Thursday, September 18, 2014

Online Novel Chapter 1 - A Roll Of The Dice

"I grip my enchanted sword tightly with my right hand, my shield attached to my left.  I crouch slightly so I present a smaller target to the dragon.  I start to creep forward, but at the last second...I rush the beast and jam my weapon into its thigh."

Tucker stared at Dan, his eyes narrowing.  The tension was thick as everyone awaited Dan's actions.  For his part, Dan shook his fist, raised his hand...

...and threw the dice.  A three on the 12-sided plastic piece.

The Storyteller smirked.  "Not only did you completely missed the target, but your rash action has moved you right into the path of the dragon's flame.  Roll against fire to see if your shield protects you.  If you don't get a six or better, you've become a charcoal briquette."

Tucker's jaw clenched.  This wasn't the outcome he'd been expecting, and the fire was just the kind of thing Dan would throw in - he could be such an asshole.

Fortunately for the burly redneck, he rolled what he needed to, but only just.  Smiling at the six that appeared on the dice, he looked back at Dan as if to say, "Fuck you and your snooty dragon."

"You made it," Dan observed.  "You survive, but only after tripping and falling to the ground.  Your pitiful rolls have cost you momentum and you lose out on an attack roll next turn."

"What?  That's bullshit!"  Tucker's face was growing more and more red.

However, Lisa managed to calm him.  "Chill out, Tucker.  We all knew what we were getting into when we made Dan the Storyteller.  This happens.  It sucks sometimes, but it also makes the game more enjoyable."

Lisa had potential in the looks department, but she kept her hair too stringy and her clothes too baggy to be taken seriously as a beautiful woman.  Still, she was one of the most fun girls they played DragonLore with, and her quirky sense of humor lightened up games.

There were seven of them sitting around the table, their feet crossed as they rested on the ground.  Kurt, Chris, Pat, and Ray joined Lisa, Tucker, and Dan.  They may not have been the "cool kids," but they had each other.  And they had DragonLore.

DragonLore was a role playing game they'd found when they were all pre-teens.  They played in middle school and high school, and each got fun made of them out of it, but they found each other in college.  Yes, others were out drinking themselves stupid on a Friday night, but their nights huddled around the roll of the dice and the fantasy land created made them each feel like they fit in.

"Is Tucker hurt?" Kurt asked.

"You mean Varagorn?" Pat corrected.

"Yeah, him.  You know what I mean."

"Our characters each have DragonLore names.  If we don't use them, what's the point?"

"Fine," Kurt sighed.  "Is Varagorn hurt?"

"Yes, Chandra, he is," Dan intoned.  "His shield blocked most of the dragon's fire breath, but he took a nasty burn to his calf."

"Hey!" Kurt said.

"Zip it, Varagorn," Kurt said with a smile.  "Chandra pulls out her red healing potion and runs to him."

"Maybe she rips her cloak on the way?" Ray offered.

"Just because my character is a chick, that doesn't mean she's gonna put up with any of that sexual harassment shit."  No one really understood why Kurt decided to make his character female outside of his twisted sense of humor.

They fought the dragon for another four turns before finally scaring it off with a bloody wound on its neck.  None of them was hurt too badly.  The biggest damage was to the staff that Pat's Woodsman Grok carried - the dragon picked it up and snapped it in half like a toothpick.

"Before you lies the dragon's treasure," Dan said.  "The piles of rubies, sapphires, and emeralds is a sight to behold, but it's the chest against the far wall that has most of your attention.  It's large - too large to be carried - and it's glowing light blue."

"Let's get it," said Pat.

"Wait a sec," said Ray.  "We need to make sure it's safe first.  Mouline uses his detect magic spell to see if there's any black magic over the chest."

Dan made a quick roll, coming up with a ten.  "You detect tons of magic, but none of it appears harmful."

"What about traps?" Lisa asked.  "Lenoir checks for booby-traps."

Dan rolled again on the Scoundrel's trap detection ability.  The roll was an eight.  "No traps found on the chest."

"Then that's it," Kurt said.  "My guy moves to the chest and opens it."

"An arrow shoots from the wall and strikes you in the chest.  Roll against immediate trauma."

"You dick!  You said Lisa..."

"Lenoir," Pat corrected.

"...Lenoir didn't find any traps."

"No, I said she didn't find any traps on the chest.  I didn't say anything about the rest of the room."

Dan was clearly enjoying this as Kurt grumbled about the circumstances.  The Knight rolled.  A 12.

"Ha!  Your arrows can get fucked."

"Okay, okay.  The arrow grazed your armor and ripped your shirt, but it made nothing more than a scratch.  Your character shit his pants and got to the chest."  After pausing for muffled laughter, Dan continued, "Inside the chest are wonders to behold - there's a fresh silver sword that gleams in the light..."

"That's mine!" Kurt exclaimed.

Ignoring the redneck, Dan went on, saying, "There's also a small rapier with a bronze handle.  Several potions of a variety of colors are underneath a tattered grey cloak.  Against the roof of the chest is attached a silver dagger with a line of gold around the edge of the blade.  A quiver of arrows rests against the side, standing guard over three scrolls.  Two of the scrolls appear to be normal parchment, while the third is all black."

"Well have to take that one to a Reader," Ray said.

"Shh," Lisa said, a finger over her mouth.  "I want to hear what else there is."

"Then stop humming," Ray came back with.


"Stop," said Chris.  "I hear it too."

The group went quiet.  There should've been no sound, but Ray had been right - a small hum now pervaded the room, growing louder with each passing moment.  A second later, the room started to glow a soft shade of blue.

"What the hell is..." Tucker started.

But he never got to finish his sentence.  In a flash, the group was gone.

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