Roles by Snorb

Author's note

So, for this nice story, I think I've been inspired by Order of the Stick, Darths & Droids, and DM of the Rings, along with a healthy dash of the two Gamers movies that weren't totally awful. Sorry, but Gamers 3 kinda stunk.

Anyways. If you don't remember Cutruss, Rainy, or Janey, go read Phantasy Star Alternate, 'cause they're in there. Then mock me for my poor writing skills six years ago. Then read this.

Phantasy Star meets nerdistry

Richard Valerian, Knight of the Crying Spire, was in for the fight of his life.

After three years of adventuring, he and his companions were ready to bring the fell wizard Eodred Arkmalion to justice. Unfortunately, the wizard was ready for them, having taken the time to prepare himself and raise a force of undead soldiers.

Salmoriel, brave elven hunter and warden of the Silverleaf Forest, was the first to fall in combat, having accidentally set off the Runes of Death warding the evil wizard's inner sanctum. Eodred laughed cruelly as he adjusted his minotaur-skull helmet, shouting "This is why you do not bring puny weapons to a magic fight, foolish ones!! I'll handle the idiot in full plate! Minions! Knock the women into unconsciousness! Nya hahahahahaaaa~!"

Cyrithea, priestess of Saint Amelia, goddess of healing, gave Eodred a strange glance as she adjusted her bloodstained holy symbol. "Seriously?" she asked. "Undead don't go for the whole knocking-out thing..."

"I know," Richard replied, readying his silver sword and tower shield. "Just... I don't think I can humor this."

Cyrithea was about to reply, but the undead horde swarmed the unfortunate priestess, and she soon found herself knocked into unconsciousness by a cloud of maces and bludgeons.

Marissa, the Grand Psionicist of the Winterlands, sighed with contempt. "Yep. He went there," she groaned. "Way to knock Sis out."

"Nyeaaaaaaaah hahahaha~! You're next, gorgeous!!"

"Marissa, new tactics: I can take on the skeletons and the mummies Eodred's summoned," Richard said, moving close to her. "You can take Eodred."

"I'd like to see that happen!!" Eodred replied. "Remember me, Marissa la Mirah! I am the wizard that killed your psionicist trainer and raised him as a skeleton, killed your husband on your wedding night, killed your family and sold their souls to the God of Torture for a bottle of vodka, stole your noble title and land holdings, and skinned your cat alive and ate the flesh because he could, then wiped his ass with the cat's fur! You can never take me!! Nyaaaa hahahahaaa!!"

"...You're one deeply disturbed individual," Marissa replied. She closed her eyes, channeling inner strength into a psionic fireball. The fireball flickered to life in the psionicist's hand, and her eyes glowed red with energy as she pointed at Eodred's head, intending to incinerate the depraved wizard.

At once, there was a strange sound echoing through the sanctum; a sound somewhere between water draining from a bathtub, a heartbeat, a crystal windchime, a prolonged and painfully loud fart. The fireball vanished from Marissa's hand, and the glow dissipated from her eyes as a look of dawning horror spread across the psionicist's face. She barely had enough time to shout "Mother of Go-" before her entire head exploded from the mandible up in a horrifying spray of gore. Richard swore he could see Eodred through the space formerly occupied by Marissa's head before the psionicist's knees buckled, her lifeless body collapsing with a dull thud.

"You will pay for the deaths of my friends!" Richard shouted, pointing his sword at Eodred.

"What the hell for?! I only killed the damn elf! The psyker brought her headsplosion on herself! Nyaahahahahaaa!!!"

The knight grunted in anger, then charged Eodred, his sword swinging frantically as he tried to cut a path through the army of the undead. Eodred barely stifled a yawn, then pointed at Richard. "Save or die, motherfucker" he said.

Something gripped Richard's heart, crushing it terribly within his chest. Richard sank to a knee, blood pouring from his mouth. As he clutched his chest in agony, the knight proceeded to die of a massive magic-induced heart attack.

Eodred gave a wicked grin as he surveyed the end results of the combat. "Nyeaaaaaahahahahaha!! Total party kill!" he shouted to the undead that hadn't been killed. "This calls for a celebration!! (chanting) TPK!! TPK!! o/` I'm the best! Arounnnnnd~"

AW 342, the Rie household, Camineet

"o/` Nothing's ever gonna keep me down, 'cause I'm the best!" Cutruss clapped once, then continued, "Around! Nothing's ever gonna keep me dowwwwowwwowwowwwwwwnnnn....."

