Mum was spring cleaning. It wasn't something she enjoyed doing, but she found that she was able to think better when her hands were busy, and she desperately needed to think.
She came from a long line of Bristlebane followers. Many a good laugh was had when the antics of some of her more infamous ancestors were retold, and she tried to continue the traditions of (mostly) harmless pranks in Bristlebane's name. Most of the time, she'd like to think that she succeeded very well at this goal.
This year, however, she was stumped.
Totally, utterly, and completely at a loss as to what to do for Bristlebane's high holy day, which was right around the corner. She had gotten so distracted by all the lovely events happening around her that the date had taken her by surprise.
As she began to carefully dust and polish the ancient imbued altar to Bristlebane, that had been passed down through several generations, she began to mumble to herself.
"Och! Mayhaps ... oh, nae, that's been done afore. But if I ... nae, I cannae get my hands on th' badgers in time. Hmmmm ... meh ... I'd need a purple polkadot mule frae that one ..."
So lost in thought was she that it took a few moments for her to realize that the altar was suddenly outlined in a faint green glow.
She dropped her polishing rag and rubbed her eyes. Blinked. Rubbed them again.
Yep, it was still glowing.
She looked the altar over carefully, eyes narrowed a bit in concentration, and saw a small rectangular area on the base that was glowing just a bit more brightly. Bending a bit, she poked it with a finger.
It ... giggled.
A small openening appeared, and a green cloth-rolled package came flying out of it, careening madly around the room, bouncing off the cat (which woke up with a yowl), three walls, the ceiling and Niami's forehead before it fell, demurely, to rest at her feet.
Once her heart stopped trying to run a marathon while her body was still frozen in shock, she retrieved the package from the floor and carefully unwrapped it. The wrapping turned out to be none other than a bright green bandit-style mask, and the contents a small rolled piece of parchment, yellowed with age.
She almost dropped both note and mask in surprise as she realized that the note was addressed to her.
If ye be reading this, then not only are ye named after me, but ye be stumped as tae what tae do frae Bristlebritches' next high holy day. This one be rather quick an' easy tae do on short notice. Use th' recipes below, an ...
Quickly she read through the rest of the missive, awed. Either this was a note from the pre-Shattering Niami DenMother, or it was a very elaborate prank. Either way, she thought she could make something from it, with a few creative variations of her own.
For the next couple of days she sculpted, she hammered and sawed, she threw clay and practiced various lines under her breath.
Dawn was just streaking the sky with hints of pink, blue and gold on the first day of the Bristlebane festivites when a cloaked figure pushing a filled and covered wheelbarrow trundled into the Baubbleshire.
By the time the residents were up and about their daily business, they found a masked, redheaded halfling street peddler in their midst.
"Step right up! Come one, come all! Special and useful items here, blessed by Bristlebane himself! You don't want to miss out on these limited-time offers!" Her patter continued, her words falling crisply in the brisk early-morning air.
"Morning Niami, what have you got for us today. Any pie?" A portly male halfling with a berry-stained tunic asked, hopefully.
"I'm sorry, my good sir, you have me mistaken for someone else! I am Imain Rehtomned, and I'm here to sell you things that will change your life far more than the transitory, but neccessary, nature of foodstuffs! Come closer, and check out these wonderful dishes! See how they match the blue in those berry stains? That's a sure sign that Bristlebane himself will bless you with fortune if you buy this set!"
Her blue eyes glittered behind the mask as she pointed to a sharp-faced gnomish lady in the gathering crowd. "And you, my dear lady. Bristlebane tells me that you've taken one of those poor, befuddled, former Frostfell goblins into your home, to give them gainful employment until the next Frostfell season. Not doing so well, is he? Pining away for all the comforts of his home? Well, why not lift his spirits with this genuine goblin lunch box! It is sure to do the trick!"
Eyeing the bucket of smelly fish dubiously, the targeted woman started to speak. "But that's not ..."
"Not a box, I know. Goblins! What more can be said? If they want to call it a lunch box, far be it for me to dissuade them. Trust me, though, your house goblin will be pleased with it!"
And on it went, her staccatto patter trying to explain uses for the oddest of items, including one bucket of foul-smelling glop that was supposedly a goblin bath, of all things. Several times, folks called her "Niami" or "Mum", and each time she briskly corrected them and continued on with her sales spiel.
As the day wore on, and her supplies and potential customers dwindled, she listened with half an ear to a couple of elderly halflings sitting on a nearby bench.
"Crafters these days, think they can whip out utter garbage just like that and call themselves professionals! Why, I remember when we had to get various parts carefully refined by others, and we took our darn sweet time making a single item! Those were the days!"
His companion, not to be outdone, "I used to make so much money from making WORTS for folks. Nowadays the economy is shot all to pieces and those darn kids keep undercutting us when we try to do an honest markup."
"Those were the days, all right. Remember when Bungo kept trying to make those tin plates, and kept getting knocked out by the forge?"
Amidst their laughter, the masked peddler interrupted them.
"Pardon, my good men, but I am looking for a couple of crafters who might have mementos of the old ways of crafting, and I couldn't help but overhear you. I am looking for a few old items that are no longer available, and I'd be willing to reward you suitably if you are able to help me find them. In fact, I'm offering a fabulous golden memento of those bygone days to the first person able to fill my list! Why don't you give it a try?" Grinning, she handed each of them a printed list of eleven items, then handed out lists to several younger folks who'd been attracted by the mention of the reward.
