a table of friends

Something to hope for

For the past few days, Elline and Claycia have been in the quite low state of spirit as the guilt for what they’ve done became their major common interest. Power of Nightmare was not the secret for anyone, so is there really any hope left for them to stop him now? Maybe they simply needed a good kick in motivation from the pit of despair they are in, after all. You know, a kick like visiting one of the strange ladies Claycia knows.

“Girls, do you want a tea in a liquid form?” Paintra offers cheerfully, as always. May even seem like she has neglected the whole story the two told her just now.

“……Claycia, do you feel anything?..” Elline mumbles weakly, face into the table.

“An overhelming sense of dread over the inevitable apocalypse.” Her friend replies shortly, in the same barely-emotional manner as Elline did. For the past few minutes, Claycia is simply pulling small shapes of familiar planets from her pockets and makes them crack, as it’s about the only thing that occupies her mind for now. She should be, as it’s exactly halfway her fault too.

Having realized by now, Paintra rolls her eyes and simply tucks both of the cups under her witch hat. It seems to move, and even make the munching noices before standing still again… “Hmmm… Are you girls sure you know exactly what happened?” She takes a slightly serious tone for a change.
“I am well aware from what my counterpart told, that in the mirror Nightmare used to wear black cape during the ‘edgy’ stage~ Oh well- I wonder why the universe even created him at the first place, it’s almost comparable by injecting a deadly poison to oneself!~ Ahahaha… …N-no, you know, on the second say, it isn’t that funny…”

“He…” Reluctantly, Elline raises her head from laying on the table, wiping tears of dismay with one fist. She personally finds it hard to keep crying in such a cheerful place, unlike Claycia who is unaffected by the outer world. “He was the sweetest man I’ve ever known… I don’t know why me and Claycia did that, it’s… Almost like we KNEW what would be the worst.”

“I bet he is now out somewhere, destroying entire solar systems… And it’s all our fault! Or maybe… It’s just mine, because I am the painter!” Having gotten sad again, Elline drops her head on the table again. The tablecloth is wet from her tears right now. “I also bet he is mad at Claycia for killing him and will go after her, too!” She cries. “My friends will just kill each other forever!

Under the extrernal carelessness and sillyness, Paintra however, labors a hard search for any hint of how to help the situation. Was he literally destroyer of the worlds? Well, she was well aware! But she also knew they were in no way able to fight him with such a low spirit and no hope left. Deep down she wishes it was someone else and not them to undo this awkward situation though, but…

“Oh, come on… He is simply an anxious guy brought to the limit of his patience! How strong your color magic can be, Elline?” Paintra floats away a bit.

“I don’t know how but… I think… The world as we know it might be destroyed forever by now…” Elline responds, only to be met by Paintra’s ‘oh, you are exagerrating!’.

Radio, that had previously just dropped some music and maybe speaking easy to dismiss, suddenly stops and then bursts into a moreso coherent speech. “And in the other news……… holy CHIPS, THERE IS A GUY THAT SNAPS PLANETS AND STARS IN HALVES WITH HIS TWO FINGERS! RUN AND HIDE, THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT MIGHT BE DESTROYED FOREVER BY NOW!!!”

Paintra instantly desintegrates the radio with a laser from her eyes.

“…Anyway, girls…” Paintra, once again, drifts closer and leans on the table the two friends are sitting at. The way people seem to be panicking has awaken some memory in her, long-long time ago forgotten. “Remember humans?”

Elline shakes her head negatively, still not knowing that Adeleine, a painter girl she at the very least knows the name of, is one survived. Claycia however, has some things learned from her personal history interest, so she gives Paintra a lazy ‘yeah’.

“What seems to be happening with Nightmare now, is the way he was long long time ago… But I do know that humans haven’t even once mentioned him in their stories.” She smiles vibrantly, “Ah, silly humans~ They’ve just missed so many scary stories! How can one kind be so oblivious they haven’t noticed someone with the planets destroying magic~?”

Whereas Elline is unaffected by these words, Claycia’s reaction is the direct opposite. It’s almost like she has been sleepy and now something given her the energy. Her mind clings in desperation for the quite an unconvenience Paintra has just dropped (as Claycia thinks, unintentionally). Sorceress stands from the chair, still holding her hands to the table, breathing with life now. “….That’s it…” Of course, that’s it. The secret must have been somewhere on the Shiver Star this whole time! From the realization of how dumb she has been, Claycia even holds to her head with one hand. Whatever the big Nightmare-repelling secret is, she must give it a try.

