Friday, January 27, 2017

Baron Diamonds Tale, Tale 1 of the 50 Tales of Arioch

Turnabout is Fair, Play!
by Daniel "The Baron" Diamond

A demon lord once made a fair-sounding offer to a group of questors. “My vault is infested with imps. Rid me of the imps, and you can have the treasure in return.” As said questors were in the middle of searching for an item needed to avert hellish consequences, they accepted.  They made their way deep into the vault, overcoming first a death ward, a disease ward, and endured a pick your own poison. Progress was slow but steady, as Crystal brought up the rear with a seed of life keeping anyone from falling behind. Providentially, young Thorgar had brought a disease-curing slug which was most helpful.

The next obstacle was a riddle whose many wrong answers were met with a rain of hellfire. This delay bored Bones, who livened things up with shenanigans, perhaps inspired by Commedius, god of humor. The hellfire was easily re-directable on the unwary and soon several people had a hotfoot. But Justari, god of justice and law, also took a hand in events: a hand which subtly jogged Sir Diamond’s elbow while he, oblivious to the mayhem behind him, was trying to block hellfire. This inadvertently deflected some into Bones, pausing said shenanigans long enough for Laiko to solve the riddle “What is found in the past, but made in the present?” Clever Laiko knew his “history”.

The questors then negotiated obstacles while under crossfire before reaching the vault itself. There they had to split their attention between the plague of imps which attacked from an acid pool and the temptation of looting the place while under attack. While most could manage at least one of those tasks, one got in over his head. The imps were just about finished off when one unfortunate questor fell fully into the acid pool in his zeal to get the lucre.

Then it was time for the demon lord’s inevitable betrayal. He teleported in, thanked the questors for wiping out the imps, and sealed the door, trapping them in the vault. The questors would starve in there and the treasure remain, unless perhaps they could offer something even more valuable to the demon lord than their lives.  Sir Sean negotiated as best he could, but the trapper was about to become the trap-ee.

While the demon lord negotiated, Keyomi secretly dropped, closed, and cast her circle of protection- trapping the demon lord within! While Sir Sean began to negotiate their release from this better bargaining position, Keyomi went further, calling on Aurora’s power to teleport the questors out of the vault, leaving the demon lord doubly trapped! In the circle of protection, in the center of the newly de-imped locked and heavily warded vault.  Aurora deemed this good, and it was done. Commedius and Justarai were neither displeased, as the demon lord ate what he tried to dish out, with interest.

Later that day, those hellish consequences alluded to before were averted through Arioch’s intervention. But in return all were charged with telling 50 tales in this venue before a year had passed. May this tale please him in turn, and perhaps the View’s readership as well.

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