Dungeons and Dragons (Part 2)

on Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Having chosen or rather been given no choice but to choose a thief, I was ready to be drawn into the Dark Realms conjured up within the twisted mind of Almighty Wally, our host and Dungeon Master.

The Plot
Wally explained that our party had come across this small village at the foot of the mountains. In recent times, some ancient religious sect had taken over the abandoned castle on a nearby mountain. Since then, strange things and creatures have been seen. The villagers dare not venture out at night due to the presence of werewolves and other creatures of the night. Then last month, members of the cult met the village heads to demand 10 virgins each full moon for sacrifice to their demon God. That first sacrifice was due in two weeks time. The village leaders offer to pay us to go to the castle and defeat the cultists before then.

We, of course, agreed to do this gallant task as they were paying us a lot for a succeessful mission. But the way to the mountain castle is protected by a thick thorn hedge and patrolled by packs of werewolves and Giant trolls. We first needed to visit the labyrinth of Gath because at the centre of the labyrinth was a mural that would tell us more about the ancient castle and a map to guide us through the thorn hedges. Oooo. I listened intently to Wally. Not a bad story to give us a little semblence of sense in what would otherwise be a series of senseless encounters and fights. Before long, our merry band consisting of a Paladin, a Barbarian Warrior, a Ranger, a Cleric, a Druid, an Assasin and a Thief (squirrel jumping up and down, that's me! that's me!) entered the dark underground Labyrinth of Gath.

The "Staying in Character".
Woweee. In the labyrinth, it seemed that everywhere we turned there was some beast or monster to be killed. Most of the time, the Ranger got them at a distance with her bow and arrows. Whatever got past that were soon chopped down by the Barbarians axe or the paladin's sword. Even the Cleric (or Mage as they called him) and the Druid got the occasional beast using their magical powers or by calling on their deities for help. I was happily sneaking past all the fighting and collecting hidden treasures and artifacts. This was okay for awhile but I soon got fed up of missing the glory and excitement of the fight.

So in the first encounter after the morning tea and rest room break, I decided to live dangerously. We had entered a chamber and there was a giant Troll in it. Every one took their expected action stations. Once again I was expected to stay out of the way until the big heroes dealt with the baddie. But enough was enough, I told Wally that I chose to sneak behind it and attack with my dagger.

Jaime said, "Are you mad? You can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Cause you're a thief! You've got to stay in character. And what are you doing? You're pricking away with a puny dagger, for goodness sake!"

"I may be a thief but I am a brave and fearless thief!" I replied.

Jaime appeals to the Dungeon Master to intervene. Wally decides to let me do what I want. He's sure that I will soon learn the folly of my ways.

I have a small theoretical chance of throwing the dice where the outcome would be that I had a lucky stab at the monster and it just happened to sever the juggular and the monster keels over mortally wounded. Like a gambler at Las Vegas, I blew on the diced and willed for the right numbers to appear. Like most gamblers at Las Vegas, I lost.

The battle goes something like this;

I jump on the back of the troll and stab him with my small dagger. (Roll dice). Miss. No damage.

Troll busy fighting with Paladin. So I try to poke him with my dagger again. (Roll dice) Hit but only 1 damage point against the troll. Equivalent to a bee sting.

Troll decides to swing his club at me. (Rolls dice) Hits me with 12 hit points. Wally tells me this means that I have lost my left arm and am suffering from internal bleeding. My character may be suffering but my adrenaline is up.

Being the gallant thief, I stab away again with my dagger. (Roll dice). My blade breaks off because of the hard troll skin.

Troll swipes at me. (roll dice) Another 15 hit points. Wally tells me I am now splattered all over the cave and am definately dead. Ah well.

They thought that I had learnt my lesson about staying in character but I can be really, really stubborn about learning things. So they allow me to rejoin the group as a new character (also a thief) and I am promptly fried to a cinder while on a suicide run towards a dragon with my little pocket knife. They respawn me again and I die two more gruesome deaths before lunchtime.

Wally and Karen come to me and say, "Look, stay in character or else you're not resurrecting after the next death." It seems my attempts to make my thief a hero is not going down well with everyone else. They don't think I should rise above my station. It's also slowing down the quest as each time I die, they have to return to the village to get a new thief. Okay, now that my sense of immortality had been lost, I decided to conform and stay in character.

The Great Boredom
Before long, we had killed everything there was to kill in the labyrinth and all we needed to do was exit the labyrinth. Our party turned left, left, left. Dead end. Right, left, right. Dead end. Left, left, right. Dead end. We keep going. Before long 15 minutes of fruitless wanderings had passed. Almighty Wally speaks from heaven, "look you guys are supposed to be bloody scientists! The way out has a simple mathematical solution!"

With one voice we murmured, "Oh, a mathematical solution! Why didn't you say so!" One hour later we were still stuck in the labyrinth. People were beginnning to yawn, read magazines and nod off. We were going nowhere.

Finally, Wally asked what did we want to do next. We said go left. Not because we knew what we were doing but because we didn't know what else to say. Wally solemnly rolls his dice and says, "hurray! you are out at the base of the castle!' Now, we all suspect a bit of divine Wally intervention there but we were so glad to be back in the sunshine we kept quiet.

