Leaning over the table, James read the spells listed on the back of her character sheet, then pulled it over behind his DM screen. He scribbled something at the bottom of the list and handed it back to her. She looked at what he had written, furrowed her brow, and gave him a questioning expression. He put his finger to his lips, then moved on to check the other players’ character sheets.
Do not read this out loud, James had written just above the name of a spell. She had heard of dungeon masters giving players special concessions, but this was a really interesting way of doing it, in her opinion.
Cerys quickly grabbed one of the advanced spell books from the stack and thumbed through to the spells starting with S. It was a pretty powerful spell, she thought, and several levels above where her character was. It made her wonder why James wanted her to have it.
After a few more minutes, he was ready to get the story started.
“Okay, everyone, are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?” Some of the players cheered, making him smile. “Just one thing before I begin the story. I want you to trust me on this journey. I will make sure that nobody gets killed. This is an adventure, not a matter of life and death.”
“What’s an adventure with out a little danger?” Bayani noted with a wink.
James gave a small chuckle, and then looked down at his notebook. “Himeko, you are from a dwarven city under the mountain, and have come out into the open world to seek your glory and the glory of your deity. You are journeying along a path through the flower-blanketed hills one warm afternoon, watching the butterflies dance through the scented air as you walk.”
Himeko smiled, already seeming to enjoy the setting.
“Cerys, you live in a small cobblestone cabin just outside the village of Callei. The villagers haven’t thought much of your magic ever since you set your thatched roof on fire. You have gotten better, though, and you long to use your magic to keep goblins out of the village. It is a warm day in late spring, and the butterflies have surrounded your garden in search of the best nectar.”
Smiling as she imagined the scene, Cerys swore she could smell the flowers blooming. Had James lit some kind of flowery incense?
“Antonus the Great,” Peter corrected him. He always preferred using his character’s name, Cerys remembered.
“Okay, Antonus, you and…” James checked his notebook for the name of Bayani’s character, “Galen Riverson have been patrolling the outer edge of the forest for the past week, on the look-out for goblins and foreigners. Most of the elves don’t want your job, because they hate seeing humans.”
“They smell terrible,” Peter explained.
“And even you seem to agree.
“The place is filled with butterflies,” Bayani noted.
“Exactly,” James said, checking his notes again. “The forest is home to a particular green and pink butterfly, quite unlike the orange ones that the humans ar used to.”
“Not just the forest,” Bayani told him. “There are butterflies all over the room.” He gestured all around him, and sure enough, there were butterflies perching on the bookshelves, the figurines, even a few on the stack of books.