the wall and then seemingly dropped out of sight through the floor. When he arrived where the wizard had been standing he found a trap door, He grabbed the handle and pulled but it wouldn’t move being locked from the other side.

Try as he might, the door wouldn’t open. He cursed in frustration. Then he remembered Fredica. Running back to where she lay prone on the ground he saw her face and knew at that instant she was dead. Her vacant eyes told him all he needed to know. Sadness filled him. He fell to his knees with grief and closed her eyes. After a few moments, he rose to his feet.

It was at this moment he realized that there was a side chamber to this larger one and he entered into it. It was there he found Elana. She was naked, tied, gagged, and laying sideways on the sand floor. She seemed very confused but relieved to see him, once she spotted the symbol of Sensua around his neck. Her grey eyes were sparkling under her long brown hair. He couldn’t help but notice her figure which was slightly buxom and athletic. Her skin was dark olive. He knelt beside her and removed her cloth gag. She coughed for a second and then spoke in a light beautiful tone.

“Thank you, sir. I thought for sure I was to be the next victim of Vile.”

“You are welcome, here let me untie you.”

Lief finished releasing her and they both stood to their feet, Despite being completely naked in front of him she showed no embarrassment or shame.

“Do you have any clothes?”

“No, Vile burned my novice robes in front of me. He said he couldn’t wait until my stupid friend brought the ransom so he could…”

Her voice trailed off and she looked away. Despite not being shaken up about being naked, this idea seemed to frighten her.

“I have bad news, Elana. Your friend did come but not with a ransom.”

“Fredica, where is she?”

“Out there in the other chamber. She didn’t…we fought Barthon and his Orc and she…”

Elana’s eyes watered slightly and then she rushed from the room. When Lief caught up to her she was kneeling next to her friend and sobbing. He knelt down beside her.

“I am sorry for your friend.”

“She was more than a friend, she was my lover before we became novices.”

Elana reached around her lover’s neck. She removed both her holy symbol and another necklace which had a small rune stone on it. She put both around her neck.

“She died trying to fight Barthon. He killed her with some sort of magic missiles. Two of them would have struck me, but some sort of magic preserved me.”

“Sensua’s magic. Response to your prayers. Have you done the ritual recently?”

“No, but my mother probably has just today. She promised to pray for me.”

“Protectin of the goddess. Your mother must be very faithful.”

“She is. But what are we going to do with Fredica?”

In the end, Elana took off all of Fredica’s armor, clothing, and equipment and put them on herself. This left Fredrica naked but Leif found a blanket in the extra room along with some more coins and gems He wrapped her in the blanket. Elana and he divided the treasure to carry among them and then he threw Fredica over his shoulder. Going back the way they came, they exited the cave after recovering the other rations and treasure at the door. It was night but the two agreed that they needed to get back to the temple so they walked on. Lief noticed the tears streaming down Elana’s face. He could feel her grief and soon a single tear formed under his right eye as well.

Writer’s Notes:

In keeping with the story as presented in the 1983 Basic Set of Dungeons and Dragons, I had to make some changes to the story. Leif still fights, but I made his foe an Orc and not a goblin. He also fights the snake but in my play, he didn’t get wounded there but by the goblin instead. I also was faced with the dilemma of the cleric’s death in that story and the fact I wanted to introduce my second character who is also a cleric. So I had the one be killed like in the story, and then I had the other one rescued to join Lief.

What random die rolls have determined so far is that the adventuring party’s patron will be the temple itself. Lief and Elana will be the first two and you will see in the next part of how that comes about. If you haven’t guessed Lief is not a regular fighter. What he is I will let you guess as the story unfolds.

In the Basic Set, the wizard is Bargle, but I have decided he will make a great first villain for my heroes, so I have renamed him Barthon the Vile. To make him Vile, one need only understand that there is little he will not do for money and to slake his peculiar sensual cravings. He is a magical assassin for all practical purposes with a taste for rape and murder.

The Goddess Sensua is actively involved with her followers. Her clerics (all of them) gain an advantage in any spell that is touch-based and if a person performs the love ritual (ritual sex) with one of them after praying and paying the cost, that person will receive any effect that cleric could do with their spells that can also be rituals. The problem is that this only works when the person is alive. Once dead, only truly powerful clerics of Sensua raise the dead. Sensua’s portfolio is Life, Love, and Fertility. She is a popular goddess and thus quite powerful.

There is a hierarchy of ranks in the temples of sensua:

  1. Novices: These are those new to the call of Sensua. They take care of the guests at the houses of love by making them comfortable while they wait for the clerics to see them. It is required of them to be naked at all times except when they are working in the house of love when they don their red robes to serve the guests. They practice the ritual on each other so that they are ready for their time to serve in the houses of love.
  2. Acolytes: These are those that have taken their oath of devotion to Sensua and have learned what is expected of them in the houses of love. They are the temple prostitutes if you will. They also can be commissioned for other tasks the Temple High Priest or Priestess might have planned as support. They wear red robes with silver trim.
  3. Adepts: The adepts become managers of the Acolytes at the Houses of Love. They wear robes of red with gold trim. Adepts are reserved for rituals involving special clients.
  4. Priest/Priestesses: These wear white robes and there are only six of them per temple, (three women and three men) at each temple. They are the altar keepers who pray for the parishioners, take their coins, and send them to the houses of love. These are reserved for very special season rituals and rituals involving the swearing of Oaths to Sensua.
  5. Curates: These Wear White with Silver Trim, they are reserved for very special rituals involving the Priest. Priestess levels and higher. There are only four of them per temple. (two women and two men).
  6. High Priest/High Priestess: Wear white with gold trim. Only High holy day rituals are involved. There is only one of each sex at the temple.