His sisters and friends stared at him, slackjawed, as Cutruss demonstrated his unsportsmanship from behind a cardboard gamemaster screen, dancing in place in his dining room chair. A paper crown, stolen from the local Burger Knight, was perched on his head, the letters "DM" hastily scrawled on it in a combination of magic marker and glued-on blue glitter.

"Really? Is this how you're gonna act, Cutruss?" Rainy asked. "You and your fucking gloating make this so unfun."

"Yeah, you're right. Sorry, Sis." Cutruss cleared his throat, then sang, "o/`Sollllllllllllllllllllllllle survivor, solitary fighterrrrrrrrrr. (drumming on table) I am the sollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllle survivor--"

Nekishe sighed, then looked at the character sheet before him. "So much for Sir Richard Valerian, last knight of the Crying Spire, He Who Bears Silverfang," he said. "This is what I get for botching that save."

"And this is what I get for not training up Pyrokinesis," Janey added. The purple-haired woman looked at her own character sheet, then wrote "[i]Marissa la Mirah, died of psionic enervation 6/25/341[/i]" at the top. "This is for the binder when we get home."

"Seriously, I didn't even get to do anything during that fight," a blue-haired man said. "You just said 'Nope, you trigger the Runes of Death, Salmoriel bites it on the spot,' Cutruss. You could have at least let me have a save."

"It says in the book, no save for Runes of Death, Keith! You know this!" Cutruss protested.

"Hey, Cutruss! What the hell happened to Cyrithea, huh?!" Rainy called out. She moved a wisp of pink hair away from her eyes before she continued, "Undead don't take prisoners!"

"Eodred's did. But yeah, about that, the messy epilogue! XD" Cutruss adjusted the paper crown on his head so it was sitting properly, then added, "Sal's body isn't even buried because he's a filthy filthy elf--"

"Hey! Summer elves are the pride of Istorian elfdom, thank you very much!" Keith said.

"Whatever. They leave Knife-Ears to rot because Eodred hates elves, Rick gets raised as a skeletal hell knight because Eodred thinks it's funny if he became one of the many monsters he hates."

"...I suppose you'll want this character sheet now?" Nekishe asked.

"Yup! Marissa... doesn't have a head anymore, so nothing Eodred can do. Make Whole doesn't work on exploded heads. And as for Cyrithea, Eodred casts a spell or four hundred, Cyrithea is automatically converted to the Cult of Malanthus, turned into a succubus, and she's enjoying her new life as Eodred's demon queen."

"I hate you so much right now," Rainy said as she crumpled up Cyrithea's character sheet.

"So what are we gonna do about next week? We're all dead," Keith wondered.

"Cyrithea's not."

"Thanks a lot, Bro. >_<"

Nekishe thought for a second, then said, "I could run next week. It's been a while, anyway."

"Oh, God, do you have to?!" Cutruss asked him. "I hated the last game you ran!"

"I liked it," Janey said. "It was a nice story. Sad and sweet at the same time."

"I know! Noah would have loved it. ^_^" Rainy replied. "It's been a long time since I saw him... stupid Esper business keeping us apart."

"What the hell alternate universe are you two talking about where Nekishe ran a fun game? Last time he ever ran anything, you fuckers left me to die in the Aridian Desert! >_<"

"Curtis, first off, you were being a total idiot-- as usual. Second, you really made a poor fighter. Your attack bonus was too low, and considering you were dual-wielding daggers, that's saying something," Keith told him.

"What do you mean by that!? >_<"

"Well, as soon as we all met up, you said you were 'Rhys Landen, Destroyer of Campaigns, and I have chainsaw hands! BzzZzzzzzZZzzzz--'" Janey made a motion with her arms, as if they had become chainsaw blades, then said, "You tried to stab Mieu in the face, and you spent your last act before dying by trying to put a blood curse on me."

"You blew an eighteen-inch hole through my guts, what was I gonna do?! Face death with dignity!?"

