Monday, November 3, 2008

Chapter 2 ~ Which Hat Will I Wear?

The Fools followed Master Summoner Vebron over to two large upright standing stones with various runes inscribed all over in various colors of some kind of ink. The stones were vaguely the height of a really tall man and were within another pentacle on the floor. Zeddicyme walked to the stones then turned around and said, “Who will be first to have their traits judged?”
None of the Fools were shy about things, but as far as getting to it first, Steven had the rest beat. “Dibs!” he called as he jumped forward. Zeddicyme smiled slightly, in a way that was scarily like Stu, and motioned for Steven to step between the stones. After Steven had complied, Zeddicyme started to chant under his breathe in a language that was foreign even to the two linguists amongst the Fools. At first nothing occurred, but slowly, after 10 or 15 seconds, several gold bands formed around the two stones. Upon looking closer, Brant realized that the bands were actually characters of some language moving rapidly around. After only a minute or so the bands started to slow in their spinning until finally a parchment appeared as if from no where and floated down into Zeddicyme’s outstretched and waiting hand.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Brant said suddenly curious, “But where did that parchment just come from?”
“Ah well as to that,” Zeddicyme started, “the short answer is magic. The long answer is conjuration magic.”
“You just conjured that piece of parchment into existence?” Ryan said questioningly.
“Oh, no. That wouldn’t quite work out right. I keep forgetting that not everyone can see the little imp.” Zeddicyme waved his hand and a small red imp holding a clipboard and quill materialized from on top the left stone. He glared at Zeddicyme then looked at Peace and drew his finger across his throat.
“That is enough from you!” Zeddicyme said as he waved the imp back to invisibility. He scanned over the parchment then looked up and said, “Well according to this you have plenty of agility, a decent amount of charisma, and have a small penchant for being a wealth redistribution specialist. Looks like you could work with either Gert Hyals, our resident thief trainer, or Oberes Tapis, our archery marshal and woodsman. Perhaps you should speak with both and see what works best for you. Who is next?”
Peace stepped forward into the circle and went through the same process till Zeddicyme was reading from his parchment. “You have an interesting mixture of traits. You have interest in the cogs that drive the universe, enjoy complex work, and have an odd want to set things on fire. Sounds like you should study with one of our wizards. There is only one that as of yet has no apprentice, Karse Whuvias. He’ll be a good master, I bet.”
It preceded similarly for each Fool with the minute of standing in the Dweomer, then the analyzation of their personality, and then an assignment of a teacher to guide them in their new occupation.
To Beard: “There is a lot of anger with you. I don’t see how you can function in normal society but then again that is just me. You have some proficiency with different kinds of weapons. I believe a friend of mine who lives in the wastelands to the north can help you find a constructive, or maybe more destructive, focus for that anger. He goes by Dest the Darker.”
To Ryan: “You have much potential as a leader. You are goal oriented and are great at supporting those around you. I think I’ll send you to my line sergeant, Sgt. Mazram Awellin. He will teach you the ways of leading troops in the midst of a battle.”
To Renee: “You have a pureness of self and compassion that can lend itself well to our goal. I think you can train under our local paladin. He has been on several quests and fortunately is here between questing. I shall send a missive to Yuren Tobal at the local Church of Pelor about the subject.”
And then he came to Brant’s: “Well this shows that you aren’t really good at anything.” Brant’s face fell a little hearing this. He had hoped for his skills in archery or fencing to give him a bailiwick worth doing. Or maybe his love of nature to lead him to becoming a druid. “Your best trait is your people skills and how you relate with them. I believe that with the training in weaponry, interest in the occult, and love of music you could make a nice minstrel. You will be able to open doors for your friends that they cannot open themselves. And I mean doors in a social context, the ones your roguish friend will probably be unable to even get close to.” He finished with a smile. “I will summon the royal bard from court. I am sure Thellonius will find an apprentice to be an interesting diversion from court politics.”
Zeddicyme rolled up the parchments and turned to walk out. “Wait,” Brant said, “So that’s it? You’re just going to give us jobs and send us off to do battle with some vague evil without even seeing if we want to or any sort of assistance from you?”
Zeddicyme turned slowly and looked slightly thoughtful in an expression that looked completely foreign on Stu’s face. “Well as to your acceptance of your task, it is completely up to you but you cannot go home until you have fulfilled your task. I assumed you would want to go home eventually and so would go forth on the quest naturally. As to the assistance, I was of course planning on providing you with gear, directions on where to start your quest, and a little magical trinket for each of you to aid you in the trials to come.”
“Oh…. Well. Yeah, that makes sense then.” Brant said loosing steam as he went.
