Johnny America


Let­ter to My De­ceased Dun­geons and Drag­ons Char­ac­ter, Who I Or­dered In­to Cer­tain Doom


Dear Zardoz the Destroyer,

De­spite the feel­ings of re­sent­ment and loathing that grew in me over the past few weeks, a tiny rip­ple of re­gret pulsed through my veins as I or­dered you through that gar­goyle-guard­ed door. I knew you’d get smashed — you were a puny lit­tle gnome with a neg­a­tive three Dex­ter­i­ty Mod­i­fi­er ( ‑3 ! ) — but I did­n’t re­al­ize Dun­can, our Dun­geon Mas­ter, was go­ing to get vi­cious and com­mand the beasts to eat your eye­balls. Sor­ry you had to leave that way.

I’d nev­er played D&D be­fore, so de­spite my best in­ten­tions I wound up arm­ing you with a laugh­able in­ven­to­ry of spells. Your ‘Grease’ en­chant­ment came in handy when we cor­nered that ra­bid bad­ger on a dingy bar­room ta­ble, but most­ly served as fod­der for ridicule by the rest of the guys. I did­n’t know when I picked it for you, but the Grease spell is lame in the world of gob­lins and bug­bears. It was­n’t your fault that your Charis­ma lev­el was so mi­nus­cule — I rolled the dice — but it al­most got us killed when I sent you to ne­go­ti­ate with those lizard men. Zardoz, You have to re­al­ize how much it hurts when a crew of the geeki­est USENET-savvy nerds you can imag­ine starts teas­ing you at work. I joined the cir­cle to in­gra­ti­ate my­self to my boss, so when he com­ment­ed that you were as use­less as a ze­ro-lev­el troll I re­al­ized I had to take measures.

Re­mem­ber last week, be­fore I’d re­solved to kill you, when I had you spend 150 gold pieces on that spe­cial­ly trained dog you could ride, so you could keep up with the rest of the par­ty? I bought you that nice sad­dle too, for twen­ty gold pieces. I even paid Brett forty in sil­ver to use his Craft skill to carve “Zardoz the De­stroy­er” on­to your leather ar­mor, with a ren­der­ing of you rid­ing Snoopy, rais­ing your cross­bow in one hand and wav­ing a ghoul’s de­cap­i­tat­ed head in the oth­er. Re­mem­ber how awe­some you looked? It was my last at­tempt at mak­ing you ‘cool’ to the rest of the group. I thought my makeover had worked, that you (and me) were fi­nal­ly mak­ing in­roads. The next day at work I over­heard Dun­can telling Rachel the sec­re­tary, “You should’ve seen him han­dling his dog last night.” Then and there I sen­tenced you to death. I know you loved that mutt, you poor ex­cuse for a wiz­ard il­lu­sion­ist — that’s why I or­dered you to jump off your steed mo­ments be­fore charg­ing the gar­goyles. Thad the Halfling is tak­ing care of him now.

I don’t know if Dun­geons & Drag­ons char­ac­ters go to heav­en or Val­hal­la when they die, or if their spir­its gets shred­ded with their record sheets, but you’ll live on with me for a while. It’s prob­a­bly lit­tle con­so­la­tion since I’m the one who damned you to gar­goyle mu­ti­la­tion, but I think there’s a chance the group will re­al­ize how wrong they were about you in a week or two. If you think about it, you were kind of like Je­sus, march­ing to death at the beck­on of me, your God and Fa­ther. The gar­goyles were a lot like Ro­man sol­diers if I re­mem­ber straight. You were mis­un­der­stood in your time but maybe the rest of the group will re­al­ize how valu­able you were, now that you’re gone. It worked once!

Miss­ing You,


Filed under Letters on July 2nd, 2004

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Reader Comments

Faso Latido wrote:

That Pe­ter Pan guy is one sick freak.
Sick, I tell you, sick!

Anonymous wrote:

um…yes…ok. your NUTS. poor guy, all he want­ed was a lit­tle love and you sen­tenced him to death you freak!

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