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A Dance with Rogues

Budo Bancend

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The Princess and her party encounters this unkempt and high strung gnome after crossing the river in the Tunnels below the Black Mountains. He regards the party with nervousness and paranoia and if Vico is in the party, he will make things worse.

Budo states that he fell into the river a few years ago and managed to get out of the water before the river turned into the waterfall. Since then, he has made his home there, feeding off of mushrooms and whatever happens to float by in the river. He tells the Princess that the lower levels can only be reached by going down the waterfall behind his house. If the Princess asks to rest in his home, he denies the request and turns her away.

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Spoilers follow.
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Once the Princess opens the door leading to the waterfall, a beholder named Dru attacks her party from the front while Budo ambushes the party from behind. After killing both, the Princess is free to loot whatever she needs, rest, and continue onwards to the waterfall.

It isn't entirely clear why Budo decides to attack the party, though the party members will speculate:

  • Bran is suspicious of the shape of some of the bones in Budo's cooking pot, and believes the gnome was killing and cooking whoever happened to pass by his home.
  • Norah believes the gnome went mad and kept the beholder as a sort of pet.
  • Pia notices the gnome's greedy demeanor and assumes that the gnome wanted the party dead so he could scavenge their equipment.
  • Vico doesn't speculate, he already thought that gnomes in general could not be trusted.

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