It should be noted that training in religion, duties, channeling divine spells, combat, etc. starts the moment a cleric of Sensua becomes a Novice. Training in healing art (medicine) is available as well as sexual training for the purpose of performing the ritual sex that is required for many things in the practice of the religion. It should be noted that Sensua is about sensual love and not just ritualized sex. One should enjoy the ritual for maximum effect. Just going through the motions of sex might cause the goddess to not work her magic for those involved.

Clerics of Sensua are trained very early to be comfortable with their bodies and the bodies of others. Novices are required to be naked on temple grounds at all times except when working in the house of love. After that, the bathhouse and common areas are clothing optional for all other ranks. Nudity is still required for all ranks to enter the inner prayer chapel. Each temple has dorms for the Novice through the Adept class. Sleeping areas are also considered common areas for the purpose of nudity. Once a cleric reaches the Preist/ Priestess class they are given private quarters.

It should be noted that disease is also a healing specialty for the clerics and this includes sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, pregnancy is not considered a curse or negative but a blessing because Sensua is about fertility. Children born to clerics are raised by the community although pregnancy does not happen as often as you would think. Sensua’s will is that her clerics perform their duties above all, so the focus is on fertility in the worshipers who are not clerics. If a female cleric gets pregnant, it is actually both very rare and considered the will of Sensua. It is however not uncommon for female worshipers who are praying for a child to get pregnant after a ritual and one must wonder if it is her husband or the male cleric who ‘blessed’ her.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


“A Map and a Prayer” – The Adventure Chronicles of Brightblade – Part 1 (A Dungeons and Dragons Solo Roleplay)

Happy Sif’s Day!

Lief Crispen leaned forward to study the map on the table. His mother hovered over his shoulder looking down at the parchment which showed a route from the city to a cave in the hills to the east.

“What do you think mother? Is it genuine?”. Lief’s strong voice came.

Anna Crispen frowned as she studied the details. The map was recent as the ink looked fresh and not faded. The landmarks were current as well. It was well done but not ornate. A practical map to mark a place of importance for later.

“I think so, son. But will it deliver on what it promises?”

Anna’s voice was sweet and melodic but quivered slightly because she knew what her son was planning.

Lief leaned back slightly and looked over his shoulder toward her.

“The merchant seemed to think so. He was most grateful for the work we did repairing the shoes of his caravan. This is the bonus, the trick is collecting.”

“Well son, we can’t afford to hire someone. We are cobblers, not rich merchants.”

Lief sighed, “You know what has to be done, and to be truthful, you know this is the break we have been looking for. It might give us the wealth we need to start buying favor and expanding the business.”

“We have a good life.”

“No doubt, but still water stagnates. The family name needs security and that means the need for wealth and title.”

This was an old conversation between the two of them. She was about to say ‘ and it needs heirs, but she knew what the counter would be. Lief would simply point out that there would be a greater motive for him to find a wife and produce children if there was something to inherit beyond what they have. She knew he was in part right that he needed to use the days of his youth to build something and then settle down. ‘Marriage is a young man’s burden and an old man’s comfort’ was the wisdom of the gods.

She looked at her son. He was so much like her dead husband now. Tall, strong, and athletic, but in many ways beyond him. But he had her wisdom just like he had her fair skin, green eyes, and long dark raven hair. Lief was truly the best of his parents. But he was also all she had anymore. Her only child. This was the real cause of her fear.

“Mother, I know you worry over me. I get your fears, but if the Crispen name is going to stand the test of time they need security and position. I think this treasure might be the key, or at least the start. I can’t do what we need to do by just fixing shoes. It’s noble and good hard work, but it’s not going to be enough.”

Anna nodded. Adventuring was not uncommon and the hills and forests around the City of Brightblade had their wild side to be sure. If this map marked a treasure it could tilt their fortunes for the better. It might attract good blood to the family.

“Mother. I will be careful. I have been training with the militia for the last four years and I am doing well enough to have been promoted to corporal. I have good equipment and what we think is a good map. If I am reading the map right, it’s about half a day’s walk from here.”

“Be careful son,” tears came to her eyes.

Lief stood and hugged his mother in his crushing grip.

“I will say a prayer to Sensua for you tomorrow.”

“Thank you, mother. And I will wear her amulet to remind me that you are praying for me. With any luck, I won’t be more than a few days.”

“Let’s pray not. I love you, son.”

“I love you too, mother.”


