Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

NPCs (2014) Drew Hayes (Spells, Swords, & Stealth)


What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters?

This story was an utter delight. Which I should have expected, seeing as how much I love Fred, the Vampire Accountant.

Thistle, Eric, and Gabrielle are relaxing at Grumph’s tavern when four adventurers come in, and the collapse at a table. The four locals soon discover the adventurers are dead, and that if no one shows up Solium in response to the king’s summons, it’s likely the Mad King will decide the town interfered with the summoned adventurers, and wipe out the entire town.

So the four decide to take the place of the adventurers and head to Solium themselves.

“All right then. Everyone sleep tonight, and say your goodbyes tomorrow. Grumph and I will move the corpses, then tend to our own farewells. Meet back here at this same time tomorrow night,” Thistle told them. “We’ll loot the bodies and be on our way.”

This story is SO FUN.

Eric, are you better with a sword, or a bow?”

“Sword,” Grumph grunted.

“He’s right,” Eric admitted. “Sword. When I was trying to learn the bow, I broke three of the windows on Grumph’s tavern.”

In addition to both celebrating and poking fun at gamers, it also has some rather astute commentary on the world in general.

With a sweep of his purple cape, King Liadon slid back into the shadows of the castle corridors, leaving a large group of adventurers wondering why a guard couldn’t have just told them all that hours ago.

The characters were (unsurprisingly) wonderful, and (of course) turned normal D&D style adventuring on it’s side, with the half-Orc being one of the more insightful characters.

“A broken barrel cannot be fixed unless mead is emptied. I don’t know how to empty a person of Anger,” Grumph admitted.

And the gnome being the wisest character.

“Just try to understand that sometimes it is better to see a thing destroyed, rather than ruined.” Thistle hopped lightly along the path in hope of keeping up with his larger companions. It was a difficult proposition, but one he had managed for many years now.

I adore the way Drew Hayes takes what you expect from a fantasy story and turns it sideways, giving you something delightful.

Publisher: Thunder Pear Publishing
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery


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