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  • Writer's pictureJohn Simons

RinthCon Day 5 - Meanwhile Down in the Gaming Pits...

Mordy always had a sharp tongue and biting complaints for his father, but when Ed and the rest of the senior gaming staff didn’t return, Mordy felt a cold desperation that drove him to an extreme. He recruited a few of the gamers to descend the forgotten stairwell and help him search for his dad.

Less than twenty minutes in the depths and they were attacked from the front and the back by half a dozen mutant-looking things armed with clubs and swords. The fight took fifteen seconds tops.

“Those aren’t cosplay weapons!” said Mordy.

“Of course not, laddie,” said the guy in the green druid robes. He wouldn’t reveal his real name but went by Clancy MacTaggert at the con and spoke in a bad Gaelic accent. He was not a tall man but was built as if he were hiding two other people under his robes.

Claudette Mithralay was dressed in gauzy robes but carried a poleaxe. “Your weapons check people don’t look at anything,” she said.

Clanton Sidian was the third gamer, short and stocky and a bit of a ruffian. He looked like someone who fought by hitting people with his face.

“It puts you more in character if ye walk around with actual weapons,” said Clancy.

“And you know how to use them,” said Mordy, “That’s… unusual.”

“Weapons practice is a great workout,” said Clanton, “Strength training and cardio all in one.”

They advanced cautiously after that. Mordy was afraid they would be attacked again.

“Halt!” called Clancy. There was a light far down the hall. The three gamers readied themselves.

“Who’s there?” yelled Claudette.

“Well met! It’s us!” responded a voice that Mordy recognized. It was Red.

“Red! Is my dad with you?” Mordy called. He was, and soon the two groups were reunited.

Mordy hugged his father, a thing he had not done since he was small.

“I’m so glad to see you,” Ed said.

“You showed up just in time,” said Red. “We’ve been struggling to get back under all this weight.”

“What are you talking about?” asked Mordy.

“Your dad planned this big D&D 350th anniversary celebration with a mockup of Gary Gygax’s living room to game in, but luckily he also included these weapons,” said Falco, holding up a sword.

“There’s something in these tunnels,” said Cara, “We’ve been fighting them for days. I think they’re orcs.”

“We ran into them, too,” said Mordy, “I think they’re some kind of genetic mutations.”

Cara gave Mordy an arch look. “Everyone knows orcs are genetic mutations of elves.”

“At first we were scared shitless,” said Red, “but then we discovered they had loot. Since then we’ve been raiding these tunnels for days, living on pretzels, potato chips and a fizzy sugar beverage called soda.”

“My teeth are fuzzy from the sugar,” said Falco.

“What kind of loot did you find?” asked Clanton.

“Silver coins, sometimes gold,” said Red.

“We’re so burdened it’s taking forever to get out of here,” said Cara.

“Things turned out much better than I expected,” said Ed.

“You don’t look burdened at all,” said Mordy, “You’re not carrying anything except your weapons.”

“Sure we are,” said Ed, “It’s right there.” Ed swung his flashlight behind him, catching Schlep in a circle of light far behind. Schlep was weighed down with backpacks, sacks, and boxes. His knees trembled with each step.

“Quite an adventure, eh Schlep?” yelled Red.

Schlep was breathing too hard to speak, but he gave Red a thumbs up.

“Mordy,” said Red, “I know you’ve had your differences with your father, but this was amazing. You should be proud of him. And we’re all proud of you for venturing down here for us.” Everyone nodded and agreed.

“The big question now,” said Falco, “Is what we’re going to do for D&D’s 351st anniversary!”

Everyone laughed. When that died down, they chose their marching order and began the hike back to the con.


Shlep watched the party’s lights shrink into the distance. “Help,” he croaked, but no one heard him.

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