The next day Leif arose and got ready for his trip. He put on his militia armor consisting of his chainmail tunic, leather boots, and arm grieves over his under tunic. He then placed his traveling tunic over everything and tied it with his leather belt. He had a backpack with everything he needed from torches to rations. He tied his longsword to his belt and then picked up his spear and shield, a medium-sized round shield with a steel front and oak as its core. Pulling the traveling cloak’s hood over his head, he walked toward the door to leave the shop.

Anna stood by watching her son and made sure she didn’t cry until after he left. He did that with few words. He handed her his amulet of Sensua and she slipped it over his neck. She kissed him on the cheek and watched him step out into the quiet morning streets of their neighborhood. He disappeared around the corner looking back toward her one last time. Only then did the tears come, but she did not sob. A few minutes later, she had collected herself. Put the closed sign on the shop and headed to the Temple of Sensua.

The Temple was a few city blocks away and this early in the morning the traffic was light as was the line to see the priests and priestesses. The temple itself was probably 100 yards square. It consisted of the front altar reached by passing the entry arch, the two houses of love to the right and left and then the rest of the complex was behind all this where the priests, priestesses, paladins, and other members of the temple lived. Anna concerned herself only with the altar today and she felt a surge of hope as she crossed through the archway. The Motto: ‘Life, Love, and Fertility” she had seen a thousand times. Today they meant a little more as she thought of the life of her son, her love for him, and her hope of a continued family.

She approached the altar. Sensua’s statue standing over it. Sensua, the goddess of life, love, and fertility was always depicted as a pleasantly curvy woman with long hair. And always naked. In this case, she stood with her legs shoulder width apart facing the archway and her hands outstretched above her.

“Daughter Anna, you seem distressed.”

The priestess was one she had met before. A short but curvy woman with light brown hair. She was pleasant to look at even wearing her robes of white.

“I am. My son is doing something important for the family and it is potentially dangerous. I have come to seek the goddesses’ blessing for him.”

“Say no more.”

Anna handed the priestess some gold coins and knelt. The priestess’ prayer was simple and to the point but Anna felt its strength and smiled. The ritual continued with Anna offering a prayer for her son. At this point, she pledged herself again to the goddess. Once finished the priestess beckoned her to rise and then motioned toward the house of love on the right. Anna nodded and then walked with purpose toward the house of love and passed through its door.

In order for the ritual to be completed, the rights of love must be performed. In truth, this part had more than a single function for Anna. He husband had been dead for almost as long as Lief had been out of her womb. She had forgone remarriage to focus on raising her son. She still had needs as a young woman. It was no accident that her devotion to Sensua was regular and a few times a week. She was in her mid-thirties having had Leif when very young.

Each house of love was arranged pretty much the same. The lowest floor was a waiting area where the novices waited on those waiting to complete their ritual. It was white marble like most of the temple and the benches and a couple fountains were made of the same. The novices were all male. In the other house of love, they were female. Not that it was absolutely expected that women went to the house of men and vice versa. She had a girlfriend who went to the female house. Sensua was not about the judgment of one’s sexual tastes, but she is about the expression of passion leading to life.

One of the novices handed her a small cup of wine and she drank it while waiting. The two floors above her were where the bed chambers were. This early in the morning she would not have to wait long. She recalled how each house was organized. Novices trained here on the first floor. They made sure that the people waiting were comfortable. One had to be at least an acolyte or adept to actually provide the conclusion to the ritual of love. Acolytes did the most meeting with and concluding the ritual with each petitioner of the goddess. Adepts ran the place and kept things organized.

There was much training involved in this and one of the main things is that the clerics of Sensua were considered some of the best healers in the world. That healing power came in large part from their very hands-on understanding of the body, sexual energy, and touch magic. Nor were they limited to just humans although that was the majority in Brightblade. They also boosted elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes as clerics. She thought Lief had said a dwarf female was one of the adepts in the female house of love and she had seen an elf here a couple times who was an acolyte.

Anna smiled as she remembered when Lief had matured to the point she had brought him here. She had caught him pleasuring himself and she knew it was time for some proper education. The Acolytes and Adepts were all too happy to speak to him and she was so thankful for that with his father dead. When he turned fourteen, he came of age and she brought him here for the first time for him to do the ritual himself. A female acolyte (according to her son a pleasant human woman) took his virginity and he became a man. He joined the guild and the militia that same year. Since then she had known nothing but pride in her son. This adventure in truth made her even more proud. He was thinking of things larger than himself. He was thinking long-term for the future of the family.


Anna looked up to it was one of the Novices. A fine looking ebony-skinned young man.


“Follow me.”

Anna followed him up to the second floor. He directed her to wait in the first room on the right. The decor of all these rooms was simple but comfortable with dark wood furniture, red curtains, red bedding, silver chamberpots, washbasins, and pitchers. She walked in and stood.

“Someone will be with you shortly.”

A few moments later the door opened and an Adept walked in closing the door behind him. He was a medium-sized man with olive skin. Anna raised an eyebrow as she knew only one Adept was on duty in each house at any time. Mostly to coordinate the Acolytes to the right rooms. The fact that an Adept…

“I can see the questioning on your face. The priestess thinks very highly of you and could see your need. So I have been asked to complete the ritual with you in hopes of securing Sensua’s blessing for your son. It is hoped that the extra measures we provide will do so.”

