Kevin knew he needed to sleep to get his spells back, but it was hard to do when every sound made him jump. It seemed like John had been gone forever. He felt guilty letting him go alone, but he knew that John was stubborn. He better come back, and soon. Who knew what might be wandering the halls of this place.
Well, Matt should. He had made this place. John was probably okay as long as Matt was helping him. That thought reminded him…
“No. But I was wondering… Right after you got hit with the fireball, you said you couldn’t say anything higher than a five for your saving throw. What did you mean?”
“Just that. I tried saying twenty, like the two of you had, but something stopped me. My mouth wouldn’t say the words. Same thing happened when I tried to say nineteen. And over and over again until I got to five.”
“You don’t know what stopped you?”
“No clue. Maybe it was a spell or something.”
“Yeah, maybe.” Kevin wasn’t convinced. What spell could stop someone from saying certain things? There were probably some he didn’t know, but when would it have been cast? And by whom? That was the first saving throw any of them had made, wasn’t it?
“Jason, did you make a saving throw before the fireball?”
“No. I was as confused as you when Matt told us to do it.”
“I’m not sure. Maybe Matt can tell us something.”
They let the silence fall back and waited for John to return. The boxes and table they had pushed against the door after he had left did not feel secure. There were no weapons. The only way out was the window. Kevin went over the spells he had left. That was the only thing they could fall back on. It wouldn’t be enough.
When the door started to move, they both jumped up, ready to spring for the exit. John’s voice reassured them that it was okay to resume breathing.
“Hey, guys, it’s me. Let me in.”
Kevin and Jason immediately began pulling things back from the entrance. They worked quickly, and before long, John stood inside and pushed a table back against the door.
“Did you find anything?” Kevin asked, anxious to have some means of protection.
“Yes.” John had a big smile on his face.
“Where is it?” Jason looked at John’s empty hands.
“Right here.” He pulled out a large cloth sack that appeared to be rather empty.
“That’s it?” Disappointment was evidence in Jason’s voice.
“Ah! I see you don’t recognize this. This is mine.”
At first, Kevin was just as confused as Jason looked, but realization suddenly came over him. “You mean that’s…”
“Yep. It’s my bag of holding. Good thing, too, or I’d never be able to bring all this stuff back.”
John pulled out a full suit of armor and a sword. “I believe these are your, Jason.”
Next was a staff and a book. “I think these belong to you, Kevin. I have my daggers and cloak.” He also brought out several vials and flasks. “Rob’s stuff was there, but I didn’t think we needed it. I did grab his holy water.” He passed two vials to each of the others. “And he had a few healing potions.” They each got a flask.
“It’s not everything we might want, but this should help.”
“This is excellent, John. Good job,” Kevin said. “I can’t believe you found our stuff.”
“Yeah, thanks, John.” Jason was already putting on pieces of his armor. “Do you think we can take the necromancer now?”
John shrugged. “I don’t know. But we have a better chance than now.”
“What do you think, Matt?” Kevin asked.
“Oh he doesn’t know. Almost got me killed by a couple of skeletons.”
“That’s not true, John. I already explained.”
“Oh yeah. Matt says he still has to play by the rules. He can’t fudge anything to help us.”
“Hmm… That true, Matt?”
“Yeah, Kevin. It’s weird. I couldn’t warn him about a pair of skeletons. I don’t understand why.”
“That’s what happened to me with the saving throw.”
Kevin nodded. “Yeah. There is something weird going on. I mean, besides being trapped in a D&D game. Like we’re playing somebody’s game, but there are rules we don’t know. Like how dice rolls really work. Or even you finding our exact equipment, John. It doesn’t seem like Matt’s in charge. Even though it’s supposed to be his game world.”
A puzzled look on his face, John asked, “So you’re saying someone else is running all of this?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Well, that sounds bad. Matt, what do you think?”
“Makes as much sense as anything else.”
“But who would do this?” Jason chimed in.
The three boys looked at each other, but no one had any idea how to answer the question.
John spoke. “Well, we have to get past that necromancer anyway. You two sleep. Jason, I’ll wake you up in four hours for your watch.”
Kevin and Jason both nodded and headed back to the makeshift mats they had made out of cloth they had found in one of the boxes. Sleep didn’t come easy, but eventually it did come.