Wyvern cards or posterArven sits at her usual table but unlike most days her goods don’t appear to be spread out in their typical meticulous fashion. Instead, upon further inspection, you see only a stack of black books with intricate covers and boxes of art supplies.

As you approach, drinks in hand, and place a mug next to your friend you can see that she is coloring a picture of a Wyvern. A handmade sign on the table reads “Art History Workshop” in thick, neat lettering.

“Art history, huh?” you ask, by way of greeting and crack a smile when Arven lets out one of her customary grunts.

“Sit down and grab a book, child, I’m sure you are smart enough to figure this one out.” She does not look up from her shading, and you can’t help but be impressed by her skill.

Obediently you oblige her command, taking a seat and a book. Lazily you begin to flip through the pages. At first, you are only looking at the images, beautifully drawn pictures of Assassin Vines, Lich Queens, Elementals, Wyverns, and countless other magical beasts. After a few pages, you notice the back of each contains writing. Upon further inspection, you find that each image has a corresponding story, a short tale about the creature.

“Whoa, Arven, this is amazing! But… History? Are you trying to say that these tales are true?” You can’t keep the incredulity out of your voice, even now after all you’ve heard. All you’ve been willing to believe.

A wry smile spreads across Arven’s lips as she takes a sip of the lager you placed before her, “Some would swear by these tales, though some are more artistic accounts than others” she adds, pointing to the text as you land on the page about the Lich and see a poem by the Dread Lord Byron.

“Wait, so you’re saying he knew about the magic?” you give her a hard stare.

“I have found in my years that those who find themselves more attuned to the arts are more willing to believe the impossible is real, by being willing to see more one often finds that they can.”

Arven picks up her colored pencil yet again, smiling serenely as you digest this new information. Since you started flipping through the book more patrons have filled the seats around you, passing around art supplies as they listen to your discussion.

Another moment passes where you feel yourself at a crossroads. Arven arches an eyebrow as you sit, book in hand as if waiting for you to make your decision. Will you, again, suspend disbelief and delve deeper into the magical? Or will you walk out, head back to your normal life where monsters and magic only exist in the bounds of dice rolls and cleverly composted campaigns?

The choice is yours…

 

To read the tales, and color your own monsters Click here to get your copy of Dungeons Monsters and Tavern Tales!