The Great God Gygax (short fiction)

Wren and Hess

It was official policy to pair partners across species whenever possible with the idea that it would diminish hanky panky among the ranks. It was semi-successful. No one was really surprised when a gnome and an elf overcame their height differences to end up falling into bed. And it was pretty much impossible to pair the catgirl with anyone, male or female, without sex happening eventually. Hell, Gendarme Wren had only been partnered with Officer Sheba for a week, and they’d almost made out.


Wren’s partner now was a lizardman named Hess. Hess wasn’t without his charms. He was tall, with striking emerald scales and broad shoulders. The tail was a little weird, and the iguana head didn’t do him any favors. Maybe with enough mead . . .

Not that it was an issue. Wren was married, and Hess had a clutch to support. They were both disciplined enough to keep their job strictly professional. Hess was a fine officer, if a little stoic at times. He checked with dispatch before pocketing the miniature crystal ball.

“Public disturbance,” he said.

Wren hated these calls. Give her a theft, a murder, an assault, a real crime any day. Something to hold onto. Public disturbances were a waste of her time. If she was lucky, they could defuse the situation without incident. She didn’t like arresting drunken sods. Especially because this was a tavern, one place drunken sods should always be welcomed.

Gods, she hoped this was a drunken sod.

Wren and Hess stepped into The Broken Tooth tavern. A rotund woman approached them immediately. “Finally. I was beginning to think you would never get here. They won’t stop bothering my customers. I’ve asked them to leave—”

“Yes, ma’am.” Wren, short enough that it wasn’t unusual for her to be mistaken for a tall dwarf now and then, looked up at the woman. “We’ll take care of it.”

The tavern owner pointed them toward the offending pair, though she didn’t really need to. The elf wizard and human knight, though dressed casually, wore their Guild pins on their chests.

“Not these idiots again,” said Hess.

“Can you honestly say you’re surprised?” Wren asked.

The Guild had become something of a problem lately. Originally created as a way of easing relations between “adventurers” and the law. In her mind, Wren always put quotes around “adventurers” because for the most part, they were just a bunch of violent idiots with delusions of grandeur. This had become worse lately because, while no one was looking, the Guild had transformed from a loose conglomeration of well-meaning morons to a new religion. Wren had little use for the old ones, but at least most of those had gone through that awkward research and development phase centuries ago and were relatively harmless. Even the faiths of chaos had worked out how to get along in the city.

The Guild had yet to figure it out. Nine times out of ten when a public disturbance happened, it was the damnable Guild behind it. She’d busted these two more than once, and they smiled at her approach.

“Ah, Gendarmes Wren and Hess,” said the elf in that condescending manner elves must have spent the first century of their lives mastering. “So good of you to join us. Are you here to listen to the truth we have to offer?”

“Come on, fellows,” Wren said. “Let’s go.”

The warrior put his hand on his sword. “You can’t tell me what to do. I’m a level nine knight. You’re a lowly level four constable.” He smirked.

“Now, now.” The elf folded his arms, cradling his staff against his chest. “It’s not the constable’s fault she choose her class poorly. You know, Officers, I see great potential in both of you. Have you considered taking up adventuring?”

“Are you sure we’re not allowed to shoot these idiots?” asked Hess.

Wren considered the flintlock on her hip. She had her ethics, but she wasn’t without temptation herself.

“We were just extolling the virtues of the Great God Gygax,” said the wizard. “Blessed are his rewards of power and glory. And all he asks for in return is treasure and blood.”

It was the blood part that bothered Wren the most. While “adventurers” were generally a violent lot, they’d become downright bloodthirsty lately. Right now, they kept the worst of their antics outside of her jurisdiction, but it was only a matter of time before some zealot, obsessed with his gods damned levels, would kill some innocent family of “monsters”. Assaults on goblin and kobold citizens were already at an all-time high. Funny how most of these glory-seeking adventurers avoided messing with any well-armed orcs or lizardmen. Anything that could put up a proper fight.
“I’m not telling you again. Move along or . . . ”

The foolish knight drew his sword and charged her. She didn’t shoot him.
She didn’t need to. Hess punched the warrior, who fell flat on his back and groaned. The tavern erupted in cheers.

Hess yanked the knight to his feet.

“But I’m level nine,” grunted the knight, clutching his bloodied nose as Hess dragged him away.

“My apologies, Officer,” said the elf. “He shall be docked the appropriate levels for his poor choices.”

The knight was thrown in a wagon to spend a few nights in jail. The wizard left without giving them any trouble, but trouble was on the horizon.

Someone would have to do something about the Guilders someday, but that wasn’t her job. Not yet anyway.

“Does this make me level five now?” asked Hess.

“I hope not,” Wren replied with a chuckle. “I’d hate to be left behind.”

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  1. thebibliomancer
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t expect this setting again but it was nice to read

  2. Bob Hanon
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I liked the light hearted treatment of the RPG world. I would like to read more about your characters Wren and Hess.

  3. Josh Camden
    Posted March 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m an RPG fan, so i loved it. For some reason, it reminds me of Robert Asprin.

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