My Fiction – The Hobbit: A GM’s Tale (Part 3)

Apologies for missing on Wednesday. I spent the entire evening with a lawyer. Everything’s fine (my life really isn’t that interesting), but I didn’t get time to post anything.  The beginning of the parody is here.

Chapter 3 – A Short Rest

The GM looked around the library and sighed. “You all showed up. That’s really great,” he said.
“You don’t sound like you’re glad to see us,” Terrence said.
“How did you know there was supposed to be combat tonight?”
“Oh, we have ways,” Steve replied, looking smug.
The GM glared at them. “Okay, which one of you looked through my notes?”
Not one of the other fourteen young men said a word to either assent or dissent.
“Fine. Be that way,” the GM grumbled. “Here are your character sheets. Okay, when we last left our intrepid heroes, you were on the way to River Valley…”
“Oh, hold it right there,” Mike Baker said. “We still have to divvy up all the loot.”
“You seriously want to do this? There’s really not much to divvy up. I mean, there’s some gold, but nothing special.”
“Gold is special,” Amal said. “Isn’t that right, fellow dwarves?”
Everyone but Martin and the GM nodded.
“Okay, let’s figure this out.”
Everyone except Martin bickered for over twenty minutes before they reached a consensus on how to dispose of the treasure.
“I can’t believe you guys want to hide the gold from the troll stash,” the GM said with a sigh. “You’re going to reclaim an entire mountain of gold. This is nothing. And if you all die, you can’t have this anyway.”
“Hey, waste not, want not,” Nguyen said sagely.
“Fine, fine. So finally you’re following Gandalf to River Valley. The path is treacherous and hidden but Gandalf leads you down into a ravine.” The GM rolled a die. “Nothing bothers you and you finally arrive at the magnificent elf town. An elf greets you by the bridge and takes you to the master’s house. You are expected.”
“Okay, great, I want to ask him about my map and sword,” Terrence said.
“Your escort leads you through the town. Every building is a work of high elven art and is in perfect harmony with the river and small waterfalls and trees. There are elegant archways and delicate columns. The air is full of the sound of elvish singing and harps. You approach the master’s house…”
“Hold it, hold, are you going to do this all night?” Fred asked.
“Do what?”
“Describe set dressing. We don’t care what this town looks like,” George answered.
“Yeah,” Mike Patterson agreed loudly. “We just want to buy some supplies, figure out Terrence’s map and sword, and go kill some stuff already.”
“We’d be farther along if you guys weren’t fighting over a tiny amount of gold,” the GM shot back.
But this was enough for the group to threaten mutiny, except for Martin, who liked the description of the elven city and wanted to give his halfling some time to explore it and talk to some elves. But he knew that he’d be out-voted.
“Fine, fine,” the GM shouted. “Fine. You get to Elrond’s house. It’s awesome, but you don’t care. Dinner is waiting for you.”
“Great! We’re starving!” Steve said.
“Which one’s Elrond?” Terrence asked. “I want to ask him about the sword and map.”
“He’s the one at the head of the table.”
“Great. I sit next to him. I eat my dinner and then say, ‘So, Gandalf says you can tell me about my sword and map.’
“Subtle, Terrence, real subtle,” the GM said sourly.
Martin sent the GM a text that read, “‘I lean over to the nearest elf and tell him or her that I’m not really with these guys.’ And I eat my dinner politely and make small talk with the elves. Bilbo thinks they’re incredible.”
The GM smiled a bit. At least Martin understood the importance of setting a scene, but then again, the rest of the group was comprised mainly of engineers and programmers who were less likely to give the same consideration to such things as a theater major. The GM made a note to give Martin a few extra experience points for making an effort to really role-play.
“Elrond looks at Thorin’s sword. ‘This is an old sword, very old indeed, of high elvish make forged long ago for the Goblin Wars…’
“Boring,” Patterson shouted.
“Seriously, JR, just get on with it,” Terrence said.
“Fine, it’s a magic sword,” the GM replied irritably. “It’s a plus four keen blade, vorpal versus goblins or orcs, and it glows blue when goblins or orcs are within twenty yards.”
The other members of the group then started clamoring for their own magic weapons.
“Damn it, guys, you have to be patient,” the GM snapped.
“But your stupid NPC wizard got a magic sword too,” Juan pointed out.
“Guys, just be patient. Elrond looks at the map.”
“Thorin can read the runes on it, mostly, but there’s no instructions on how to actually find the keyhole,” Terrence said.
“Elrond holds the map up to moonlight and silver letters suddenly appear!”
“Wait? Just like that?”
“‘These are magic letters that only show up by the light of the moon. This says, ‘When the thrush knocks against the gray stone, the setting sun of new year’s day will illuminate the keyhole.’ Obviously that means the dwarves’ new year’s day.”
“Great! When is that?” Fred asked.
“Actually, you don’t know exactly,” the GM replied. “It has to do with the phases of the moon and seasons.”
“Great,” he said with an entirely different inflection.
“Don’t worry,” Juan said. “We won’t have much of an adventure if we can’t figure out some way into the treasure horde.”
This cheered the group up.
“Okay, then let’s get some supplies and get moving,” Terrence said.
“Wait, you don’t want to take some time to rest up, look around the town, and maybe talk some more with Elrond? He’s over two thousand years old,” the GM said.
“Unless he knows how to slay a dragon, I don’t care,” Terrence replied.
“Besides,” Seth added snidely, “What would elves know? They just sing songs and get all emo about living forever. They don’t do anything.”
The other players, besides Martin, clearly agreed with this. Martin wanted Bilbo to talk to Elrond, and he thought the GM was probably strongly hinting the party should talk to Elrond, so he sent a text to the GM that read, ‘Bilbo would like to talk to Elrond, but he’s not going to try to out-vote the dwarves.’
This time the GM didn’t even argue with the players, although the players did argue over the price of the supplies. He just made some notes, skipped several pages in his binder, and held firm on the price of bread. After more than an hour, the party was finally fully supplied and ready to go.
“So, are we going to fight anything tonight or what?” Eric asked.
“Oh, yes. Yes you are,” the GM answered with a dark expression. So you head out…


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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

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