The Climax.
By dinner time, we had reached the inner sanctum of the castle. Victory was at hand. There were a few minion guards to occupy the heroes. But my thieving eyes was on this beautiful giant crystal sitting in the arms of the bronze idol in the centre of the room. I rushed towards it, skirting the fighting (notice, I am keeping to character) and as a thief would do, I placed my sweaty hands on the crystal and lifted it up. Before Karen the Assasin can call out a warning to me, Wally rolls his dice and proclaims that white smoke begins to rise from the idol.

The cleric and the Druid rush to my side and attempt to call on their Gods to stop the billowing smoke. (Roll dice). The smoke grows in volume.

The cleric and the Druid try throwing holy water on the idol. (Roll dice). Smoke turns black. Team memnbers are blaming me for picking up the crystal. I say, I am a thief, what do you expect! They say, they would expect me to check for traps before picking up the crystal. "Oh" I say.

The Druid takes out some scrolls and begin chanting but the black smoke gets worse and sparks appear.

Then I had an inspirational thought! I told Wally, "I smash the crystal to pieces on the floor." Wally looks pale as he rolls his dice. He turns paler when he sees the result.

"Um. There is a big explosion, an earthquake, volcanic eruption. The castle collapses. All of you have to do saving rolls to see if you survive."

The team is not happy with me cause half of them are dead and the other half gravely injured. I am dead for the fourth time. They drag their sorry, battered bodies back down the mountain to the village only to find that the villagers have lost everything in the earthquake and eruption and they were attacked by angry mobs.

Everyone was stunned.

The aftermath.
It was almost midnight when Karen and I walked to the bus stop. We had left the place like every one else a little shocked and subdued by the game outcome. We sat at the cold bus stop for a few minutes before Karen turned to me and said,"You know, that almost never happens." I nod solemnly.

She added, "I wish it happens a bit more frequently. It was so funny." The bus came and the driver found us laughing hysterically. Karen, Wally, Jaime and I remained friends but I was never ever invited to another campaign. Jaime never got over the fact that his Paladin was lynched by the village mob!

15 comments:

Squirrel said...

How incredibly fun!! I have always wondered what D&D was like! Thanks!

ivan said...

LGS,

This is wonderful.

I want to steal it for my site as an example of hight creative writing!

Ivan

Proxima said...

I had the opportunity to read them as one. Perfect!

I prefer Cleric or Ranger. Sorry you got stuck being an Thief!

(At least around here, PNW:U.S.) Game stores typically have a bullitin board of groups looking for members or other info. You might also find them in your local "classifids" under "announcements" or something. You may also be interested in the relatively new form of gaming - ARG's (Alternate Reality Gaming). Perplexcity is the most famous. You can google it for more info, or check out the company, Mindcandy.com

-P.

Janice Thomson said...

Well you certainly kept us on pins and needles with this one Lgs! So I'm guessing the moral of this is you would not make a very good thief! Hurray - I like that ending!
You should a novel Lgs...your writing skills are exceptionally good.

Janice Thomson said...

Ummm that's supposed to be: You should write a novel as I'm sure you figured out :)

Claudia said...

Wow. I'm impressed with your stamina. I'd have gone home long before getting stuck in the labrynth. Was dinner good?

I'm with Jaimie - I'd be pissed if I was hung.

Ellie said...

Well written. A good bedtime story, perhaps, because reading that made me more tired than I already was. That took a lot of gumption to hang around that long to find out what would happen in the end.

meggie said...

I loved the end result! Lovely post, full of intrigue!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

squirrel,
I think it is fun if we keep it fun. Some people take it very seriously and then it can become obsessive.

ivan,
I see you are getting into character of a thief....(i.e."want to steal it for my site). Haha.
Seriously though, I am honored that you think it is worth the while.

proxima,
I too enjoyed playing cleric which I did as a replacement player for a couple of hours on another campaign. I like playing a pompous self-righteous priest!
Thanks for the tip on ARG. I also like playing Diplomacy which is a board game but the fun is in striking deals, betraying allies and propaganda warfare.

Janice,
Wow. Thanks for the compliment and vote of confidence. I fear though that I have had a novel project for the last three years and all I have done is rewrite the first chapter five times.

claudia,
the game is very immersive and you can actually forget to eat which in my case is a most unusual phenomena.

ellie,
It's hard to condense a whole day of wasted time into a short post! Glad you hung on till the end. :)

meggie,
thanks. You make it sound so interesting....especially what you said about intrigue. I will have to read it myself!

Becky Wolfe said...

Too funny - thanks for the insight into the D&D world!

Top cat said...

Reading this was fantastic, thank you lgs.:)
ONe question...where do you find 10 virgins on a college campus?lol
tc

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

TC,
A quest is never meant to be simple! LOL.

...Kat said...

wonderful!

I never got to play D and D but would have wanted to.

guess my circle of acquaintances was too small.

and over time that still has not changed.

being a LOTR fan I like the fantasy genre!

MICKY said...

SAVED BY GRACE
About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 2004, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages . God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].
PEACE BE WITH YOU
MICKY

Anonymous said...

Incredible! A completely harmless story about playing Dungeons and Dragons, and the Bible-thumper comes running over to "purify" us with a completely irrelevant tale of sorrow and woe that relates to D & D in no way, shape or form. Very 80s!

Sometimes I wonder who is possessed and demonic? Great post LGS. First time reader.

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