Never trust a rogue: a D&D tale (Part 2)

"Winter" | Art by sandara. Used with permission.
There were boulders lining the top of the cliff, and enemy cutthroats hiding behind them. I counted at least four, and recognized Varis among them. They all wore the same black garb, so it was understandable, though incredibly stupid of them, that this group had mistaken Varis for one of their own. Varis must have just gone along with it.

I padded forward so I was directly in front of Varis. He noticed and made clicking noises with his tongue at me, patting the ground in front of him as though I was some sort of pet that had come by for a scratch behind my ears.

If squirrels could roll their eyes, I would have.

I darted up to him and put my paw on his hand. He jumped back in surprise.

“What are you doing? came a hiss from the shadows beside us. “Stay down or you’ll blow the whole thing.”

An arrow pierced my side as I lunged forward. It barely tickled.

This was getting me nowhere. I left Varis to make up some excuse and scurried as fast as I could back to Kriv, transforming back into my half-elf self.

I explained the situation, and we came up with a plan.

“Good luck,” I whispered to him as I walked back to the cliff base, ready for his signal.

But before we could put the plan in place, there was a commotion at the top of the cliff, a yell, and a body came tumbling down, bloody, dead. I didn’t recognize him. I did, however, recognize Varis, who stood at the top of the incline with his sword dripping blood. More shouts pierced the silence and shadows flitted behind him.

I took that as my cue and transformed into my most powerful form: a huge, white dire wolf. I leapt up the incline in several bounds to stand by Varis’s side, teeth bared at the oncoming enemies.

If the situation hadn’t been so serious, I would have laughed at the surprised expression on Varis’s face as I bounded up the cliff. The enemies didn’t look too keen on approaching Varis now that he had a snarling wolf at his side, either, but we didn’t give them much chance to do any thinking.

An arrow pierced my side as I lunged forward. It barely tickled. I was tough. I was winter. My claws were ice. my fangs were knives. I ripped the first enemy’s head off and tossed it over the cliff edge with my teeth.

If squirrels could roll their eyes, I would have.

Varis swung at one of them with his sword, but the enemy ducked and Varis lost his balance, keeling at the edge of the cliff. Then he pulled his dagger out of nowhere and stuck it in the enemy’s leg, pulling himself up from what would have been an untimely tumble, and causing the enemy to fall off the edge instead.

I let out a heaving snort, the equivalent of a wolf chuckle. Rogues certainly were resourceful.

Another arrow sailed past me from out of nowhere. The last of the cutthroats, wisely, turned tail and ran.

“Oh no you don’t,” Varis growled, pulling out his longbow.

I left Varis to deal with the runner, leapt across the chasm to the other side where the arrows were coming from.

A second group of four enemies lay in wait, though by that time Kriv had made it up that side of the cliff as well, and they were no match for a dragonborn and a dire wolf.

We met up after it was all over, dragged the bodies to cover and looted them. Exhausted, Varis and I collapsed for a quick rest while Kriv stood watch.

Then the DM proclaimed the session complete; I got up from the table and went home thinking druids were pretty darn awesome. And that I still should never trust a rogue.

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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