Claycia in no way intends to take Elline in the dangerous journey with herself, therefore as she heads to the exit door, inspired by new hope, she gives her friend a lecture to not follow her, to not do anything in her absense, to not try to call Nightmare, to just stay at home. Although Elline doesn’t understand what all this excitement is about, she has a good feeling herself. And nods in agreement, though internally knowing she isn’t the best at keeping her fair word… A sad sight awaits rainbow fairy in just a bit after Claycia escapes Paintra’s house though - Claycia, just a moment ago having sparkled with faith, drops on the ground crying violently. Elline knows by now it’s the sense of guilt for those already fallen by Nightmare’s hand that’s gotten to her like a shockwave.

“I… I am sorry, Miss Paintra… I gotta go pick my friend from the ground now…” Elline says, ready to head away as well.

Paintra puts a strand of her hair on Elline, like one would do with a hand, asking her to wait a bit and listen closely now.

“Remember, Elline! A bad person that has never known kindless and a bad person that has learned it even once could never be the same!” Paintra declares as her goodbye.

…And here I thought Paintra was going to say something actually useful…’ Elline thinks, not daring to hurt a nice weird lady with saying it out loud. What is left for her is to smile awkwardly and give Paintra a losey ‘thanks’ before heading away.

Paintra further watches the two friends go standing in the doorway. There is nothing to tell her how the things will turn out, and which of the girls will actually have her final role in the situation. Will they stop him violently, or talk to him nicely? Or both, or neigher? She isn’t all that sure, Elline has so far shown the ability to competete the ‘leadership’ of Claycia in what these two do with the universe unintentionally… But she does believe they will make it and stay alive. It is almost too bad she senses she is too weak to step in and help as well.

So I’m at this Christmas party and my uncle just offered to pay my bar bill. GUYS I AM SO SORRY FOR WHATEVER HAPPENS LATER CUZ IM ABOUT TO DRINK HIS TEAMSTER FRIENDS UNDER ALL THESE TABLES

i need a new podcast with a huge backlog to listen to while shoveling the driveway but i found friends at the table and most of woodland secrets to both be hopelessly boring

y’all like the adventure zone? yeah me too, but sometimes once a fortnight isnt enough to fulfill ur need for dnd podcasts, so here’s a few more!

friends at the table

this is more of a rpg podcast that strays away from the traditional world of dnd, but still maintains many of the rules, which is great, and it has many different campaigns set in different worlds, which is awesome. there’s also a helpful little recording at the beginning of the feed which has a run down of what each arc is like, so you know which episodes are maybe not for you

join the party 

this is a brand new dnd podcast! its looking to be so good, with the first two episodes already being awesome, as well as giving the listeners options to listen with or without little nuggets of information about the game and vocabulary used and how certain elements work (also amanda from spirits is super cute!)

critical hit

another dnd podcast that has been going on for the longest time, and tends to stick more to the conventions of dnd, ive only just started listening to this but it looks really good!

hello from the magic tavern

this isnt a dnd podcast, but it has a similar improv vibe to a lot of these dnd podcasts, and is set in a fantasy realm like so many dnd campaigns are, just without any rolling, and everyone is fully in character. the beginning and some episodes can be a little slow, but its still well worth listening too

sneak attack!

another podcast i stumbled across that i havent really had the chance to delve into yet, but it looks super promising! also more conventional dnd campaigns and worlds

critical role

this is not a podcast, but is livestreamed, with episodes put up on youtube and their website. episodes are long (normally between 2-4 hours!) but theres plenty of episodes if you really enjoy getting invested in dnd campaigns (and you can see everyone, which is nice!)

update: they are now making the episodes available as a podcast, you can listen here! (thanks @raisedbybats !)

if you want any podcast recommendations, feel free to ask me!

helena x


So… I drew all the player characters from the Dungeon World campaign Seasons of Hieron/Winter in Hieron, of the podcast Friends at the Table. You guys. Y'all. It’s such an incredible feat of collaborative storytelling, I love it so much.

Please listen to Friends at the Table.