Anna nodded and thanked him and the temple for their special consideration. He nodded in return and then pulled his red robes back from his shoulders and let them fall to the floor revealing his muscled naked form. Anna glanced down and smiled. He approached her and his fingers touched her cheek. Instantly she could feel the magic of the ritual as it melted her worry and tiredness. One by one her pieces of clothing became a pile on the floor.


Sometime later, Anna was laying on her back in the bed and the adept had gone. Her worry for her son had lifted and her naked athletic body quivered with divine magic. She always felt so alive at this moment and it is perhaps one of the reasons she visited the temple so often. The adept knew his business better than most. He had even offered to cuddle with her afterward if she so desired. She told him ‘thank you’, but she needed solace with the goddess. The adept had nodded, put his robe back on, and left. Left alone with her thoughts, she realized that she was still young enough to bear a child, and with her son now old enough to be on his own, this was, perhaps, the time to remarry.

It was at this moment that light began to grow in the room. Anna sat up and looked with amazement as dots of light began to form into shape in front of her until she saw it was a woman’s form but indistinct.

“Anna Crispen, Anna my faithful follower. I have heard your prayer. I will watch over your son. He will return to you. In return, my temple may ask something of him, encourage him to cooperate and all will be well. Be blessed, my faithful daughter.”

The image began to fade.

“Wait! Goddess, I have a question. A question for myself.”

The image brightened and solidified again.

“Ask your question.”

“Thank you. Will I ever know love again?”

“Yes. But not in the way you think. I will also answer the question unasked – yes, you will bear another child with another man. But it is Lief who will bless me the most. Your other child will belong to another deity. She will not serve me”

“I see. Thank you once again for your patience with your servant.”

The image faded and disappeared.

Anna smiled – love, a child – a girl, and Lief safe. She breathed deeply. Now there was nothing for it but to wait.

Writer’s Notes:

I am sorry for the delay on this series, but I got sick this week and have not felt like much of anything all week. I also have to face the reality that I was going about this all wrong by trying to top down the world design for this series. I have turned it around and designed one character (literally redoing my fighter a third time) a single setting idea and then went forward. The basic idea is that the world will fill in of its own accord as each new character is added and when things need to be answered.

Ultimately this is the roleplaying part of the solo adventure I am doing. I basically am going to play the game and jot things down in the journal. That’s why things won’t always be predictable even for me. I will then take this and turn it into a story for the roleplay part. I will be introducing a new character from time to time and things will grow as I am able.

A few other things:

  1. This series is very adult in its content. I don’t recommend it for kids. I honestly think the Dungeons and Dragons world suffers from a sterility problem in this regard. Expect genuine adult situations, horror, sexual situations, incest, nudity, and violence. If you watched Game of Thrones, nothing will surprise you here. What might be interesting is that multiple races invite some interesting situations. This series will not shy away from rape and murder nor will it be ‘woke’. I want a realistic portrayal and not everyone in the world has ‘modern’ sensibilities.
  2. Part of this is I want to realistically portray the nature of ancient religions and cosmology. It is interesting that Dungeons and Dragons’ mythos centers on creation as an act of war, whereas most pagan myths view it as an act of sexual creation. People in pagan thought tend to look at the world around them and reason to the divine. “My mom and dad had sex and here I am. Where did the universe come from? Two gods had sex and here it is.” For me, proper myth has creative acts in life be creative in myth and destructive acts are destructive.
  3. It should be noted that my world thus views sex in a much more positive and less taboo light. In fact, it is the more evil deities that will encourage celibacy and the destruction of life through things like forbidding sexual expression.
  4. Character Development: Lief Crispen was developed with as many random tables as I could use. I also randomized many elements of his creation to get what I got. This actually will be pretty true for most of the characters you will see. The goal is for me to challenge myself in writing creatively. How do these things go together? How does this background fit the class? etc. Today, I tried to get a basic background for the character presented but chose to do it through his mother. In addition, one of the random background things was the character got a treasure map as a boon. It launched the idea of what happened today. Most characters will be created randomly like this but I will try not to repeat a class and/or subclass until all classes are used.
  5. Character Death: Death is going to happen. I am not going to protect these characters with one exception, the last character standing alive gets protected to keep continuity between the characters in a single story arch, In this case, this centers on Adventures by people from the City of Brightblade.
  6. Adventure Development: I am using The Solo Adventurer’s Toolbox Parts 1 and 2 once I get passed these first couple of adventures. For the adventure that is coming and the second one will actually be based on solo adventures from the 1983 Basic Set: You know the one with the cover below. If you played them you are familiar, but I will be adding my own twists. After that, it will be pretty random.

One final note. I will be writing on only this series for a while. I recently realized I am trying to do too many projects. So this is the only thing I will be doing for at least a year. My goal is to get my creativity flowing again and then see what I can do later. I loved D&D as a kid and teen and now I am feeling that growing again and just want to enjoy it. Basically for those that follow my life. It’s Living life, My YouTube Channel, and this series for a year or so.

