Shattered Glass by Christopher Chancy
If you want variety in fiction … here’s a good start: a woman searching for her missing son in a shadowy world, a group of super villains banding together, and brave EMTs working their shifts in a post-zombie outbreak world. These are worlds that Christopher Chancy has created – the zombie one is my personal favorite (seriously, I love zombie stories).
Out of the creative minds I have met, Christopher Chancy is one of the truly entertaining and interesting ones. If any of those worlds sound interesting to you, feel free to check his work out (click the link above). He’s not only an imaginative fiction writer, he also plays role-playing games and guess what…? Sometimes dice don’t work in his favor either. What follows is his summary of a game he played in and in which dice betrayed him. The tragedy starts at around 3:10:00 and entertains until the end.
– The Forgetful Bard
The arrow splintered off the Paladin’s shield. Ignoring the danger, Tatrasriel grabbed her holy symbol that hung around her neck and offered a silent prayer to her God. She reached down and placed her hand on her fallen comrade and felt the divine energy flow into his wounds, knitting them closed.
Caelum gasped as consciousness flooded into him. The angelic face of Tatrasriel appeared over him and offered him a hand up. He saw the skeleton that fell him lay at their feet. The two warriors nodded to each other, and hunkered behind a wall as their allies closed in to help.
Regalia Delrio, their druid companion, strode purposely forward muttering an ancient language as a swirl of magical light appeared between her palms. Across the distance a similar magical field began to coalesce around the final skeleton forming a thin layer of ice. Sensing the attack, it jerked itself out of the field and magical energy fizzled out. Regalia cursed under breath. Willheim, the aarakocra fighter, limped closer in with his bow drawn, but he couldn’t get a bead on their undead foe. Glass, the timid wild mage, reluctantly followed her friends into battle.
In the world away my friends and I bantered around the virtual tabletop as we struggled to defeat four skeleton warriors that were taking us to school. I was playing Glass, a departure from my usual place firmly on the frontline as a melee character. Glass, a squishy sorcerer, preferred to stay far out of reach of the actual combat, to let her more durable friends flourish.
Our roleplaying group was playing the Prince of Apocalypse™ campaign from Dungeons and Dragon 5th Edition. On our second session we were still level 1, but decided to investigate a cave where an evil necromancer was rumored to be hiding out. In this dungeon crawl we took out several zombies and some clawed hands and things went fairly well. That is until we were confronted a quartet of skeleton warriors that we decided to face head on. During our heated battle Tatrasriel the paladin and Caelum the monk charged ahead and were quickly overcome. Tatrasriel fell first before a volley of arrows, and then moments later Caelum dropped after he took a short sword to the back.
Glass who hunkered behind a stone table, couldn’t hit anyone with her Firebolt cantrips and decided to change tactics. She gave a potion of healing via mage hand to Tatrasriel. The paladin rose and returned the favor by healing Caelum. Now at full numbers, the five of them closed in on the remaining Skeleton.
The monster wasn’t going down without a fight. It reached into its quiver with cracked fingers loosed another arrow. Tatrasriel caught the motion in her periphery just before the missile struck her exposed neck. Blood gushed from the holy warrior as she collapsed to the ground unconscious.
“No!” Glass screamed.
Willheim dropped his bow as dove to his fallen ally’s side scrambling to halt her bleeding with his medicine kit.
Caelum tensed to charge and Regalia began to mutter another spell, but Glass reacted first. Tears in her eyes she pointed at the monstrosity drawing on the magical power she feared since the moment she lost her mother to it the year before. Three bolts of energy burst out of her outstretched palm, and instantaneously slammed into the skeleton decimating its femur, ribs, and skull.
Caelum smiled back at her with a thumbs up. “Good job little guy.” His smile faltered.
When Tracy, who was playing our paladin Tatrasriel, fell again, I decided to burn through my last spell slot and cast magic missile to take out the final skeleton.
“Don’t forget to roll for a Wild Surge.” I reminded the DM. (Stupidly I know)
Dice Rolled a 1
The players around the virtual table all groaned.
“Oh shit!” Chris, who was playing Caelum the monk, exclaimed.
“You didn’t really roll a one did you?” Johnny playing Regalia asked.
“I really did, swear to God,” said Scalz our DM.
Glass clutched herself as the glow around her hand that cast the magic missiles intensified.
Caelum took a step towards her and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Tears streamed down her face. “I can’t hold it back! I’m trying, but I can’t stop-”
Our DM rolled a 65 on the Wild Surge table. Which read as follows:
Up to 3 creatures you choose within thirty feet of you take 4d10 lighting damage.
Everyone groaned again.
“Oh my god dude!” laughs Scalz.
“Oh shit he has to choose,” said Chris.
Tracy our intrepid paladin Tatrasriel commented, “So…”
“Good game I guess,” Brendan the player of Willheim quips.
“So what’s our next adventure guys?” Johnny asked.
Our DM told me, “Choose three.”
Essentially I had to decide who I was going to execute. Thinking that whoever I choose might be able to make a Dexterity save for half damage I chose our more dexterous members of the party. For the first time that entire night I didn’t roll low damage. Then I found out there weren’t any Dex saves.
Glass screamed as a blinding bolt of lightning burst out of her chest.
Caelum’s eyes just had time to grow wide before the arc of electricity struck him head on, flash-frying him. Willheim looked up from tending to their friend, as the bolt slammed into him to, killing him instantly.
The lightning vanished and Glass collapsed to the ground smoke billowing from her now unrecognizable corpse.
All the time, energy, and plans, I had for this character went up in virtual smoke.