Cutruss, his sisters, and Keith started arguing, and before long, the argument had devolved into a seemingly-endless stream of blasphemy, profanities, insults, threats, suggestions, and implications that threatened the invocation of Camineet's local noise ordinances. Finally, when he could stand the tide and sea of white noise no longer, Nekishe slammed his hand against the table.

The four shut up quickly.

"That's enough, guys! I've got ideas for next week. Dawn of History, I have the book. Make a character."

"Oh, God, really? Dawn of History? I hate that game so much," Cutruss whined.

"You know, if you were actually listening to your history teacher instead of trying to draw Alisa naked in your notebook, you might actually like it!" Rainy replied.

"No guns, no steel, very low magic... why do you people like it so much?"

"Because it's an interesting period in Algo's past," Janey said. "It's the very foundation of our way of life."

"I've never played it, Nekishe, so it'll be a learning experience for me," Keith added. "I'll go download the rules when I get back to Parolit."

"You'll like it, Keith. It's rules-light."

Cutruss made a deep, prolonged, pained groan. "And it's rules-light?! Ugh, you don't want me to have any fun, do you?"

"It's easy for me to run, and besides, there's someone I wanted to invite to join us."

"Oh, a newbie? Cool! XD" Rainy said. "Do we know him?"

"Who says it's a him? It could be a woman, Sis."

"Dammit, no, Nekishe! Bad Nekishe! I know who he's talking about! He wants to invite Alisa!" Cutruss said. "No girlfriends attend games, man!"

"What the hell's wrong with you, Cutruss? You actually like Alisa," Nekishe said.

"Yeah, as a friend and occasional whack-off fantasy! But as a player... no! You don't bring your girlfriend to a game, Nekishe, even if she's Alisa Landale!"

"Wait, the Alisa Landale?" Keith asked, surprised. "Your girlfriend's Alisa Landale?!"

"Yeah, we started dating last year, after she killed LaShiec. Why?"

"Nekishe, you have to invite her to game with us."

"Oh, God, no! Not you too, Keith! All Alisa's got going for her is that she can handle a sword really well and she fills her bra nicely 'cause she's really hot and she can prove that one person can make a difference when push comes to shove! But she's not us material!" Cutruss said.

"I don't mind seeing Alisa more often," Janey said. "She's got my vote."

"Mine too! Hopefully she can bring Noah with her. ^_^"

Cutruss facepalmed and sank into his chair. "You guys all suck. You know that, right?" he asked, mostly himself.

"So I guess it's settled. See you guys next week!"

Burger Knight, later that day

"You want me to do what, exactly, Neks?"

The beautiful brown-haired woman took a sip from a paper cup filled with root beer; Nekishe blushed slightly as he noticed a small crescent of red lipstick on the cup's rim. He had explained the concept of gaming to Alisa, but he wasn't sure he was able to properly express it.

"Well... it's like those games on your Master System, Alisa. Except you can do pretty much whatever you want."

"Really?" Alisa asked. "And I get a party?"

"Just one character, but you can make her pretty much however you want. Within reason, of course," Nekishe said. He took a bite from his burger.

"Of course. If someone's too powerful, they're just gonna hog the spotlight, right? That's never fun." Alisa popped an onion ring into her mouth, then asked once she swallowed it, "So who else is coming?"

"Well, Suelo's kids-- you know them. So, sorry, you have to put up with Cutruss."


"Rainy and Janey'll be there, too, Alisa, so you can tag-team him if he starts perving on you again."


"Okay, 'when.' And there's a guy named Keith. He's from Parolit. He works at the spaceport with me," Nekishe added.

"Really? So I guess I'm in good company then!" Alisa smiled sweetly at Nekishe. "There anything I'm gonna need?"

"Some dice, and a character sheet, but we've got plenty of all that. Alisa..." Nekishe took Alisa's hands into his. "We'll take good care of you. I promise."

"You really mean that, Nekishe?" Alisa asked. She traced a line on Nekishe's hands with her thumbs as she asked.

"I swear on the life of Nero Landale," Nekishe replied.

Alisa smiled, then leaned across the table, kissing Nekishe on the lips. When she pulled away, she was still smiling, and Nekishe thought he could see a single tear starting to pour from Alisa's eyes. "I accept," she said. "Thank you, Nekishe."

Next Chapter: Character Creation, or Cutruss Rie Shows Alisa Landale How to Die (Again)

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