Other Sources: Player’s Handbook, Dungeons Master’s Guide, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Naughty and Dice: An Adult Gamers Guide to Sexual Situations.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


“Naming Day” – The Grey Wayfarer Pub – Episode 3

Happy Thor’s Day!

It’s been a month since last I wrote. I have been busy and now is the time to journal the results.

First I Had to personally move into the top-floor apartment. It was actually a simple affair with a single bedroom for my king-sized bed with some room to spare and a fairly spacious bathroom next to that. The entire front was an open loft-like arrangement with a kitchen, dining nook, and a living area which I devoted to my books a reading chair, and a sofa for guests. No Television. Comfortable and functional. Honestly, I spend very little time here except to get some sleep, eat, and do some reading at the end of the day.

The basement is more of my second home now. It is my alchemy lab in truth now. Several tables with chemical and alchemical apparatus covering them. One whole wall is now devoted to ingredients for my potions. Part of it though is my brewing equipment for my own alcoholic beverages. In particular, I have chosen to go with Mead. Mead is expensive and for good reason – honey. But I have discovered one thing about it as well. Because the ingredients are in some senses precious – the potions I make with mead have been shall we say more potent.

Now the real trick to alchemy is the magic part. It has to be drawn from your own inner philosophy and inner most beliefs. Theology does not work for me anymore and is quite frankly unstable as nitroglycerin as far as results. It’s the fact that theology is made up for the most part and lives in a double fantasy of sorts. It requires a lot of cheats and leaps of logic to get it to even be usable and even then its effects can be quite weird. It’s why the cure for vampirism eventually failed as theology is my magic force that doesn’t hold the magic that well. The cure had a shelf life and then the magic didn’t work at all once I didn’t believe.

So as I am setting up my lab I was also experimenting with products to sell and I have found that from a physical base form point of view mead is damn good at holding magic and tends to actually act as an enhancer of magical effect. So my mead production began at once. Thankfully the base magic I add to it makes the fermentation process go even faster. The base magic in general is the simple philosophy of living a virtuous life. The basic effect of the mead is that it quickens thought and reflection as well as having enough kick to knock a frost giant on his ass.

The rest of the magic is to take this base mead and add different ingredients and effects to make it more specialized. I have a lot of experimenting to do but the alchemy is working again and for that, I am thankful as I want a local brew to sell.

The bar itself is now nearly complete. Stools are redressed in grey vinal with a silver sheen and the five booths are much the same. The bar is restocked and the small cooking alcove is fixed up and stocked as well. I redid the bathrooms as they were pretty much trashed. I basically made two unisex bathrooms with nice fixtures and set up to do pretty much everything regardless of the sex of the occupant. I am just thinking ahead on that I suppose.

Finally, I added some touches from the old pub. I had my silver shield and shotgun shipped in and placed them under the bar. The painting of Miss Wine from the Pub. Her naked reclining form fits right at home here in the pub. Last I knew she had left the US to take an undisclosed job for the Shields. It must have been pretty hush-hush as even I couldn’t get info on it and I have pretty high clearance. That said, the painting was done by a man who knew his oils and made her beautiful and restful. Last, of all, I put up a small sign next to the painting – “Clothing Optional”. Some things will never change for me.

Outside there now hangs a sign which up to today was covered to prevent it from being read. But today I removed it as it is the official naming day for the pub. Both sides have the same scene of an old man traveling a path. Above him fly two ravens and two wolves are on the path with him. The word along the top and bottom: “The Grey Wayfarer”. Not so coincidentally, this is also the name of my new Mead “Grey Wayfarer Mead”.

I am happy with the place and the grand opening is in two weeks. Now all I need to do is hire some staff.

Author’s Notes:

Starting something new, forward in the timeline, but returning as something low-powered is tough unless there is a good explanation.

In this case, it is the bartender who has changed. He is having to rediscover and rebuild and so his power is diminished and his friends are scattered requiring him to make new ones (although some old characters might make a guest appearance). This means the change is causing a reset.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


Routine Adjustments and Forming Habits

Happy Sol’s Day!

So what is the vision for myself I am trying to base my goals and thus what habits do I need to form on daily basis to achieve them? So we start with my vision of what I would like to see myself be. This has a few new elements seeing I am now single and working toward better things for me without consideration for a significant other. This has its own challenges because I am doing it with one income and without someone to run it through as a filter. I do consider that last part to be a bit of a weakness of being single.

My vision for myself has some specifics in that I value strength, masculinity, rationality, virtue, and quality of relationships over quantity. I also believe these work together and fortify each other. Thus the reason I used the quote from Henry Rollins for this post. One strength leads to another. So what habits do I need to achieve this?

The problem with this for me right now is that I recognize this as a process. Because of this habits may need to be added once I recognize the need for them, and others might need to be dropped. This is an evolving list and one that is going to change with time and further consideration. Thus the Daily Routine. Each item is designed to bring me day by day to some part of the vision. It’s interesting that this almost eliminates the idea of goals, now that I think of it, other than the goal is to create habits that create the vision of what I want to be.

