Letter to My Deceased Dungeons and Dragons Character, Who I Ordered Into Certain Doom
Dear Zardoz the Destroyer,
Despite the feelings of resentment and loathing that grew in me over the past few weeks, a tiny ripple of regret pulsed through my veins as I ordered you through that gargoyle-guarded door. I knew you’d get smashed — you were a puny little gnome with a negative three Dexterity Modifier ( -3 ! ) — but I didn’t realize Duncan, our Dungeon Master, was going to get vicious and command the beasts to eat your eyeballs. Sorry you had to leave that way.
I’d never played D&D before, so despite my best intentions I wound up arming you with a laughable inventory of spells. Your ‘Grease’ enchantment came in handy when we cornered that rabid badger on a dingy barroom table, but mostly served as fodder for ridicule by the rest of the guys. I didn’t know when I picked it for you, but the Grease spell is lame in the world of goblins and bugbears. It wasn’t your fault that your Charisma level was so minuscule — I rolled the dice — but it almost got us killed when I sent you to negotiate with those lizard men. Zardoz, You have to realize how much it hurts when a crew of the geekiest USENET-savvy nerds you can imagine starts teasing you at work. I joined the circle to ingratiate myself to my boss, so when he commented that you were as useless as a zero-level troll I realized I had to take measures.
Remember last week, before I’d resolved to kill you, when I had you spend 150 gold pieces on that specially trained dog you could ride, so you could keep up with the rest of the party? I bought you that nice saddle too, for twenty gold pieces. I even paid Brett forty in silver to use his Craft skill to carve “Zardoz the Destroyer” onto your leather armor, with a rendering of you riding Snoopy, raising your crossbow in one hand and waving a ghoul’s decapitated head in the other. Remember how awesome you looked? It was my last attempt at making you ‘cool’ to the rest of the group. I thought my makeover had worked, that you (and me) were finally making inroads. The next day at work I overheard Duncan telling Rachel the secretary, “You should’ve seen him handling his dog last night.” Then and there I sentenced you to death. I know you loved that mutt, you poor excuse for a wizard illusionist — that’s why I ordered you to jump off your steed moments before charging the gargoyles. Thad the Halfling is taking care of him now.
I don’t know if Dungeons & Dragons characters go to heaven or Valhalla when they die, or if their spirits gets shredded with their record sheets, but you’ll live on with me for a while. It’s probably little consolation since I’m the one who damned you to gargoyle mutilation, but I think there’s a chance the group will realize how wrong they were about you in a week or two. If you think about it, you were kind of like Jesus, marching to death at the beckon of me, your God and Father. The gargoyles were a lot like Roman soldiers if I remember straight. You were misunderstood in your time but maybe the rest of the group will realize how valuable you were, now that you’re gone. It worked once!
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