“I shall have you housed here till I have arranged for your training. I bid you good night, I have much business to attend to. Take heart friends, you shall be making a great difference for many people. I shall see you off on the morrow.” Zeddicyme said as he walked out of the room. Before the Fools had a chance to exchange much beyond glances, several servants bearing the Master Summoner’s livery walked in and beckoned a separate Fool each to follow them so they could get clean and prepare for bed. The Fools all exchanged looks once again and through means of communication only born through close teamwork, they all agreed to follow the servant’s but remain watchful.
They were all lead down the hall into two separate roman style baths. There the servants started to undress the Fools. The guys, while leery with there being some females aiding in the undressing, they had all played ankles and tried to pass off their laxity with the other guys there. Renee, the flipside, could be clearly heard giving the male servant hell for trying to help her undress. The very chastened male servant walked into the men’s bath to switch places with the girl helping Beard undress. All the male Fools were smiling broadly at the man.
They bathed without talking much about what was on all their minds while they were being watched. Instead they talked mostly over how bizarre this all was and how much the lye soap they were using burned. Steven made a Fight Club reference and all the Fools looked a bit more disgustedly at the soap. Drying and dressing in the clothes provided to them was done in near enough silence. From there they were lead to their mass room were there was a small repast laid out for them on a table in their room. The head female servant, the one that had retrieved them from the pentacle rooms, showed them how to summon the servants in the night if needed and then left them to eat and sleep at their leisure.
The Fools, all realizing how exhausting and draining being summoned to another world was, set to the meal of what looked and tasted like roast chicken with vegetables of both known and unknown nature and a light cream based soup having what seemed to be potato in it. After all had had a chance to eat sufficiently to quell their immediate hungers they began to eat with a more moderate pace and to talk over their predicament. They all agreed that while this particular situation might be less than ideal, doing good and adventuring in a world of knights and magic would be nice as well. They all had varying reasons for saying so, but they all agreed that they would do their best to right the wrong in the world so they could go home. After coming to this conclusion they began to animatedly discuss their assignments for trainer. Most of them agreed with their descriptions by Zeddicyme and with their associated job.
They all finished their food and started the motions to getting ready for bed. Most of them were talking in pairs about this or that. Peace talking to Beard about how, soon, he would be able to shoot fire from his hands; Steven talking to Renee about how interesting her assignment sounded; and Brant and Ryan mostly just talking of enjoying the food.
As they got into bed, Brant paused in the conversation and then said, “Ryan….how do you feel about this whole setup? I mean I like how this place sounds, its right up my alley so to speak. I mean if you go with either my major or my D&D hobby, this place seems to match right up with it, but it just seems a bit coincidental. And what about Cowboy and Stu? Why didn’t they come along with us, ya know, as one of us?”
“Hmmm well, I don’t know good buddy. At this point, I’m just sorta going along with the ride. I think we all. Thankfully, as improv comedians we are all pretty good at just accepting what comes and moving on.” Ryan said with his hands behind his head on his pillow.
“What do you think about how much our wonderful benefactor, Zeddicyme, looked like Stu? Do you think it coincidence or do you think that our collective psyches are having an effect on this world and that people we know are represented here?” Brant asked quietly as he laid on his side facing Ryan’s bed.
“I don’t know Rubs. Hell for all we know this could be a parallel universe and it just has a lot of people that developed differently than the people we know and love in our world. Who knows?” Ryan said, turning over, clearly preparing to sleep.
“I don’t know either Ryan. I mean that makes sense but until we meet other people, I just don’t know. I guess we’ll just have to go with the flow, but then as you said we are pretty good at that. Good night, Ryan.”
“Good night, Rubs.”
Brant continued to think over the events over and over until finally he realized that he had really just gone to sleep in his world only a scant few hours ago. Maybe he would wake up there and this would all be a dream. Maybe it wouldn’t be… but as the darkness of sleep over took him, Brant quietly hoped that this wasn’t a dream and that a real adventure would finally be his.

2 comments:

The Drewcifer said...

Brant. Chapter 3. NOW.

Angel Hair said...

“Steven had the rest beat. “Dibs!” he called as he jumped forward” – what a pompous bastard…I love it

“then looked at Peace and drew his finger across his throat.” – sweet

“And I mean doors in a social context, the ones your roguish friend will probably be unable to even get close to.” – sazz hands

“The guys, while leery with there being some females aiding in the undressing, they had all played ankles and tried to pass off their laxity with the other guys there.” – wording?

“The very chastened male servant walked into the men’s bath to switch places with the girl helping Beard undress.” – poor beard

“At this point, I’m just sorta going along with the ride. I think we all.”- I think we all are.

“Maybe it wouldn’t be… but as the darkness of sleep over took him, Brant quietly hoped that this wasn’t a dream and that a real adventure would finally be his.” – As Brant drifted to sleep, thinking about what he would do, the floor noticeably began to rumble as Brant started snoring like an ogre with a chest cold into a trumpet….hehehe