“You feel an overwhelming heat as you enter the den. The dragon sits on its mountains of treasure. Its crimson scales shimmer, and so does the gold and jewels, in the dim torchlight. You hear a deep growl as the beast bares its imposing fangs. You realize it’s laughing, mocking you. ‘Another group of fearless adventurers willing to slay me for my gold, is it?’” I can feel the sweat run down my forehead. I really wish someone opened the window.
“’We didn’t come here for the gold,’ I say to the beast as I draw my trusty hammer, the Onyx. ‘We have come to put an end to your reign of terror!’” Akiva shouts. He can really ham it up sometimes.
“’Speak for yourself, you goody two-shoes cleric,’ I say as I draw my staff,” says Phoebe. Her deliberately flat delivery always gets me. “’If you don’t want the gold, then I guess there’s at least more for me.’”
“’Now, now, kids,’ I say pushing Giselle back so that she doesn’t trip over her stick and accidentally lose half her HP again,” says Gil in his usual condescending tone.
“Oh, come on. That was one time.”
“Shush, now. ‘We shall put an end to your reign of terror-‘”
“That’s what I said,” Akiva grumbles.
“’-and divide your treasures as we see fit. I swear on my blade, blessed by the god Helm-‘”
“Um, no it isn’t,” I interject.
“Oh, shush, shush! ‘Tonight you die, foul beast!’”
“The dragon laughs, sending chills down your spines. ‘Foolish mortals! We shall see if you can deliver on what you promise!’ Roll for initiative.”
Akiva picks up the 20-sided dice and throws it on the table with such force that it almost falls off.
“Reroll,” he says quickly.
“What? Why?” I try to find the dice, but it’s hidden from view somewhere.
“Because it landed partly on your handbook. You can’t really tell the number.”
I look around the handbook and, lo and behold, there’s the dice. But something doesn’t add up.
“Akiva, this is clearly a one.”
“No it isn’t.”
“Guys, care to take a look?”
“Yeah, that is definitely a one,” Phoebe says in her flat tone.
“Yup, clear as day,” Gil adds.
“You can’t be serious, bro,” Akiva stares daggers at me.
“I’m sorry, man. A one’s a one. That’s always a critical miss. So, as you try and reach-“
“The fuck!” Akiva shouts as he stands up. “I’m not playing like this!”
And with that, he leaves the room, leaving the rest of us sitting there in silence.
“So, uh… Does that mean his character died, or…?” Gil whispers.
“I think I need a drink,” I say as I take a sip of my beer. It’s nice and cold – perfect for this temperature.