Steve: The kozaks take you to their camp. It is much smaller than the Turanian camp. The tents and weapons are crude. The kozaks glower at you as you are paraded through the camp and then tied up to a pole. You see a couple other badly injured mercenaries from the Turanian camp tied alongside you.
Zack: "When they give us the gun I'll shoot the one on the left," I say to the guy next to me. "You grab the gun of the one on the right."
Steve: A bearded savage, larger and older than most you have seen, emerges from a fine tent and approaches you and the other prisoners. "I see we have a new prisoners. This is what happens when you ride into our lands Turanian fools. If you do not already know, I am Constantius, hetman of this tribe. You are not a kozak and so will not be afforded the rights of one. My men might kill you whenever it pleases them. We might trade you to necromancers. Prove useful to us and maybe we set you free."
Zack: "When you were stealing everything from my horse did you happen to notice a brush? It was a sort of teal color with camelhair bristles. Had an 'N' on the handle in silver. No? Nobody? Okay. That's great. Thanks." I am going to leave a scathing one-star review for these guys when I get back to Gunt.
Steve: Constantius ignores you and gestures for his men to come over. He points to you and another prisoner. "This one and this one. Unchain them. I wish to see them fight for my amusement."
Steve: You are lifted up and unshackled. A rusty sword is thrust into your hand and you find yourself confronting another mercenary. One of his arms hangs limp, but his eyes burn with anger and his jaw is set. He raises the sword to attack.
Zack: I don't really want to kill this guy. Can I just kick the shit out of him?
Steve: You try to kick him and he slashes your leg with his sword.
Zack: Ah! Come on! Don't you see what I'm going for here, hombre?
Steve: He charges forward again.
Zack: He leaves me no choice. I am going to throw my sword like a hatchet at his head.
Steve: With a resounding THWACK! your sword cleaves into his skull down to the top his nose. He looks up at the blade crosseyed and then slumps to the ground. Blood pours out of him into the dust.
Zack: "He has a splitting headache," I say in my best barbarian accent.
Steve: The kozaki cheer your bold move, but that is the end of their kindness. "No food tonight," sneers one of the warriors. They shove you back down on the ground and chain you to the pole once more.
Zack: "Chained to the pole. Story of my life. Am I right guys?" I nudge the guy next to me.
Steve: You realize he is dead from past injuries, hanging limp from the pole.
Zack: "Well, that just means more no food tonight for me."
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.