JOHN: The Dungeon Master, wears prisoner whites.
OFFICER: The Prison Guard, wears confederate gray uniform.
CHARLIE: Dungeons & Dragons Player, wears prisoner whites.
JIM: Dungeons & Dragons Player, wears prisoner whites.
DAVID: Dungeons & Dragons Player, wears prisoner whites.
JAX: Player character run by Charlie.
MARCUS: Player character run by Jim.
SATER: Player character run by David.
SCENE 1, SETTING “A”
(Off stage down front right, before the curtains. There is a scene of a prison dayroom with a table and four chairs, all facing the audience. Several books rest on the table along with many odd shaped dice, pencils, and paper.)
SCENE 1, SETTING “B”
(The main stage setting is that of a prison cell block with the background continuing the effect. At down right is an exit that leads to setting “A,” the dayroom. At stages right, up right, up left, left, and down left are cell doors.)
(The curtains open and we see John walking to down right stage from up left stage. It is a sweltering summer morning and the lighting is dim. The officer is pacing up and down center stage. The officer watches John exit down right and follows. John sits down at the table and starts arranging books, papers, and the various odd shaped dice on the table. He sets sheets of paper and pencils in front of each of the other chairs. The officer walks up to the table where John is.)
OFFICER: What are you doing in the dayroom this early?
JOHN: Well, if we don’t get a table first thing in the morning to play Dungeons and Dragons we can’t play, because all the tables will be taken for damn dominoes.
OFFICER: (The officer pauses as if contemplating the situation.) Okay. (He walks off and enters down right stage and continues his pacing on center stage.)
JOHN: (John walks to down right stage and continues to up right stage cell door.) Wake up Jim. You playing today or what?
JIM: (Off stage up right, behind the cell door a light comes on.) Yeah, be there in a few.
JOHN: (John walks to stage left cell door, where a light is on.) Hey Charlie, I woke Jim up as usual.
(Pause. Off stage behind the cell door a voice answers.)
CHARLIE: I was just on my way. What are you planning today?
JOHN: You’ll see.
(He walks to down left stage cell door, where a light is on. Off down left stage a voice is heard.)
DAVID: Did you wake up Jim?
JOHN: Yeah, as usual. You ready for me to kill Charlie’s character?
(He walks to the table in the dayroom and takes his seat.)
OFFICER: Count Time! Rack Up!
(John walks from the dayroom to up left stage and exits behind the cell door. The officer walks around to each cell door counting, then to center stage.)
JOHN: About Time!
(He walks to the table in the dayroom and takes his seat again.)
DAVID: (David walks to the table set in the dayroom and sits to the left of John. Shakes his head in disappointment.) Well. I see nothing has changed, last one called out, first one to show.
CHARLIE: (Charlie walks, carrying books to the table in the dayroom and sits to David’s left.) Hey, my core rulebooks came yesterday.
JIM: (Jim staggers half asleep to the table and takes a seat to the left of Charlie.) Okay, I’m Ready!
DAVID: Glad to see you could make it. What would we ever do without you?
JIM: Fuck You! I don’t have to play this . . .
JOHN: Okay, now that we are all here.
(Officer strolls by the table and back to center stage.)
(The curtain on stage closes and scene 2, setting “B” is set up.)
DAVID: Hey John, “where is Carl?”
JOHN: He told me, yesterday, to go on without him.
CHARLIE: He’s mad at me.
DAVID: That’s too bad! (He pulls a book from under his shirt. Tosses the book on the table.) Then he won’t get to see the surprise I got for him. Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies.
JOHN: So, why did Carl get mad at you?
CHARLIE: I quit Carl’s Dungeons and Dragons game.
DAVID: Dungeons and Dragqueens if Carl was running it.
JOHN: Why did you quit?
CHARLIE: The main reason was that I wasn’t having fun . . .
DAVID: Imagine that!
CHARLIE: Yeah right! I could have read the module and had more fun. Another reason was the two players in the game were getting on my nerves.
JIM: Hey, I’ve got feelings you know!
DAVID: No, you don’t!
CHARLIE: One always came to the game table with a piss poor attitude.
DAVID: Guess who Jim? You’ve been shinning today too!
CHARLIE: And the other had to be told what to do and how to do it all the time. He needs your Dummies book.
JOHN: Let me describe the scene before this gets out of control.
DAVID: Too Late!
CHARLIE: Do we all know each other in the game?
JOHN: You all grew up in a small territory where everyone knows each other. (Sorts through some papers.) Here is a map of the world of Rappen Athuk. In this fantasy world you are from the northern region near the Dragon Marsh Lowlands in the area of Coast Road.
CHARLIE: What if I don’t want to be from there?
JOHN: Don’t argue with me today Charlie!
JIM: Don’t play is a good answer!
JOHN: Jim. “What is your character’s name?”
JIM: Marcus, he’s just a wing it sort of guy.
JOHN: Okay, then he will be the lesser noble. David, “what is your evil Rogue/Wizard’s name?”
(Pause. David appears emotionally hurt.)
DAVID: Whatever are you talking about?
