Pretzels With Beer Cheese Soup

Part 6 of “The Ebon Shard”

As the cool shroud of night descended over Neverwinter, The Burly Earl transformed from a lively tavern to the solemn ground of an impending war council. Inside, a sense of purpose replaced the usual jovial atmosphere. Asmund’s call had been heeded, and the chosen few began to gather in the back room, each aware of the gravity of their meeting.

Pretzels with beer cheese dip.

Goldyrn, with her commanding aura, was among the first to arrive, followed by the sturdy Graymar, known for his valor. Slipping in quietly was Zelfrig ‘Frig’ Silentall, her eyes sharp and observant. The room brimmed with a tense energy as Asmund addressed the group.

“We face a dire threat – the Ebon Shroud. Its reach is far greater than we feared,” Asmund began, his voice heavy with concern.

He unfolded a map across the table, pointing to various locations. “Reports are pouring in. Barbarians from the crags near Morgur’s Mound have been forced out, speaking of unnatural shadows and whispers of fear.”

Goldyrn leaned in, her expression grave. “There’s more. Villages along the River Mirar have seen…disturbances. Shadows moving against the natural order, a darkness that seems alive.”

Asmund nodded, his expression darkening. “And whispers have reached as far north as the Blackford Road. An evil is spreading, and it seems to be connected to the powers of the Ebon Shroud.”

The group absorbed the news, the reality of their situation becoming clearer with each report. The meeting then shifted to strategizing, with each member bringing their unique skills and knowledge to the forefront.

Graymar discussed potential defensive measures for the threatened regions, while Frig proposed a network of informants to gather more intelligence. As the night wore on, plans were made, and roles were assigned. The session was exhaustive but fruitful.

Before dispersing, Asmund decided to lighten the mood with a well-loved tavern favorite – pretzels with beer cheese dip. Known for its appeal at small gatherings, this delightful appetizer was perfect for creating a relaxed and congenial atmosphere.

As he prepared the dish, the tavern’s usual tension eased. The soft, warm pretzels, twisted into various knots and shapes, were golden-brown and sprinkled with coarse salt. They were accompanied by a rich and creamy beer cheese dip, made with a blend of sharp cheddar from the deep cellars of Silverymoon and a robust ale from Baldur’s Gate – a nod to the tavern’s fine selection of brews.

As the group took a brief respite from their weighty deliberations, they found themselves drawn to the communal dish. The act of sharing pretzels and dipping them into the flavorful, cheesy goodness brought an unexpected lightness to the gathering. Conversations veered momentarily from dark strategies to lighter, more personal exchanges, as the group enjoyed the simple yet delicious fare.

The pretzels and beer cheese dip, while a departure from the usual symbolic dishes of the tavern, served as a reminder that even in times of crisis, there was room for enjoyment and camaraderie. It was a small, yet meaningful gesture by Asmund, offering a moment of respite and a taste of simple pleasures amidst complex plans and grave concerns.

As the night progressed, the group found renewed energy and a sense of fellowship, bolstered by the shared enjoyment of the appetizer.

The Burly Earl, once again, proved to be a place where even the simplest of dishes could uplift spirits and foster unity among those gathered under its roof.

Pretzels With Beer Cheese Dip

Ingredients

Pretzels

  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water 110°F to 115°F
  • 1 packet active dry yeast 2 and 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking soda for boiling the pretzels
  • 1 large egg beaten (for brushing)
  • Coarse sea salt for topping

Beer Cheese Dip

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beer preferably a lighter ale
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Pretzels

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar and salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
  • Add flour and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add baking soda.
  • Divide dough into portions and roll each into a rope, then twist into a pretzel shape.
  • Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, then remove and place on baking sheets.
  • Brush boiled pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

Beer Cheese Dip

  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  • Slowly add beer and milk, whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer.
  • Lower heat and add shredded cheese, mustard, and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and the dip is smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Character Information