The Grey Wayfarer’s Daily Routine (as of 5-15-22)

  1. Get up and Make the Bed: Goes to Mental Health. I can say at any time of the day I have made my bed. It’s also nice at the end of the day to climb into a made bed, even though the other side is empty right now. I miss cuddling the most. I usually get up 3am.
  2. Meditation on the Nine Noble Virtues: Goes to Virtue. Basically, I read through them three times out loud. This is my way of coming to a better understanding of the virtues and thinking about how to apply them.
  3. Full Body Stretch: Goes to Strength of Body and Masculinity. I also put on my headphones at this point to listen to Viking Wisdom and Warrior Wisdom.
  4. Weight Training: Goes to Strength and Masculinity. I am still usually listening to Wisdom and Motivational stuff on my headphones. This is Monday through Saturday Only.
  5. Breakfast and Supplements: Goes Strength and Masculinity. My Diet is Cave Man (Paleo).
  6. Shit, Shower and Shave: Physical Health: Part of the Viking Wisdom I listen to is the expression about not worrying about the simplicity of Dress but rather worrying about health and Hygiene. Being clean and hygienic of body is more important than what you wear on that body.
  7. Get Dressed for the Day: Mental Health: This is the first mental acknowledgment that I am going to have to go outdoors so I need to prepare. It should be noted that 1 through 6 are done in the nude. I sleep naked as it leads to a more restful night of sleep for me. When I get up I fail to see the point of getting dressed to just take it off again to take a shower. I am comfortable in my own skin and tend to be an at-home nudist anyway. I have also found this leads to a good mental state of “This is me in the raw, what I am stripped down – what am I capable of like this?”
  8. Get ready for work: This is Monday through Friday only. It leads to financial health but there is a mental shift going on as well. I have a separate work routine. I will probably go over that at some point.
  9. Record YouTube Video for The Rabyd Atheist. Edit and Post. Goes to being socially strong. Having a voice in the world. I used to do this later but a practical concern caused me to change it to earlier. That concern is that after school the kids in my apartment complex play loudly. So Yesterday I made the decision to record as soon as I am ready for work. Even if I have to go to work right after I record I can pick this up later. Usually, I have plenty of time, as my routine (the more I get used to it) goes faster and takes less time.
  10. Write Post for The Grey Wayfarer: Goes to Mental Health and Social. I also have a vision of myself as being a philosopher writing out his wisdom at the end of his life. I am the guy who played LIFE the board game and wondered why retiring and becoming a philosopher was a bad outcome.
  11. Study: 30 mInutes: Right now this comes before reading because I am trying to finish my training for my teacher certification and working on it for a half-hour a day seems reasonable
  12. Reading – 3 chapters. God for me as the scholar and it starts to mark me coming down from the day. I find reading both engaging and relaxing. Mental Health here as well.
  13. Cleaning: 30 mInutes. This is more of a mental thing as well. This is also more of the spot cleaning of a room or rooms as on Sunday I have a full reset cleaning I do. Keeping my environment clean and in line with my tastes goes a long way toward fighting my depression.
  14. Personal Business: Mail, email, paying bills. I am probably going to morph this into planning and budgeting as I have a financial goal of getting debt-free as soon as possible.
  15. End the day: Take off my clothes and climb into bed. My alarms are all set through Alexa so. Sleep and reset.

Over time this should start to shape me in a lot of ways into a strong person of mind, body, and social responsibility. The only thing I am trying to add is a routine about staying connected to my family but in many ways that are in their hands as all my kids are welcome to interrupt my routine to talk to me. One of the perks of being my children. They are far busier than me so they all have permission to interrupt my life to talk to me.

I suspect that some of this will be changed over time and added to and subtracted from. There are two other routines in my life – Work and Sunday Rest. More on those next weekend.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


“New Format and Changes” – Freya’s Chambers – Sensual Art

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.


I just want to use this post to announce some changes to the format.  I will continue to discuss issues related to what I have before but there will hopefully be two changes that I hope everyone will enjoy. Number one I plan on making some pages soon to separate the topics on Freya’s Chambers.  This will happen over time as a topic is posted under a certain heading and I will organize things.

Secondly, I am going to start a pin-up girl of the week feature to deal with my favorite form of sensual art – the vintage pin-up.  Not just in art form but photos as well.

Pin-Up Girl of the Week: Kathy MacDonald – Miss Playboy Playmate March 1969

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I have looked at these photos many times from the month I was born. Kathy is still alive but I doubt very much she still looks as lovely as in these photos. A simpler and classical time for pin-up girls and for Playboy Magazine. A beautiful woman.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Writing Erotica” – Freya’s Chambers – Sensual Art

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.

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I haven’t really addressed the subject of sensual literature so far in Freya’s Chamber’s so here goes.  I am not a fan of romance novels as the plot seems pretty much the same.  The only innovation I have seen is not it is not always exclusively boy meets girl.  They=, meet, a problem arises, the overcome problem while falling in love, they confess love and curtain.  The sex scene that would follow such stories is far more interesting because the romance to me is all the hype of how passionate people are toward each other.  That sex scene would reveal if the hype was just hype or real passion.  Making love does that.

