A single pedestal with a glass case on top of it stands in the middle of this room. A small brown box with strange runes carved into it is inside the glass case.Steve: Anybody else around? Detect heinous pop music?
Zack: Just some dusty portrait of a beautiful princess standing beside a knight resplendent in full plate armor.Steve: Alright I'm popping that case open and grabbing the small brown box. This is what I came here for, right? It better be after all that hullabaloo with the dancing skeleton ladies. I've about had it with this place and its arrogant archways and lack of appreciation for true metal licks.
Zack: As soon as you lift the dusty glass case from the pedestal a bluish, transparent figure materializes beside the pedestal.Steve: Not that laughing jerk again!
Zack: No, as you watch the blue light takes the shape of a beautiful, shapely woman decked out in all sorts of castle finery. Her companion materializes as well, a knight in glowing armor, and for a moment it seems as if they are posing like the portrait hanging from the wall. Then they moan with ghostly horror and attack!Steve: Thrashing out some anti-ghost licks on my axe.
Zack: No time! The spectral princess strikes you with her ghostly fingers and you feel such intense fright you know you are growing older by 5 years!Steve: Thankfully my music only gets better with age.
Zack: The knight strikes you with his sword and you age 6 more years.Steve: See how many ghost years he un-ages after I light up his ear-lids with a little bit of Bigby's Iron Viking Shred Fest.
Zack: You bust the ghostly knight back to the realm of spirits, but this allows the wailing ghostly form of the princess to get in behind you and strike you twice more, aging you 10 more years! Your hair is turning gray and your skin is wrinkling up.Steve: No problem. My licks are timeless. I'm going to light up this groping groupie with a sustained solo of Arise, Lord Soth, Arise!
Zack: The ghostly princess is staggered by the force of your bridge, but she is not down yet. She strikes you two more times and ages you another 10 years.Steve: I laugh and let her ghostly gaze fall upon the impossible finger speed that is ending her. Dun dun dun-dun-dun "Black rose through the mists, sword turned black with blood, death so deadly he could slay death itself, Lord duh-duh-dun-dun Soth!!!"
Zack: "Aiiiiieee nooooo!" she cries as she dissolves into a puddle of ectoplasmic pudding.Steve: Pop open the case and enjoy my ruby.
Zack: The legendary ruby is not so large as was foretold, but it is still an incredible gem, worth as much as 10,000 gold pieces if sold to the right ruby aficionado. Unfortunately, you are now a decrepit old man. Take -5 from all of your physical attributes.Steve: Who needs muscles and dexterities when I have music to sustain my very essence? I laugh at time. Now where's this Charmander molester man. It's time I show him and his acolytes that And Justice for All isn't just some slogan for a way sweet t-shirt.
Zack: There is a door to the south. It seems like it might be a very important door. Possibly to Charmander's sanctum.
Steve: Turn the knobs to 11, kick open the door, and get ready to wail.
Ernest Cline, writer of Ready Player One, shares his newest poem.
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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.