Basement Dwellers

The sounds of dice rolling across the table travelled up the stairs. The intrepid heroes journeyed through dank caverns and evil forests. The somber tones of the dungeon master rose over the sounds of the skirmish.

“You enter the large cavern. Mushrooms on the walls glow with a faint light.”

“Aye lads, my nose is picking up the scent of treasure!” Drat the dwarf fighter announced.

“Wait. Dwarves can smell treasure? No one told me that,” the nervous cleric, Alvin said.

“They cannot. Drat just likes to make himself seem more important than he really is,” the wizard, Harold taunted. “Dwarves are angry little bearded idiots. Drat more than most.”

“Nay, the wizard is jealous. Just ignore the fool. Much like the monsters do. And watch your back. Me arse is still singed from the last spell he managed to get off.”

“You leapt in front of me! Two rounds to cast it and you roll a one and get hit.”

“It was hilarious. Luckily I was there to defeat the kobolds,” the dark elf known only as Shadow announced. “As Drat was trying to put his back out and Harold was apologizing I launched arrows into their skulls.”

“What’s a kobold?” Alvin the Just asked.

“Sort of dogs that walk in two legs. Low level monsters. It was pretty funny,” the dm said. “Also be aware that unless you say not in play everything you’ve been saying has been echoing off the cavern walls.” He rolled a twenty sided dice and giggled as he pulled out a chart. A few more rolls and everyone at the table sat up a little straighter.

“Look alive lads, the demon dungeon master is smiling.”

Groans from the table. “Drat’s voice booming out woke up a group of orcs that had been napping under one of the large mushrooms,” dice clattered, “four of them. And they are not happy a group of adventurers have intruded. Prepare for battle and roll initiative.”

“Eighteen!” Drat yelled.

The rest of the group rolled sixteens in a fit of luck. “Drat goes first, then one orc and the group will go from my left around the table.”

“Watch this Alvin! Since I’m duel wielding I’m going to throw my sword and than leap with my axe.”

Drat rolled twice. “First roll is eleven.”

The dm checked his notes, “That’s a hit. Roll damage and then your second attack.”

“Fifteen! And a, shite, one.”

The table erupted in laughter.

“Your sword goes through the first orc’s chest. A bubble of blood leaves the pig like mouth and it falls to the ground. As you leap your boot catches a rock on the ground and you fall face first into the ground taking four points damage and knocking yourself out. Harold, your turn.”

The laughter roared again.

“Hahaha, nice one Drat you idiot! I’m going to cast ice cone at the orcs. It takes three rounds.”

“Oh shite, now he’s going to freeze me arse.”

“You’re unconscious Drat and unable to speak. Alvin, your turn.”

“I want to swing my sword thingy at the pig monster,” the cleric said with a mixture of pure uncertainty and absolute conviction. A dichotomy not lost on the rest of the table.

“So, just to clarify, you want to swing your mace at the orc? Roll a twenty,” the dungeon master tried to clarify with supreme patience.

“Which one is that?” he asked looking at the assorted dice in front of him.

“The one with twenty sides. No that is a ten. You know that is a six. Warmer. Warmer…” utter calm flowing through him.

“Just roll the fecking blue one!” the dwarf screamed.

“Still unconscious Drat. But thank you.”

“Okay. Uhm, twenty? Is that good?”

“Feck yes that’s good. Double damage! Nice roll lad,” the dwarf exclaims as she sips from her flagon of ale. “Now roll that ten sided and proceed to crushing!”

“Seven!” he yells, proud of himself.

“You swing your mace and as it raises the holy light of your goddess infuses the metal head. As it strikes the orc captain his head explodes in a shower of viscera. The other orcs cower in fear at your might and faith as it illuminates the cave,” the dm intones somberly.

“I want to throw two daggers at the eyes of the remaining orcs. I have ambidextrous and an eighteen dexterity,” the dark elf says quickly seeing the tide of the battle turning.

“Okay. Roll a dex check first.”

“Ten.”

“And one more.”

“Fifteen.”

“You line up your throws and the blades spin out of your hands towards the two remianing orcs. Roll two die six for damage.”

“Yes! A six and a five!” he shouts in triumph in the cavern far beneath the city.

“Your blades enter the gelatinous eyeballs of the orcs and go on to pierce their brains. They slump to the ground lifeless.”

The dwarf, human cleric and dark elf proceed to rifle through the orcs leathers in search of treasure. “You find eight silver pieces and a small glowing stone with a rune etched on it. Also you each receive fifteen experience points.”

“Level up! Give me a few moments to select the new spells for my repertoire,” the spry wizard replied to the groans around the table.

“Great select another spell that ye can roll a one on to blow me off another cliff,” the increasingly angry dwarf spouted. “Wizards are fecking worthless.”

“Oh yeah, and where were you the entire battle tiny?” the wizard asked angrily.

“Did ye not see me take out two orcs with me axe while ye tinkered with herbs and nonsense in the corner?”

“I wasn’t tinkering, I was casting a spell. Not my fault it takes three turns and our cleric smashed the leader’s head to pulp before I could get it off. And it was one orc then a nap on the ground you bearded twit.”

“Blah blah blah, fecking wizards are all the same. All talk no action!”

“And all dwarves are the same! Runts overcompensating with axes to make up for what the gods didn’t grant them where it counts!”

“Ye trying to say something about me peoples bean pole? How about I take this axe and overcompensate your legs off at the knees? How’d you like that?”

The dm slammed his hand onto the table, “Enough! Can’t we go one session without the two of you getting into a fight?”

“She started it,” the wizard pointed at the dwarf.

“Ye daft fool! Ye knocked me out of battle last session with yer poor aim and didn’t even help in battle tonight!”

“I said enough!” the dm shouted and slammed his hand on the table rattling dice and minatures.

The table quieted as books we’re opened and frantic scratching of pencils on player sheets. All except the cleric who sat with a confused look on his face.

“Lad, what seems to be the problem? Ye did yerself and yer god proud in battle! Ye look like a frog shat in yer helm!”

“I don’t know Jess.”

“It’s Drat at the table lad. Jess ain’t here til the die stop rollin.”

“Um, yeah, Drat I mean. I just wish we would have tried talking to the orcs before you charged them. Maybe that is why you tripped and knocked yourself out.”

The dwarf sputtered and the mage barely concealed a smile. “Speak to them? To bloody orcs? Are ye daft? The only way to speak to an orc is with your steel! Those pig bastards would sooner slit ye open belly to balls than have a wee little heart to heart. By the gods lad, did ye hit yer head during battle? Maybe got a bit concussed? Feck me, do ye hear this shite? We shoulda tried talkin!”

The rest of the group laughed at this and the cleric blushed deep red.

“What time is it?” the dwarf asked.

“Ten thirty,” the mage answered.

“Oh crap! I gotta bail guys, my mom said I have to be home by eleven tonight. You did really good tonight Timmy. Especially for your first session. Same time next week?” Jess asked, all traces of dwarven fighter gone and replaced by teen age girl again.

“Of course. Wait until you see what I have planned for next week! Bwah hahahaha.”

The groans of the players almost drowned out the maniacal laughter. Almost.

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