CHARLIE: Ha Ha!
JIM: Ha Ha!
DAVID: His name is Sater.
JOHN: Charlie, what have you come up with?”
CHARLIE: I’m undecided.
DAVID: Go Figure! I’m sure it will be something stupid when you do. Want to borrow my book?
CHARLIE: (Slaps David’s shoulder playfully.) Hey! Fine I’ll name him Jax.
DAVID: More like Joker.
CHARLIE: No, Not Joker, J-A-X!!!
JOHN: Let me start then will you?
(The scene off stage goes dark.)
SCENE 2, SETTING “A”
(The same scene of the dayroom.)
SCENE 2, SETTING “B”
(The main stage is set in a summer day in a wooded area. The background shows a dirt road going over the horizon’s edge. There is a large rock at up right stage. There is a fallen tree at down center stage. The road in the backdrop appears to carry light through and into the audience. There are bushes scattered about both sides of the stage. The curtains open with the lights up. A spotlight shines down on John, off stage.)
JOHN: Everyone give me a brief description of your character.
(The spotlight fades off John and onto Charlie. On stage there are three people in freeze frame. Each one animates into action and looks toward the audience as each player gives their description.)
CHARLIE: Jax has long blonde hair and blue eyes. He is in his early twenties. Dressed in chainmail armor and wears a longsword upon his right hip. He has a few visible battle wounds, but is in the prime of his life.
(Jax smoothes back his hair, straightens his chainmail armor, and adjusts his longsword upon his hip. The spotlight fades off Charlie and onto Jim.)
JIM: Marcus has short brown hair and eyes. In his late twenties. He wears courtier’s clothing of that of a lesser noble and wears a longsword upon his left hip. He is very well groomed, not one to associate with commoners.
(Marcus smoothes back his hair, straightens his clothing, and adjusts his longsword upon his hip. The spotlight fades off Jim and onto David.)
DAVID: Sater has long black hair and blue eyes. He is in his early twenties. He wears black leather and cloak with a dagger at his left hip. He has the look of someone who could be mischievous at heart.
(Sater smoothes back his hair, straightens his cloak, and adjusts his dagger. The spotlight fades off.)
(The curtain closes briefly and reopens with the characters in their positions and the spotlight shines down on John.)
JOHN: (Jax is at up center stage facing down stage.)
As Jax walks down the road proudly displaying his longsword on his hip, he sees a log laying in the middle of it with a figure underneath on the far side.
(He crouches down at up center stage.)
He looks around, very aware of his surroundings.
(He creeps down the right stage in the bushes to the fallen log at down center stage.)
On the other side of the log trapped is Marcus and his sword, sword arm, and legs are trapped beneath the log, but you also see . . .
(Suddenly a twig snaps under Jax’s feet.)
Marcus turns his head toward Jax, but not enough to see who it is.
(Marcus struggles in vain to free himself, sword, and sword arm from the weight of the log.)
Jax sees a shadowy figure on the other side of the log crouched down in the bushes. He doesn’t know who it is as the figure has a black cloak on and the cowl up, though he does look like he is up to no good as he has a dagger in his hand.
(Jax springs from his crouch in the direction of the trapped man.)
Marcus recognizes the man charging toward him from behind.
MARCUS: Jax, Don’t Kill Me, It’s Marcus!
(Jax charges past Marcus and into the bushes opposite the log as Marcus struggles frantically.)
JOHN: Jax recognizes the figure in black just as he charges past Marcus on the ground, it’s Sater.
(Jax bulrushes Sater to the ground and they roll back to down far left stage. The spotlight fades off.)
JAX: Stand Down Sater! What are you doing? (Jax stands and brushes himself off.)
SATER: Jax? I can’t believe it’s you. While you were away at war my Ma and Pa were killed by those Rayhu Orcs from the west. So, I have been down on my luck and forced to be a brigand. Then I saw this guy trapped with a fat sack.
JAX: Didn’t you even recognize Marcus?
SATER: Yes, but I am pretty desperate. I was only going to rob him. Not kill him. Do you think me for a Joker?
JAX: Sir Marcus is trapped and helpless.
SATER: I know, the genius of my plan, HA HA.
(Jax helps Sater up.)
JAX: He will have your thumbs if he even thought you would rob him. I know him enough for that.
SATER: Oh yea, you used to date his sister, Carlita.
JAX: Not The Point!
SATER: But anyway, I don’t know what to do. I’m out of options. Besides what do you care? You haven’t been around.
JAX: What the Hell is that supposed to mean? You know I was at war! You have to go now! Before Sir Marcus suspects trouble. I’ll tell him I thought I saw something. Now Go!
(They study each other intently.)
SATER: Just stay here and I will hit you and rob Marcus. Then you can act like you recovered and go help him.
JAX: No! I’m willing to help you Sater, but not like this. How much do you need to get you on your feet?
SATER: One hundred gold pieces!
JAX: Perhaps, I can help with that much but it will take time.
MARCUS: Jax! What’s going on over there?
(Pause. Sater exits down left stage.)
Jax are you okay?! Are you still there?!
