Don’t judge me too hard. I was going through my old files and I found an excerpt from my attempt at turning my friends’ college Dungeons & Dragons campaign into a novel and I wanted to save it here. I really miss that campaign. (And yes the song is to the tune of Party Rock Anthem because of course it is.) We played 3.5 at the time, if I recall correctly.
The Dancing Sword? Sure, that sounded like a decent tavern. And by decent, I hoped it meant…well, clean, and lacking in the large rat department.
I tugged open the door and very nearly dragged it off its hinges — I’m not that strong, mind you, the door was just barely hanging on its hinges. So much for some place decent!
I was relieved to note the minimum number of mouth-hanging stares as I strolled in. This either meant that everyone was very drunk or had seen enough oddities to the point where a six-foot Tiefling woman with a bow and a lute was no longer disturbing to them. It was a nice change from the past couple of towns.
Honestly, I had next-to-no gold to spend on frivolous luxuries such as food and drink, but starvation would have rendered my expensive armor and weapons useless rather quickly. I muttered my order to the bartender as I took my seat at the counter and looked around, eyeing up the other customers. Interestingly enough, they weren’t all humans with the occasional sprinkle of elf here and there. There were a couple of changelings, Halflings, a dragonborn, and even a warforged amongst the collective throng. Actually, why was this place so full in the first place? Didn’t they all know that a bunch of drunks all in one place–
“I don’t have to be any taller to whoop your ass!”
“Is that so? I seriously doubt th–AUGH!”
There was a heavy thump behind me, and by the time I’d turned around a bar fight had broken out — all because of a cheeky little Halfling with an apparent knack for taking down guys thrice her size. As his buddies began to attack her in retaliation, the nearby Dragonborn woman jumped in with a flick of her wrist — that emitted nothing more than a chilling little breeze.
“Dammit!” she cursed, “This spell NEVER works when I need it to!”
The three attackers stopped short in confusion but quickly recovered, two leaping at the spell caster and the other diving for the Halfling. The latter drove face-first into one of her knives while half of the remainders actually made contact with their target. The dragonborn stumbled back into the warforged (Not sure quite sure why they were all grouped together so closely, perhaps it was divine placement?). The warforged turned around, looking as confused as a mystical robot could.
The one aggressor who missed his target stumbled into a nearby table, rousing the drunken patrons to their feet, and…chaos ensued. The Halfling went on killing anyone who tried to turn on her, and the warforged and dragonborn somehow ended up working together — mainly he the tank, and she the damage-dealing nuke. These are completely legitimate and commonly-used terms in my world, mind you.
As the bar became a warzone around me, I was suddenly overcome with a burning passion — to write a song.
My lute came swinging around from my back and I cradled it in my arms, strumming the strings to the beat of skulls smashing and glass breaking all around me.
“There’s a fight in Dancing Sword tonight~
Everybody’s drunk and that’s all right~
And we’re gonna make the owner cry
When he sees the damage he might die—”
My beautiful song was cut off as some random drunk was thrown in my direction, and I quickly had to duck out of the way; the body just barely brushed over my horns. Fortunately, neither I nor my lute was injured.
The Halfling stumbled to the ground not far from me, having taken one too many hits to her short and agile frame. Seeing as how her actions had inspired me, I stood and quickly tossed a healing spell her way. She blinked, a little confused, and then noticed who had healed her. She gave a little wave of thanks and was about to return to the fight when the dragonborn suddenly cast a spell that blew not only the attacking offenders into smithereens, but also half the building.
And the remaining half was on fire.
Somewhere, somehow, it felt as though the gods above were sending out a call to adventure to me, the Halfling, the dragonborn, and the warforged. It felt that way, but then we discovered it was just the lord of the town who just so happened to be in the tavern at the time. We were angrily accosted by the man, who demanded we pool our money together to fix the tavern that “we” destroyed. I’m not quite sure why or how I was included, but I guess casting a healing spell upon someone instantly makes you their companion.
Either way, none of us had anything close to the amount of gold it would take to rebuild the Dancing Sword. Once that was determined, the lord said we could repay the town by getting rid of their little kobold problem they had been having. Now at this point, any of us could have told him to bugger off, but he added that there was a reward for every kobold slain. Considering how dirt poor most of us were, and the fact that we weren’t very keen on being kicked out of the otherwise nice settlement, we agreed to band together to slay the little lizard men after introducing ourselves.
Trin was a Halfling rogue with an affinity for slicing people’s throats and stealing treasure. I could already tell we were going to have to keep an eye on her when it came to dividing things evenly, but aside from that, she seemed loyal enough. She already knew the Dragonborn, Milia, from some other town or another… I wasn’t really listening too intently. Milia was a sorcerer who, ironically enough had spells that did more physical damage than her natural ability of breathing fire. She also knew Draconic, which meant that she could translate the dying screams of the kobolds we were about to face.
I don’t quite recall the warforged’s name –Azim or something or another — but I do know that he’s a paladin and a warforged, so our nickname for him in the group became “Optimus Christ.” We picked that name solely because it sounded appropriate, not because the two words actually meant or referenced anything.
And I gave a little spiel about being Lerissa, the singing bardess who studied at an academy amongst human scholars who always seemed a bit intimidated by the demon in their classroom and eventually got so bored of their fleeing in terror that I decided to strike out on my own. But that’s not very important — what is important is the adventure we embarked on!