Friday, February 18, 2011

My First Red Box

It was on the back of a Captain America comic books that I first saw the horn helmed fighter warrior raising his sword against the red dragon in that cavern of infinite treasure.  I must have told my parents how neat it was because soon enough a battered red box appeared.  It was a hand me down from my older cousin.  The books had been drawn in, the dice were long gone, and the character sheet filled out, but the first foray into the lair of Bargle was as fresh as ever.  This was 1987. I was 10 years old.

I have a distinct memory of sitting on the sidelines of a basketball game at the high school gym, where I would line up for P.E. four years later, reading the solo adventure for the first time. I still have a fondness for the blacksmith who told me knew me as a small boy as he prepared my first set of platemail.  Then it was off to battle snakes in the lair of Bargle and mourn the tragedy of Ahleena.  I didn't watch the sports being played that night.  I am not sure if it was basketball or indoor soccer.  It was far less exciting than the game I held in my hand. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Dungeon Master Cut His Hand Off

Amongst Goblins and Trolls

I arrived promptly for the event. I was directed to the wall-eyed referee. Two was not a quorum. The ref explained that few came to this game and he had not prepared. The pirates' din drowned his mumbled monotone. He told how he had severed his hand in a stump-splitter. He named the price of repair.

(This 300 character story was submitted to

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Saga of the Seventh Wanderer: Wolverhampton

What twisted skeins the looms of Fate have lain
Across my path! They haul me hinterland
Far from bloody duty, but never doth
Hammer rest. Here bathed in ghostly froth
I stand, last breath of ancient squire
Abjures me now to serve an eldritch ire.
Forgotten enmity 'twixt green and red,
Does gird my limbs to pass through flames inspired.

What twisted skeins have brought me here,
In flight from port-town's existential fear,
I've fallen in with travelers passing strange,
Deliverance of living statue's grange.
We walked the shadowed forest path,
Soon to find crime's bloody aftermath.
A reaving horde burdened with plundered fare,
We gave chase at a glimpse of golden hair.
A sprint! then heady row, a hammer's blow,
A reaver shorn of plunder's glorious share.

By twisted trails, and forest byways,
Sent our lady's vengeance astray.
The poisonous doom that bloomed in messhall pot
Gave silent sigh from leaves that shadow brought.
So the incarcerated wights went free,
To wreak fell carnage through the Banyon tree;
When savage champions begged forfiet 
Red Wanderer turned to face the fiery lea.

Emboldened knights, like gods of ancient song
Came charging forth to face the monster's throng.
With lassos' loop of eldritch rope he's bound
His flight suppressed, they pulled the beast to ground.
My Lady's saviors hurled themselves unto
The burning wing -the lizard's tail askew-
Though dirty birds hurled clods of filth and fire,
Those fearless knights cast spell and sword of virtue.

Oh, what twisted runes are carved upon the tree of life
That takes this wayward king from strife to strife!

(This poem is the retelling of the last four sessions in a campaign in which I am playing a Paladin called Wolverhampton the Wanderer)