Goldryn– Female Half-Elf Sorcerer / Fighter

Goldryn

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Goldryn
Medium humanoid (half-elf), neutral
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 44 (8d8 + 8)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 18 (+4)
Saving Throws CON +3, CHA +6
Skills Arcana +7, Insight +3, Perception +3
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Elvish
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Sorcerous Magic. Goldryn is a 15th level sorcerer with access to a variety of spells. She can cast the following spells using her spellcasting ability (Charisma):
Spellcasting. Goldryn can innately cast the following spells: At will: light. 1st level (4 slots): shield, chromatic orb. 2nd level (3 slots): misty step, scorching ray. 3rd level (3 slots): fireball, counterspell. 4th level (3 slots): dimension door, ice storm. 5th level (2 slots): wall of fire, cone of cold. 6th level (1 slot): chain lightning.
Fighting Styles. Goldryn is proficient with martial weapons and is skilled in both swordplay and archery. She can choose one of the following fighting styles:
Two-Weapon Fighting: When Goldryn engages in two-weapon fighting, she can add her ability modifier to the damage of her off-hand weapon.
Archery: Goldryn gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls she makes with ranged weapons.
Actions
Multiattack. Goldryn makes two attacks: one with her Sword Strike and one with her Arcane Bolt.
Sword Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage plus 4 (1d8) force damage. The target must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Arcane Bolt. Ranged Spell Attack: +3 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) force damage.
Javelin of Lightning. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (4d6 + 2) lightning damage. Each creature within 10 feet of the target must succeed on a DC 11 Dexterity saving throw or take 10 (3d6) lightning damage.

Foundry VTT import directions

Graymar– Male Dwarf Barbarian / Fighter

Graymar

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Graymar
Medium humanoid (dwarf), lawful neutral
Armor Class 14 (chain mail)
Hit Points 39 (6d10 + 6)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 10 (+0)
Saving Throws STR +6, CON +5
Skills Athletics +6
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Dwarvish
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Rage. While raging, Graymar gains advantage on Strength checks and saving throws, and deals an additional 2 damage with melee weapon attacks.
Stormhammer. When Graymar hits with a melee weapon attack while raging, the target takes an extra 1d6 lightning damage and must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Actions
Stormhammer Strike. Graymar unleashes a powerful strike with his greataxe, attempting to cleave through his enemy. The target must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage and 3 (1d6) lightning damage on a failed save. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage. If the target fails the saving throw, they are marked by Graymar’s Stormhammer, granting Graymar advantage on attack rolls with Stormhammer Strike against the affected target until the end of Graymar’s next turn.
Lightning Bolt (Recharge 6). Graymar calls upon the power of lightning, shooting a bolt of electricity in a 30-feet long and 5-feet wide line. Each creature in the line must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 10 (3d6) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Dwarven Resilience. Graymar taps into his dwarven resilience, allowing him to shrug off damage and push through the pain. As a reaction, when Graymar takes damage, he can roll a d12 and add his Constitution modifier (+3) to the roll, reducing the damage by that total.

Foundry VTT import directions

Zelfrig ‘Frig’ Silentall – Female Halfling Rogue / Assassin

Zelfrig

Copy the text below to import this monster (NPC, etc) into Foundry VTT.

Zelfrig ‘Frig’ Silentall
Medium humanoid (halfling), neutral
Armor Class 15 (leather armor)
Hit Points 65 (10d8 + 20)
Speed 25 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
10 (+0) 17 (+3) 14 (+2) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 12 (+1)
Saving Throws DEX +5, INT +4, WIS +3
Skills Acrobatics +5, Stealth +7
Senses Passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Halfling, Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Cunning Action. Zelfrig can take a bonus action to Dash, Disengage, or Hide.
Sneak Attack. Once per turn, Zelfrig can deal extra 3d6 damage to one creature who was hit with an attack with advantage or an ally is within 5 feet of the target.
Evasion. Zelfrig can dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or a lightning bolt spell. When she makes a Dexterity saving throw to take half damage, she instead takes no damage if she succeeds and only half damage if she fails.
Actions
Multiattack. Zelfrig makes two attacks with her Short Sword of Sharpness and one with her Dagger of Stabbing.
Short Sword of Sharpness. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage. If the attack roll is 20 and the target has a head, it takes an extra 14 (4d6) slashing damage. The Short Sword of Sharpness has advantage on attack rolls when used to surprise a creature.
Dagger of Stabbing. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage. If the target is surprised, it must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take an extra 9 (2d8) poison damage and be poisoned until the start of Zelfrig’s next turn.
Reaction. As a reaction, Zelfrig adds 2 to her AC against one melee attack that would hit her, provided she is aware of the attacker and wielding a melee weapon.

Foundry VTT import directions

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