The following story was written after playing a round of the Lego board game, Heroica, which my sons each received a level of for Christmas. The participants were myself, my two boys and my older brother who was visiting.
They descended into the dungeon and the dank, musty air touched their faces. The druid was eager to prove his mettle as he stayed close behind the wizard. He readied his staff before him and quickly realized that each step was taking them closer and closer to absolute blinding darkness.
The wise, elder druid suggested to the wizard, "We will not be able to see or defend ourselves soon. We need some source of light to..."
"I already picked up this torch," said the wizard, raising the flame above his head. They could now see down the long corridor before them.
"Oh, good," sighed the druid, "because I feared we wouldn't..."
"And check it out, there was some gold over here." The wizard held out his hand and displayed the coins, which dazzled even in the dim torchlight before plunging them quickly into the pouch hanging from his belt.
Suddenly, a moan could be heard before them. It was close enough to make their skin crawl. Whatever it was would be met shortly if they proceeded, which the druid noticed the wizard had already started to do. "Wait up," he called after his magic wielding companion, "it might be a..."
There was a flash of blue light just as the wizard had drifted out of the druid's sight, leaving him in near complete darkness again. When he caught up, he saw the wizard standing over a crumbled stone figure. "It was a golem," he told the druid.
"Are you alright?" asked the druid. "Surely you sustained some harm during the battle. Need you my healing powers?"
"No, I'm fine," the wizard happily proclaimed and brushed the gravel dust from the sleeves of his robe. "He went down after my first spell. Call it a lucky shot."
"Surely the battle has left you weary," said the druid. "Let me pass my staff over you and I can..."
"I feel great, actually," interrupted the wizard. "I didn't even need to set down my torch."
They continued forward. Twice within a short distance, the wizard made quick, thrusting upward blows, striking bats the druid had not even noticed in mid flight. Each time they burst into flames at the tip of the wizard's wand and disappeared into ash. And after each meeting, the wizard refused any healing from the druid. Eventually, the druid decided to use his own healing powers. They had been walking quite a while now and his knees had begun to hurt.
As his prayer of healing concluded and the druid opened his eyes, the wizard approached him. "I hope you don't mind," he said, "but while you were doing your thing, I went into the next room found some loot. I had to kill the two golems inside, but I picked up some more gold form a treasure chest and a strength potion. Plus, I got this extra torch." He held the torch forward to his druid partner. "Here, you take it. I can't carry two torches anyway."
"Um, thanks," said the druid. When he realized he could now move along without fear of losing light and fight on both their behalf, he boldly moved ahead of the wizard, torch held out in front of him proudly. When a cry of anger met them from the next room, he announced, "Make way, friend. I shall dispatch this nefarious monster with my..."
The druid found himself face to face with the golem lord. A downward strike with his staff proved futile and only angered the larger golem. The retaliatory swing from its thick stone arm knocked the druid to the ground, causing him to drop his torch, which extinguished immediately. "Great," he sighed. "I probably lost three health points form that." On the bright side, his decision to heal earlier and miss out on plundering the golem chamber with the wizard was looking like a better move.
From across the room, the wizard unleashed a barrage of lightening and the golem lord fell heavily to the floor. From his hand a scepter with a green jewel rolled across the stone floor. The wizard bent to pick it up just as the druid also reached for it, still on his back.
"Oh," said the wizard.
"No, pardon me," said the druid, a bit embarrassed. He rose to his feet and brushed himself off. "Go ahead and take it. You did the work."
They both stood in awkward silence for a minute after the wizard placed the scepter in his pouch where he had previously placed the gold and the potion and the dagger he had found that he hadn't mentioned because he didn't want to make his druid friend feel bad.
"Let us move forward and meet up with the other two," the wizard then suggested.
"Yes," brightened the druid. "The ranger and thief will certainly require our assistance." In his mind, the druid imagined the other two from the party that had split and went trough the evil forest. He was certain they would find them beaten and bloodied form the various monsters they would have encountered on their adventure. Surely they would require a great deal of healing.
Onward they went and after some time and moving many rocks form their path, they emerged form the dungeon just in time to meet the other two members of their party, their pouches both filled with gold. The ranger held a glowing gold chalice in his hand and the thief inspected a blue potion.
"Looks like you guys did pretty well for yourselves," said the wizard.
"I killed four giant spiders and a werewolf and picked up this speed potion," said the thief.
"Not to mention all the gold," added the ranger. "And I slay two werewolves and a dark..." he looked suddenly to the wizard's travel partner, "...druid."
"Aw, come on!" exclaimed the druid. "I totally would have come in handy there. I knew I should have picked the forest. Damn it!" Then he looked the thief and ranger up and down. "You don;t even look like you require any healing."
"Sorry dude," said the ranger. "Found a healing potion in the forest temple."
"Yeah, sorry," added the thief.
"Don't get down on yourself. You were totally helpful in the dungeon," argued the wizard. "Who would have carried that extra torch?"
The druid walked off in disgust and called behind him, "I'm being the barbarian next time."