JAX: Sir Marcus! Sorry to delay!
(Reenters down center stage.)
MARCUS: What was that all about?
(Looking in the direction Jax came from.)
JAX: I saw an Orc. It’s gone now. Is anything broken?
(He bends to feel Marcus’ legs and arm.)
MARCUS: Please help me get this log off me.
(Struggles to push the log.)
JAX: Are you bleeding?
(Feels around his legs some more.)
MARCUS: No, I don’t think so? Do you think you can move the log?
JAX: I don’t know . . . But I will try.
(Moves around to the end of the log.)
(Pause. Jax tries to move the log.)
JAX: Nope, tell me why you’re out here while I think of something.
(Looks off up center stage and off stage into the audience.)
MARCUS: I was here for my sister, Carlita.
(Sater enters up left stage on the road.)
JAX: Hey Sater! Sir Marcus is trapped under a log. Can you help me?
SATER: I don’t know, but I’ll try. Maybe we can use something for leverage?
(Running to down center stage.)
MARCUS: Grab that rock over there Sater.
(Pointing to left stage bushes.)
Jax find a hefty branch to help give you some leverage.
(Jax exits off right stage.)
JAX: I found one.
SATER: Damn Jax! You don’t have to tear down the forest.
(Positioning the rock by the fallen log.)
JAX: (Jax enters the stage with a very long and large branch. He positions the branch end just right and pushes down.) Damn Sater! Can’t you do anything right? Move that rock back some, so I can get in there.
SATER: Don’t you start with me! I have enough problems . . .
MARCUS: Hey! The situation at hand! Whatever it is can wait!
SATER: (Sater repositions the rock and moves to the end of the log and helps lift.)
Yea Yea, sorry Sir Marcus. Try it now Jax.
JAX: I didn’t mean to get on you Sater. (Pushes down on the branch.) Can you get out now Marcus?
(Pause. Marcus slides out from under the log and rubs his arm and legs to get the circulation going again. He gets up and brushes himself off.)
MARCUS: Man, I thought I was a dead man. I could have been robbed or killed by someone passing by. Hell that trap log almost did it.
JAX: What do you mean trapped?
MARCUS: Well, it’s like this, my sister Carlita is being held for ransom. I guess they tried to get me too? So, Sater is there anything I can help you with concerning your problem?
JAX: Yea, what was up with all the attitude?
(Marcus walks over to the rock at up right stage and places a leather pouch under it in a niche.)
Sir Marcus, what are you doing?
MARCUS: I was supposed to leave the money to the amount of one-hundred gold at lovers rock. Well Sater?
SATER: Sounds like my problem can wait. Jax, isn’t Carlita your old girlfriend?
JAX: Yea, Marcus is it anything serious?
MARCUS: No, just two lesser houses feuding. Sater what’s up? Last chance.
SATER: My family was killed by the Rayhu Orcs. I need some coin to survive.
MARCUS: Well, I was going to find some men to go with me to explore the new map I acquired from another house to the Old Dungeon of Graves to the west over the horizon’s edge. What do you say we all go together after I finish with my business. Jax, why did you break up with Carlita?
JAX: Well, I had to go away to war. Let me help you get her back.
JAX: I still love her!
MARCUS: Look you’ve both helped me enough. Jax the only way you can help me is to get back together with Carlita as I think she still loves you too.
SATER: I couldn’t ask you to help me.
MARCUS: You didn’t. I offered. It’s the least I could do. Besides, you may not live through it, but I know it is in Rayhu Orc territory.
JAX: Then it’s settled!
SATER: Thank you both!
(He gives Jax a knowing look. Marcus exits down right stage.)
You old sly dog you, Jax.
JAX: I didn’t do anything. You should have let me handle the situation and went home like I told you to.
SATER: I was just trying to help.
JAX: Yea, you did and now I have to go into a dungeon I didn’t want to.
SATER: Okay! I’m sorry.
JAX: See you tomorrow morning bright and early.
(Exit down right stage.)
SATER: Okay. I’ll be ready.
(Looks down right stage and moves to lovers rock.)
JAX: (From off down right stage.) Sater! Don’t Do It!
(Sater exits up left stage. The curtain closes.)
SCENE 3, SETTING “A”
(The same scene of the dayroom.)
SCENE 3, SETTING “B”
(The same scene of the prison cell block.)
(The lights come up in the dayroom.)
DAVID: John what’s this Dungeon of Graves all about?
JOHN: It’s a bad ass dungeon module I ordered from one of the mail in game companies.
JIM: Why did Marcus have to start out under a tree?
JOHN: It’s called railroading the character.
JIM: Well, that’s not fair.
DAVID: Who said it was?
(The curtains open on the main stage and the officer is pacing up and down center stage.)
OFFICER: Chow Going Out!!!
(John, Charlie, Jim, and David begin to get up.)
CHARLIE: What happens now?
JOHN: You’ll find out over the Horizon’s Edge after chow.
DAVID: That’s what they said about my answer for parole too. Over the Horizon’s Edge my ass.
(All four walk onto center stage and the curtain closes. The lights on the dayroom go dark.)