“Where are you?”
There was a pause before Matt responded. “I’m not sure. I can see you. If I focus, you seem to get closer. But I don’t feel like I’m anywhere.”
John walked over to Kevin. “What happened?”
“According to Matt, we’re inside the game. Oh crap…”
“What?” John looked around for whatever had worried Kevin.
“I just realized my mom was right. This is Satan’s doing. All because I kept playing.”
Jason, however, who had finally joined them, looked serious. “You think so?”
“Not you, too?” Jason scoffed. “This isn’t Satan. We’re not in hell. Just Matt’s idea of a castle.”
Jason glared at him. “How does that make any sense? Where is Matt, anyway? I thought I heard him.”
Kevin shrugged. “He doesn’t know. But he can see us.”
“Yes, I can. I feel like I’m right with you guys. But I don’t seem to have a body.”
“Oh my god! You’re the dungeon master!”
“Yes, John, he is, but what does that matter?” Jason asked.
“I mean, he’s the DM, right? So getting brought here, he can see everything; it’s his world. He’s like God here. He can probably do whatever he wants.”
Kevin shook his head. “That sounds crazy.”
“Well then how would you explain it?”
“I don’t know. None of this makes any sense.”
“Well, we’re here. Let’s have some fun with it.”
“Kevin’s right. This is too weird.”
John looked at Jason and then back to Kevin. “You two have no sense of adventure.”
“Um, guys?” Matt interjected. “The necromancer is here.”
“What?” John spun around. “Why is he here?”
“Well, this is his castle,” Matt answered.
“Can’t you make him go away?” Kevin asked.
“How would I do that?”
“Well, if this is your game…”
“Even so, I don’t know how. Fireball! Duck!”
A small bright streak headed towards them from the dais. Almost instantly, it began to grow into a giant ball of flame. As it reached each of them it froze in place. Try as they might, however, they couldn’t move either.
Jason yelled, “Why can’t we move?!”
No one said anything at first, each wondering the same thing and feeling the same panic that was in Jason’s voice. The fire flickered but was still not moving forward, waiting for something to release it.
Matt finally broke the silence. “Uh, everyone make a saving throw?”
“What?” Kevin shouted back.
“Well, you need to see if you’re going to take full damage or not. I think everything is waiting on the saving throws.”
“How are we supposed to do that? We don’t have any dice.”
John interrupted. “I rolled a twenty!” Suddenly, he was released and fell forward, flame spilling over him.
“Fine,” said Kevin, “I rolled a twenty, too.” He dropped and the fire rushed over top of him as well.
“I rolled a five,” Jason finally added. The flames hit him square as he stood there.
The fire vanished, though they all smoldered. Kevin jumped up and ran over to Jason.
“Are you okay? Why would you say five?”
Jason was trembling. “I… I tried to say twenty, but I couldn’t. It wouldn’t let me say anything higher than five.”
“What do you…”
Matt interrupted again. “There is still the necromancer. You all need to do something.”
“Jason’s hurt! For that matter, so are John and I, even though we escaped the worst of it. Nobody has any weapons. What do you want us to do?”
“Brilliant,” Kevin muttered.
John hadn’t waited for any more prompting and was already sprinting for the doors opposite the dais. Kevin dragged Jason along as he followed. Shouting began behind them but grew fainter right away, and no more attacks followed before they got through the doors.
“You guys can stop. He’s not following you.”
“Screw that,” John said. “We gotta get outta here.”
“Don’t. There’s that dragon outside.”
“My teleport worked?”
Jason snorted. “That’s what you’re wondering?”
John put up his hand to stop them. “Cut it out. How are going to get out of this?”
They all stared at each other, until Jason collapsed. Kevin got to him first.
“Jason! Are you okay?”
Jason didn’t move, but Kevin could see his chest rise and fall.
“He’s asleep. That fireball wiped out almost all of his hit points,” Matt said.
“What? Hit points? How much of this is still the game?” Kevin asked.
“I can see each of your current and total hp above your heads. You experienced the fireball as real, but it’s all in game terms to me.”
“Well,” John said, “if that’s so, why don’t we have our equipment? My lock picks? Kevin’s staff? Jason’s sword and shield?”
“I don’t know. I’m still not sure how any of this works.”
“Great. Kevin, do you have your spells at least?”
Kevin took a moment before answering. “Yes, I do. I can tell they’re still there.”
“Can you cast that spell again, see if it gets us out?”
Kevin shook his head. “I only had that one seventh-level spell. I can’t get it back until tomorrow.”
“Argh. I wish Rob were here. At least he’d have some healing spells for Jason. Can’t you do anything, Matt?”
“Sorry, John… Wait. The room on your right. There’s an extra-healing potion in there.”
John opened a door revealing a small room that was nearly empty. There was a torch on the wall, a couple of empty shelves to the left, and a couple of crates to the right.
“Inside the smaller crate. Make sure you grab the bottle with green fluid. The red is poison.”
“Thanks.” John found the bottle easily and took it back to where Kevin watched over Jason. He handed the bottle over. “Here. Get him to drink this.”
Kevin took it and propped Jason’s head up before tilting the bottle at his lips. Jason started swallowing and quickly began to look better.
“Hmm. Well, I’m not quite sure how I did that, but I managed to make sure that potion had its maximum effect on him. 27 hit points. He should be up again soon.”
“If you managed that…”
“I’m not sure how I did it, John. This is all tricky.”
“Well, figure it out.”
Kevin stood up. “We can’t stay here. The necromancer could come out, or some of his henchmen could wander by. Is there a safe place to hid while we figure out what to do, Matt?”
“Yeah, I think so. A small room near the entrance of the castle. I can guide you.”
Helping Jason to his feet, they made their way to the room. It had only one door, but there was a window they could jump out if necessary. John pushed a table against the door and stacked whatever he could find on top of it. “That should at least slow anyone down. Now, what next? Any ideas, Matt?”
“I might have an idea. But you’re not going to like it.”