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Erotic novels try to capture that passion and give it physical form. It indicates how creative we are when it comes to sex as quite frankly the ways we make love are legion and the ability to describe them with words is, in my opinion, a difficult art.  It is this descriptive wordplay of erotica that draws people to it.

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I have tried my hand at erotic stories.  Privately and both before I left the ministry and after. It is not as easy as you might think  Words that envoke fantasy and passionate sex are not just run of the mill words. There is a whole new vocabulary, grammar style and way of fitting words together to describe what two (or more) people are doing so not only can you see it with your mind, but feel it with your heart, smell it, taste it and feel eery sensual action. Try simply describing and writing out a sex act you had once nad capture al that and you will see what I mean

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Most of my erotic stories when I first started centered on married couples trying to resurrect passion in their lovemaking.  Later it became about forbidden love or even infidelity. Adding in fetishes and other human traits simply followed in these themes.  Recently though I have written about mental sex.  Two people sit down in a cafe and look at one another and basically have sex with each other in their imaginations.  It gets interesting to switch back and forth as they each have subtle differences in how they perceive each other. Sometimes they know each other, other times they don’t.  Nothing gets beyond the short story.

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Sensual words are something that impresses me now. It is hard to do them right and with effectiveness. Like all writers, those who craft erotic literature are all over the place as far as skill and depth.  Those that are the most skillful, seem to pull me into their world where I am not just a voyeur but a participant in the making love itself.

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Perhaps one day I will get it right myself and pull that off.

My Two Cents,

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Vintage Gynephilic” – Freya’s Chambers

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.


Some time ago I wrote as part of my sexual identity is that not only am I very heterosexual but that I probably take it a step further by being very gynephilic – that is I have a deep love for women in general. This something I used to struggle with as a Christian as you are not supposed to love women like that as the can tempt you to sin.  But now, I find the love of women one of my few joys in life. As I said before, I love how they look, smell, talk, act and just their overall femininity.

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I know I get along better with most women than men. That is probably because I have a basic philosophy that some apocalyptic crises could happen and if I survive it, I want to be able to cuddle up with a woman at the end fo the day and you never know who that will be. I know that sounds strange I suppose, but the ladies do keep me fascinated and hopeful so I am not really picky as to the type of woman in crisis I would shack up with as long as they are cuddly.

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All of this started when I was very young with pin-up girls, a few copies of Playboy under my bed and an interesting encounter with one of my teachers who lived next door. I was about ten when that last one happened and when you go over to your teacher’s house to get a copy of book you wanted to finish that summer only to find her dressed in a short negligee she threw over herself because she was probably a nudist, as a young boy you suddenly realize that the female of the species is pretty fascinating.  So fascinating that you stop playing little boy games with your friends and start to dedicate a lot of your time to figure them out.

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While my friends were playing with snakes and in the creek, I was noticing girls and women were wonderfully different. Hitting puberty early didn’t help matters.  I soon became head over heels in love with girls and women.

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Probably the most magical thing about that time is as a boy growing up in the eighties, the sensual stuff about women was what today would be considered vintage.  Today you can get any pose of any type of woman you would like.  Back then it was more of a very selected group as well as being shots that were set up very carefully. it was an art in and of itself.

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I guess that is why I still love pin-ups and the girls from that era more than those of today.  Although the girls of today seem far better at the sensual posing than girls of the past who were more interested in being flirty not sensually powerful.  To me, it has always been about how beautiful and wonderful women are and that is why I love them. Call me a vintage gynephilic.

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My Two Cents,

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Religion, Sex, and Deconversion” – Freya’s Chambers – Sex


Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.


When I was a person of faith and religion, sex was an uncomfortable topic for me and those around me.  Mostly because there is this whole notion of sin that is injected into the picture. Plus there was a lot of shame associated with being found to have a sexual attitude that differed from the acceptable norm.  Certainly, my sexual education really didn’t have a chance to get anything factual unless it was by accident. Being the rebel I have always been when it comes to social mores, I found myself at odd on the subject of sex and nudity in the Christian context more than once. The real issue for Christians is keeping the desire for sex inside their so-called god-given boundaries. That being one man, one woman in marriage for life. This avoids the deadly sin of Lust.

When I realized that the whole sin thing was made up, this caused me to change my attitudes about sexuality quite a bit.  Mostly things get really basic as I think that the whole ideas of faith and religion actually complicate the matter of sex quite a bit. In religion, everyone argues nuances to see how far they can push their own sexual proclivities. The discussion, if it is had at all, is one of arguing small details of ‘how far is too far’.  I mean it really comes down to looking at each sexual issue and asking does the Bible or the religion allow it?  In my own faith, the issues of masturbation and whether in marriage oral sex, anal sex and BDSM were allowed. The one thing for sure was no one is allowed to think for themselves on the subject.

