Summary: My character, Tala, was new to the party, and so was I. Hell, not only was I new to the party, I was new to the game. One of the first rules I learned in D&D was that the dice never lie. You roll and it's final. No do-overs. I think it works for the real world too, something I learned too late.
Game Night -1-
Attn:This story is based of an actual D&D campaign. Names have been changed to protect the players. This follows the story of a group of friends that have adventures in another world once a week, and the terrible messes they get their characters in on a weekly basis. It follows my character, Tala, as the new character in the group, and the story will bounce between in game and real life. Think "The Gamers". NOT a self-insert, this is a record of the real game. There will be humor, adventure, sheep, and maybe a lesson.
"I want to make a new character Mr. Masterson," I said as everyone shuffled in to the small living room. I took my place on the couch next to Anna, who was playing on David's iPhone. I stole a glance at the screen as I sat, laughing as I recognized a familiar fanficiton site. Carl and David moved to the other side of the table and started talking about their dice. As I sat down I held up my character sheet; my current character, a druid named Morrowyn. "I'm tired of the druid, she sucks - I mean - by the time I do anything David or Carl have already killed it. The only good point about it is her dire wolf, but that's it."
Mr. Masterson continued to shuffle through the huge pile of books in front of him. "What were you thinking of?" Mr. M was a nice guy. He was the father of one of my old friends. A veteran of the game, and a pro in his day, Mr. M was my first and favorite dungeon master.
"A fighter, proficient with a long sword, classic sword and shield style," I said picking up a player's manual. I flipped to the page for fighters. I pointed to the fighter with my pencil. "I want to stab things," I laughed, "a lot."
Mr. M thought for a moment. "Hmmm, I think that can be done. Roll up the new character and we'll meet them today, if not, then next week."
"A new character, Ashley? What's wrong with Morrowyn?" Anna said next to me, just now registering my conversation with Mr. Masterson. Anna was a good friend of mine. She was one of the first people I met back in high school, and she had recently come back into my life thanks to D&D. Anna played a elf ranger, Moroco. Moroco had an interesting obsession with shiny things, something she got from Anna.
"Besides the fact that she sucks," piped in Carl. Carl was the one who got me into the game. Even though Carl was my ex, we were still friends... at least most of the time. Though our characters didn't get along at all. His monk, Adam, wasn't too found of my druid because of a minor incident involving her wolf peeing on him. Okay, three incidents.
I made a face. "Shut it Carl." I turned back to Anna. "Like I said, she can't hit anything. By the time any of my spells cast those two dumbasses already killed what I was aiming at. Besides, a druid on a ship? And what about when we get the Cloud Keel?" Anna shrugged.
"Then you need to roll better initiative," David laughed. David was my best friend from high school. David played our rogue, Azken. Azken wasn't the best of rogues. He failed at finding and disarming traps, most traps blow up in his face or cause another member injury. I remember when Azken found a pit fall by dodging it. Moroco wasn't so lucky.
"That's why I need a fighter!" I pointed out.
"Want me to help you out?" said a voice from the kitchen. Mr. M's son, Mike popped his head out from the kitchen door.
"Whoah, when did you get here?!" I said. I hadn't even noticed that he was here. That's me, paying attention.
"I've been here I'm joining the game for a while. I'm playing a dwarf cleric."
"Cool, we need a healer," I said with a smile. I looked back at the Player's Manual. I wanted to be a fighter, or at least heavily combat based. And female, can't forget that. But what about backstory? "I need a name," I grumbled.
"'Tala'?" David suggested, looking over his extensive page of loot and magic items.
"That works," I said, scribbling down the name. It was a start.
"Okay! Let's go!" Mr. M said, as he starting rolling dice, obviously past our conversation. He smiled as he glanced at the roll. He reached for the Dungeon Master's Guide with a evil grin. "Carl, go ahead and roll." Carl reached for a D6, and then tossed it onto the table. He let out a short curse at the result. Mr. Masterson smiles. "Oh, look at that," he says as he leans back, "A storm rolls in, forcing your ship ashore..."
One of the first rules I learned in D&D was that the dice never lie. You roll and it's final. You have to deal with whatever you brought about.
Tala awoke to a pounding at her cabin door. "Ser! There's a problem with the Captain! Ser? Are you awake?" said the voice. It sounded like one the first mate. Tala sat up in her bunk with a sigh, placing her bare feet on the cold wood floor. She felt the ship moving beneath her. Tala had been on a ship before, but not a skyship. The feeling was the same nonetheless. She looked around the room for a moment, it was a simple room, but it was more decorated than those the crew stayed in. They were the officer's quarters. The pounding continued as Tala sat there in a daze. She shook the feeling and stood up. She grabbed her long sword from her footlocker and attached it to her side before approaching the cabin door.
She found herself face to face with the first mate. He was a skinny man. His head was balding and he had a thick black beard to compensate for lack of hair on his head. He was still in his bedclothes. She saw him breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of her. Tala leaned in the doorway, rubbing sleep from her eyes. "What is it Aedan? What sort of time do you call this?"
"It's the captain, ser. He's gone mad!" he gasped between breaths. He must have ran here, Tala thought.
"He's gone mad!" he said again. "He's locked himself in his quarters."
"He's locked himself in his quarters?" Tala asked, Aedan nodded. "Well, that's hardly something to wake me up for at this time of night."
The first mate shook his head. "Ser, it's not just that, he's laughing Ser, quite loudly."
"Laughing?" Tala said, confused, "What do you mean laughing? What for?"
"We don't know; all we do know is that one of the crew is missing."