"Bring the completed list to Mervos Stadrin when you're done, and he'll have your reward. I didn't feel comfortable bringing something that heavy with me."Most of them looked rather confused by some of the items on the list, but the two oldsters chuckled and headed for their storage vaults as fast as they could go.
While they were gone on their scavenger hunt, she sold the last item that she had brought with her - the wheelbarrow that she'd used to carry everything else. "Perfect for carrying around a light morning snack for a modest halfling appetite!"
Items all sold, she quickly left the area.
A couple hours later, members of the city guard were knocking at Niami's door.
"Mum, it has come to our attention that you set up shop selling items of dubious quality in the Baubbleshire today. Not only did you not file for a sales permit, but you didn't pay any city taxes on the item sales. Furthermore, we have two complaints filed from village elders who claim they were "gypped" by some scavenger hunt that you were running."
Mum slid a finger under the kerchief that she wore on her head while cleaning and scratched, her face squinching up into a puzzled frown. "What are ye talking aboot, tallstuff? I've been here cleaning all day, an' my back be killing me. Why don't ye come in, sit a spell, hae some cookies, an' explain what it is that folks think I did today?"
She ushered them into her sitting room, giving the guards time to note that her home certainly looked like she'd spent a lot of time cleaning and polishing, and had a pleasing clean citrus scent to it. And then the cookies distracted them -- a giant bowl full of several types of home-baked cookies.
Eventually, they got back to the tale of the dubious sales, and ending with the reward for the scavenger hunt. "... and it was a golden meat bucket. It isn't even real gold, but some gold-colored metal."
Niami began giggling. "Och! This Imain character sounds like quite th' cut-up. There was a day when th' meat buckets were all th' rage wi' th' carpenters. Sounds like a fitting reward frae someone clinging tae th' old ways."
"Mum, we know it was yo-"
Niami held up her hand before he finished the sentence. "Ye say she looked exactly like me, tallstuff, but how did she sound?"
"Oh! Like you, but without the thick accent!"
"Pffft, that be a bad imposter then, if ye ask me. Everyone knows I cannae manage tae speak with nae accent, after all. Now, eat up, lads, ye're both scrawny as can be, an' there's plenty more cookies left!"
Eventually, the guards left, pleasantly stuffed with cookies, allowing themselves to be convinced that it was a case of mistaken identity.
Niami called out, as they departed, "Ye be sure tae let me know if ye catch this Imain-lass, will ye? I hae a few things tae say tae her aboot impersonating me!"
Then she shut the door and leaned against it for several long moments before sliding to sit on the floor, giggling. Pulling a the green mask from the pocket of her apron, she snickered then carefully folded and replaced the magical item in the hidden compartment in the base of the altar. It should be safe enough there until she needed to channel "Imain" once again.
Jesters, thieves, bards and fans of mischief are invited to enjoy the adventuring and new crafting festivities that surround Bristlebane Day! You never know what riddles, laughs and pranks are to be found during this enjoyable time of year. Celebrators are present in every home city, and the oddest of objects have been spotted in Antonica, The Commonlands, Darklight Wood, Timorous Deep, Greater Faydark and Frostfang Sea! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for special events, especially in Enchanted Lands, occurring only on the highest of silly days, 4/1/2011!
While Niami's soft heart means that her pranks are usually pretty gentle and mild compared to the ones that others play at this time of year, it is definitely a time for mischief, laughter ... and a little bit of crafting.
I am not going to touch the various quests that will be available -- other sites do that better than I, but let's go over the crafting goodies, shall we?
On top of the return of last year's recipe book, Perfectly Serious Items to Craft, there is a second recipe book that has been added with a few new items - Perfectly Serious Items to Craft II. The Bristlebane Day merchants who carry these books are located in home city crafting societies. These vendors also carry three new floor tiles for sale: Azure Stained Glass Square, Pile of Gold Square, and Plum Stained Glass Square.
The items require a mix of tier 1 and tier 2 common resources, as well as one of 5 harvests that can be found only while the event is running, from jester's garden nodes in Antonica, the Commonlands, Darklight Woods, Timorous Deep, Greater Faydark and the Frostfang Sea.
As with last year, there will be the possibility of a rare Prankster's Mischief crafting event that can reward you with some special item if you properly counter the event.
|Bottle of Mischievous Port
||Goblin Lunch Box
||Halfling Serving Tray
||Jester's Festive Bowl
|Jester's Festive Cup
||Jester's Festive Plate
|Thief's Brass Cup
||Thief's Golden Bowl
||Thief's Golden Plate
There is also a Mischievous Mask appearance item, as pictured in the above story.
||Head of Cabbage
||Goblin Tasted Apple
|Bowl of Party Dip
||Rivervale Butter Churn
||Row of Bristlebane
You will find Dreak's Tin Spike in the home city crafting society areas (North Qeynos, West Freeport, Gorowyn, Kelethin, etc). The other ten items will be found down in the crafting instances (the cellar instances found in Qeynos and Freeport). The other collectibles are: fossil temper, dandy elm quill, abandoned tradeskill society ledger, wealthy alchemist's pocketbook, canine saliva tea, legendary pepper, fungus node, a homicidal forge, invisible alder bookcase, and pristine bonus.
For those who remember all of the above items, you will also remember when tier 6 common carpenter recipes were introduced, and we were given that super phenomenal recipe for ... a meat bucket. This meat bucket has now been lovingly reproduced in gold as your reward for completing this collection.