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This leads to all kinds of secret behavior that in many ways is far more erotic, unsafe and in many ways weirder than outside the church when it comes to sex. The most common being that religious teens are often told little about birth control if at all, but sooner or later the young couple gets alone and things happen. Unwanted teenage pregnancies anyone?  Not to mention that while abortions are opposed by Christians, the people who actually get them the most, probably because of the unwanted pregnancies, are Christians.

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If only birth control were taught in a proper manner, then fewer of these abortions would take place.  But that is the kind of logic that religion causes you to not even consider.  Sex before marriage is a sin and so is abortion.  You don’t need birth control because its a sin to have sex before your married and you will thus never need an abortion.  If only human behavior conformed so nicely into such black and white terms.

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This, of course, leads to the hypocrisy of the public maintenance of certain standards while at the same time privately not even at times being remotely close to those standards.  Divorce, infidelity, and abortion are higher among the religious than the irreligious and I understand now why.  There is an incredible power to guilt to keep control but at the same time, such guilt produces curiosity.

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I experienced this over and over myself as people would tell me such and such behavior was harmful and then I would start thinking about the behavior and why it was harmful.  Sooner or later I would engage the behavior and then discover it wasn’t that harmful – let’s just say if masturbation makes you blind, I should have been sightless a long time ago. If there is some physical malady that arises from watching or looking at porn, yeah, I would have that too.  So far all I could say was I developed a lot of guilt for nothing.

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Since deconverting, I have no hell to worry about, no wrath of a god that doesn’t exist.  The guilt aspect has diminished quite a bit.  Sex has become a part of life, nothing more or less.  Much more rationally approached.  I enjoy making love to my wife; we have a good time.  but, I don’t get guilty about it when I find myself sexually attracted to other females though – it’s normal.  What I do consider is consent, safety, and maturity which includes societal consequences.  In the case of my wife – fidelity as a virtue is actually much more important than it was as a believer.  Because I don’t assume it anymore and look at it as something to strengthen and improve because that is what you do with virtues.

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I personally am much more open to a polyamorous relationship, but my wife is not, so I honor that and respect it as long as we continue to choose to be together.  Because all those vows made before God, don’t mean shit to me anymore.  My religion was discarded a long time ago and with it the attitudes it has concerning sex and marriage.   What matters is fidelity and honor. For those, I stay true but rationally realistic about my own sexual desires.  I see religion colors the lenses so badly, it leads to more trouble than it is worth.

My Two Cents,

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


“Deconverting and My Attitude About Women”- The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!


We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: Nordic/Viking Music – ‘Víðbláinn’


Image may contain: possible text that says '"WheRever you know or harm, Regard that harm as youR own; and give youR roes no peace." --Odin, Havamal 127.'



When I was a Christian minister I always had the dreaded sermons when going through certain books of the Bible where I had to talk about male and female roles, husband and wife roles and the status of women.  It was so patently obvious that the Bible is patriarchal to the extreme it is ridiculous.  Women have a status of somewhere above cattle but below men, Women are clearly seen as male property either of their father or their husband.   The laws regarding rape and adultery in the Bible are much more about protecting a man’s investment and property than the woman’s right to her body and mind.

When I deconverted, one of the things I had to struggle with at first and deal with often was my own attitude about women.  Not that my views as a Christian weren’t fairly liberal, it is that the environment of the church still tends to put women in their place.  Even my last church which was very open, there was an almost unwritten rule that women could not be ushers for the offering. It actually caused some buzzing when one Sunday we had no choice but to use one of the female members of the church council to do this task because most of the men were gone that Sunday.

When I look at this issue now as a pagan atheist. the respect of the individual regardless of sex, sexual orientation or identity becomes paramount. I have no authority that tells me that women are subservient to men nor tells me that men and women have different roles in society.  We tend certain natural directions if left to our own devices, but it is quite possible for women to be mechanics and men to be hairdressers and there is nothing wrong with that.  It also possible for a woman to be the head of her house because she is the best suited to lead it.

I am very much attracted to the female form and feminity in general as a heterosexual masculine male. Our survival as a species has depended on this attraction for millions of years. I have no problem with the LGBTQ+ community but recognize my own attractions and desires that seem natural to myself are what most of society would classify as ‘normal’.  I love women and I love femininity as a masculine male.  I like pin-up girls (of all types and levels of nudity), the female form still lights my sexual fire and I find the wild pagan tattooed rebel girl attractive as fuck.

At the same time, my deconversion thoughts have taught me to respect women as their own individuals that have the right to be in charge of their own destiny.  Their sexuality is their own and they make the decisions about it. If a woman makes love to you by her own choice, it means she chose it as much as you and that is the best type of making love.  But that is also true of any time men and women work together to accomplish a goal or engage an issue.  I want a partnership with women, not ones that are subservient simply because I have a dick.

I find though that my upbringing and former way of life have a way of intruding from time to time with old attitudes. Old ideas of how men and women are different’ spiritually’ come up from time to time. One by one I have to deal with them.  I guess if something comes up where I notice it, I try to meditate on it and change my brain about it. My goal is to let women be what they want to be and enjoy the ride.

Parting Thought:


I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.