Tala was becoming more and more concerned. "Who?"
"It's the dwarf, ser, the one that came with you."
"No," Tala breathed. She turned toward her cabin, gathering her thoughts. "One moment," she said quickly as she shut the door behind her before the first mate could get a word in. Tala saw her armor placed neatly in the corner where she had left it. It was full plate armor, shined so well that Tala could see herself reflected in it. She donned it as quickly as she could, and then met the first mate at her door. "Let's go." She followed the first mate to the upper deck to the outside of the captain's quarters. She didn't hear it at first, but soon she heard a loud laugh coming from inside the cabin. Hearing it made a chill move down the fighter's spine. This isn't good. There were other crew members outside the cabin; they looked just as unnerved as she was.
"Return to your posts," she commanded the crew members, who shuffled down the hall without a word. The laughter was getting louder. Tala pounded on the door with her fist, her steel fist adding a slightly higher pitch to the knock. "Captain?" she called. The laughter stopped. "Captain? Darrien? Darrien open the door!" There was no response.
"Captain," she said a little more softly. "It's me, Darrien," she said, hoping he would open the door once he realized it was her. "Open the door!" Tala pressed her ear to the door. She heard a bit of a shuffle, but no answer. It was silent for a moment more, and then the laughter began again.
Tala looked at Aedan who was standing directly behind her. "Push off a bit, I'm breaking in the door," she ordered. Aedan heeded her warning and stepped back a few feet as Tala removed her shield from her back and held it comfortably along her left arm. Tala stepped back a few steps, then charged the door. There was a sickening cracking sound from the door, but it did not open. The laughter stopped again, whoever was laughing obviously heard that.
Tala stepped back again and charged, this time causing the door to fall off its hinges. Tala shrugged for a moment, proud of her accomplishment, then walked inside. She immediately covered her mouth. A foul stench flooded the dimly lit room. It smelled like rotting flesh and sulfer. The room was dark and the fighter squinted in an attempt to see. This is pointless, Tala thought to herself. She called the powers inside her, the powers taught to her by her step father, she recalled the words, and softly muttered the command, "Light."
The room was filled with light, and Tala noticed that the room wasn't filled with its usual décor. There was blood running down the walls, and a dead dog lie on the captain's desk. The Captain himself stood in the corner to the left of the desk, his left arm covering his eyes from the newly created light, though he was smiling a wicked smile that would have turned Tala's blood to ice had she not seen what he was holding in his strong hand; A wicked black dagger with a dark mist around it. Her jaw dropped.
"The dagger," a voice said from her left, "h-he has been corrupted by its evil."
She looked to her left, and saw a dwarf lying on the ground, a grievous wound in his side bled through his armor. "Durin!"
Tala rushed to the dwarf's side in an attempt to help. "No," Durin muttered. "Kill the captain! Before this get's out of hand."
"I was commissioned to protect you," Tala said eyeing the dwarf's wounds.
He looked at her. "I'll be fine, just do what needs to be done!"
Tala turned to the captain, who no longer seemed affected by the light. Tala drew her sword. "Darrien, drop the dagger and step away from it."
The captain laughed again. "Why would I do that?" he cackled, the sick smile still spread across his face.
"Darrien you know it is evil, that's why we were sent on this mission! To make sure that it doesn't enter the wrong hands!"
"HA! Then you failed!" he laughed louder than ever before.
"I don't want to have to kill you," Tala sighed, "but if I have to - I will."
"If you kill me," he said as he grinned, "then you will need to kill everyone on this ship as well!"
Fear flooded Tala's face as the captain raised the dagger in the air above his head. He started chanting in a language she did not know. Tala raised her blade and charged the captain who she once considered a friend. His eyes popped as her blade hit home and sank deeply into his chest; puncturing his heart. The captain's body became lifeless and limp as the dagger fell to the ground at Tala's feet. She pushed the dead man off her blade using her shield and the body fell with a sickening thump onto the floor.
Tala was about to clean her sword when she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. She felt warm blood run down her back. She turned wildly as she plunged her shield arm into whatever had attacked her. When she turned she saw the first mate with a knife in his hand. His eyes were colorless as he attacked again. With a spin of her wrist she plunged her blade into the stomach of the first mate. Who fell like the captain to the cold floor.
She looked at the body on the ground. What was that? She looked at the dagger, it was still glowing with a black light. Tala ripped the shirt off the first mate's body and used it to gingerly pick up the dagger. She stepped over the captain's corpse and placed the dagger back in its place in the hidden compartment. She then sheathed her sword and returned her shield to its holder on her back.
She heard a mumble coming from the corner, "Well," said the dwarf, "that was effective, but I could use a little help here."
"Sorry," Tala muttered as she returned to the dwarf.
"Quite alright, I-" the dwarf began, but was interrupted by a deafening scream coming from above. The two looked at each other for a second before the dwarf said, "What the woolie?"
There was more screaming and thundering footsteps coming both from above, Tala's face lost its color. "Wait, didn't he say we'd have to kill everyone on the ship?"
Durin's eyes widened in disbelief. "Oh, no…" he grunted as a crew member stumbled into the room, his eyes white and empty. Tala easily sliced through him as she had the others.
She wiped the blood from her face. "We need to move."
"Where?! We're on a ship! A sky ship nonetheless!"
Tala thought for a moment, as the thundering steps moved closer the ship lurched she came to a realization, "Who's flying the ship?!"
More enemies entered the room as the ship plummeted toward the ground. As Tala killed her fifth enemy she winced. "We're doomed!"
Durin looked at her, his face a look of acceptance. "Then we die as warriors!"