Zack: You enter a musty library with long tables and shelves covered in dusty books. The strange glow you detected in the hall is coming from a cage full of glowing, red beetles. It does not appear you can get the cage open. Sitting at the tables are six hobgoblins. They have napkins tucked under their chins and paper plates. They appear very surprised to see you. "Daboo?" says one of them.
Steve: They have prepared an ambush for us, clearly out for revenge after we slaughtered their compatriots. Well, let them try it. I will cut them down with my spear.
Zack: Realizing you intend to fight them, the hobgoblins grudgingly take off their napkins and prepare to do battle. These hobgoblins are actually armed with weapons. As they line up to fight you can hear their stomachs rumbling.
Steve: "I hope there's room in that stomach for SPEAR!" I holler and launch my assault.Zack: Your ill-advised attack on the hobgoblins does not go well. You manage to kill one of them, but they retaliate by badly hurting your arm and slaying poor Nikka with a trident. "Ahhhh a trident, what a lame death!" he sighs and is dead. You and Trebbelos are backed into the corner by the remaining hobgoblins.
Steve: "This is it, old friend. We are beaten at last."
Zack: "Choke on a diaper, tubby gypsy! I've got a secret move." Trebbelos immediately falls to the floor and starts rolling around and acting all cute like a little baby. The hobgoblins are completely charmed. "We have to rescue that sweet baby from the horrible gypsy!" they agree.
Steve: The potion! If they can't see me, they can't kill me. I quaff the potion!
Zack: You chug the potion. It tastes terrible, but nothing seems to happen. The hobgoblins close in around you, laughing savagely as they prepare to poke you full of holes.
Steve: Betrayed to the end by that darn baby. I will die fighting.
Zack: Suddenly, the door to the library bursts open and in storm an entire squadron of gnomes in full combat gear. The laser sights on their crossbows sweep back and forth in the darkness. They begin taking down the hobgoblins with expert double taps.
Steve: I seize the moment and attack the nearest hobgoblin!
Zack: "Clear!" shouts one of the gnomes.They close in around you. Trebbelos stops crying and stands back up.
Steve: "Well met, gnomes. Your timing could not have been better."
Zack: "We are from Gnet Force," explains one of the gnomes. "Some of our field agents went dark recently. We are the extraction team. Have you seen any gnomes or possibly transponders floating in a gelatinous cube?"
Steve: Oh no, these guys are here for those gnomes we killed.
Zack: Before you can answer, you feel yourself sinking, as if into mud, and the world around you dissolves into a glowing green meridian. You realize that you are no longer within your body, but are integrating into the energy that underlies everything in the world. The voices of the past and the voices of the future converge in a glowing plane of superreality.
Zack: It is our nature to contain life and death. We are finite in an infinite universe, existing only a moment, but within us, coiled like a phosphorescent serpent, is an infinite being. It awaits the right moment to be unleashed.
Steve: Dude, what the heck are you talking about?
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
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.