You’ve got your equipment. You’ve figured out what skills and attributes you have. Now it’s time to start out on our quest. First stop? The dreaded Village of No-No.
DOM DOM DOM.
You adjust your shoulder bag and stroll into a village nestled in a lush valley. The first thing you see is a man and a woman arguing at the top of their lungs. From what you can make out, they’re pissed off about coin. The woman turns to you and says: “Don’t work for that guy, he’ll never pay you.” The man, who happens to be wearing a jerkin with an embroidered logo on the back, rolls his eyes and drones: “Don’t hire that freelancer, she’ll never hand anything in on time and it’s full of typos, too.”
“I’m just wanting a little experience,” you say and shrug your shoulders. “You know, to see if I like it.”
Both villagers start to laugh and point you in the direction of a small hut with a thatched roof. “You’ll want to start there,” the man instructs. “To get your feet wet.”
You make your good-byes and head over to the hut. A small wood shingle hangs on a pike. The words read: Lances-For-Hire, LLC. You’ve never heard of the company before, but that doesn’t matter to you. You need coin, badly. You stroll up to the muddy entrance and knock on a wooden door.
“Hello?” You ask politely. “Anyone here?”
The door creaks open and you walk in. A small group of dragon slayers are sitting around a table drinking mead. “I’m looking for work. I—”
“Sorry. Private party,” a voice booms. It’s so loud it shakes the hut. “Come back later.”
“But I need work! I just quit my job and if I don’t find something to eat soon I’m going to starve.”
The group falls silent. After a few minutes, a red-headed dwarf starts whispering and an elf shakes her head and snorts. The dwarf sits back in his chair and says: “Aw, look at the kid, Tom. Don’t scare him away like that. We could use him.”
Tom is a large man with biceps the size of boulders. He scans you from head to toe, slams his mead, and faces you. “So you want some work, eh? What kind?”
“Well, freelancing. I’d like you to hire me for my skills and get paid.”
“Have any experience?”
“No…”You mumble. Maybe quitting your job wasn’t such a good idea after all. “But I really like dragons!”
He scratches his head. “So liking dragons qualifies you to slay them? What are you going to do? Breathe on them?”
Frustrated, you pull out a quill and a bottle of ink. You want to be a freelancer and by the stars, you’re going to suck it up and take whatever you can get. “I was hoping to use my equipment. I’ll do anything. I swear!”
“Sure, why not?” He grins as he gets up from the table. “Follow me.”
Excited, you trail after him. Your first job! You make it halfway across the room when you hear: “Tom? Are you at it again?”
Tom groans and shrugs. “Why are you always ruining my fun?”
Curious, you glance over your shoulder and see a tall wizard wearing a voluminous set of sparkling robes. “Are you new to this village?”
“Yes, but I don’t understand.” Admittedly, you’re more than a little confused. You almost had your first assignment and now some wizard is butting in?
“Come with me,” the wizard commands. There’s an ominous tone in his voice. “We need to have a little chat.”
To be continued…
For the Audience: What did the freelancer do wrong? Can you gaze into your crystal ball and predict what the wizard will say? Help finish the story in the comments below or find out what happens next time in Part 2 of The Village of No-No.