Never trust a rogue: a D&D tale (Part 1)

"elf" | Art by sandara. Used with permission.
The DM led our party of three down a path to infiltrate a camp of enemy soldiers. It was just nightfall, and up ahead loomed cliffs that jutted above either side of the path.

“We shouldn’t walk through there. That looks like a perfect spot for an ambush,” said Kriv, a dragonborn whose scales glinted in the light of our torches and whose armour weighed more than I did. He probably made an intimidating figure to outsiders, which is a nice trait for someone who had my back.

I glanced at Varis; the rogue’s hooded eyes revealed nothing of what he was thinking, as usual. Never trust a rogue, I thought.

Just because I couldn’t forgive him for what he’d done in the past didn’t mean I wanted him to get his throat slit.

I could’ve volunteered to survey the cliffs, but I was loathe to waste one of my druid transformations. And besides, with our luck we would be outflanked later on by kobolds somewhere; everyone would look at me for bear-fueled tankiness and then I’d have nothing but my staff to hold them off with. While I didn’t trust Varis to maintain his composure anywhere near a keg of ale—plus, never trust a rogue—he was a very good scout.

“I’ll do it,” Varis said. Kriv and I nodded in agreement and the rogue left the circle of torchlight, his black cloak merging with the surrounding darkness.

Kriv turned to me. “So, got a deck of cards, Lux?” he asked.

“I do,” I replied.

“Best two out of three?”

“You’re on.”

Five rounds later, after Kriv had proven he’d spent much more time in taverns gambling than I did, I glanced worriedly in the direction that Varis had disappeared to. The night was eerily silent.

“He’s been gone too long,” I said.

Kriv grunted in annoyance, his armour clinking as he shifted to his feet.

“That looks like a perfect spot for an ambush.”

“Damn rogue,” he muttered.

I sighed. “Maybe he’s in trouble.” Just because I couldn’t forgive him for what he’d done in the past didn’t mean I wanted him to get his throat slit. We were still a team. “I’ll go find out.”

I shifted into my squirrel form. Kriv didn’t even blink at my transformation, though I’d never used the ability in front of him before. He obviously knew what druids were capable of.

I scampered ahead and up the cliff, immediately regretting my choice of creature as I could only see a few feet in front of me. How did squirrels live like this? I would have to get close, but no one would consider me an odd sight there.

I was unprepared for what I found.

Allison Barron

Allison Barron

Commander at Geekdom House
Allison is like Galadriel, offering wisdom where needed but turning treacherous as the sea when competitive games are involved. She is the executive editor of Area of Effect magazine, co-host of the Infinity +1 podcast, and staff writer for Christ and Pop Culture. When she’s not writing, designing, or editing, she is often preoccupied in Hyrule, Middle-earth, or a galaxy far, far away.
Allison Barron

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