Day 81. 138,834 words. Onto the last story now!
Today, by random association between discussions about over-sharing on social media and the differences between Diablo and World of Warcraft, I bring you an ancient masterpiece from days of yore (circa 2000 Usenet): The Ballad of the Hamster.
This is basically a lazy reposting of a Diablo 2 fan-fic I wrote for the lulz, before I think lulz were really a thing. I did a few bits but never really finished it, so this won’t take up many blog entries. But here it is. One day, I will go back to my Hardcore Necromancer and finish that game, but until then I am focussing on finishing the final short story in this anthology.
He stepped, fully-formed into the world. Fully formed, but mostly incomplete. He had long white hair – but wasn’t old, a fact which was easily proven by his arrival shortly beforehand – and a look on his face as if he had already decided not to be impressed by anything he saw in this world.
His name was Hamster II, and he didn’t know why.
In his hand he brandished a wand.
A crappy wand, Hamster II thought darkly.
Then he looked around. He was in some sort of camp. There were lots of women around. He decided this was good, but endeavoured not to be in the least bit impressed.
Right next to him, a man stood, with a bland, friendly expression on his face.
Schmuck, Hamster II thought.
The schmuck obviously had something to say.
“Hello there, stranger! I’m Warriv – ”
“Yeah, whatever,” Hamster II walked away. He headed towards the sound of a blacksmith’s shop, and was moderately disgusted to see it was a woman blacksmith.
Oh for fuck’s sake, he thought. This is ridiculous.
“Hi! You’re a necromancer, huh?”
“I guess so. Is that what this wand is?” Hamster II held up the crappy wand. It was about a foot long, and crappy. In fact, it was probably just a stick. A crappy stick.
The blacksmith ignored him vacuously. ”It sure is good to see some strong adventurers around here,” she burbled. ”I’m Charsi, the blacksmith here in the camp.”
“The anvil was a dead giveaway.”
“What can I do for you?”
Hamster II thought about that. He held up his stick. ”Wanna buy this?”
“What is it?”
Hamster II shrugged. ”Crappy wand.”
“Don’t you need it?”
“You hit people with it. And then use it to raise their skeletons from the dead.”
“How much will you give me for it?”
“One gold piece.”
“One! One! That’s pathetic!”
“You should go talk to Akara,” Charsi went on as if he hadn’t spoken.
“Whatever,” Hamster II shrugged and walked away.
Akara was even worse. She was, Hamster II decided, completely full of shit. She ranted and dribbled on about this lousy Rogues’ camp being the last bastion of hope and goodness in all the world, and then asked him to go out to some cave and kill some things.
He asked her if she wanted to buy his stick, and she offered him one gold coin for it.
“This is a fucking conspiracy,” Hamster II muttered. ”You want me to do your dirty work for you.”
He grumbled a bit more, then noticed he had some potions in his belt. Red ones. “What are these?”
“Healing potions,” Akara responded.
“How much will you give me for them?”
“Not a lot.”
In the end, armed with his stick and his little red bottles, Hamster II stalked out of the camp and onto what he was informed was the Blood Moor. He looked around, tempted to say something about justice and mercy and goodness.
“All who oppose me, beware,” was what came out.
As it happened, he didn’t have to look far for something to oppose him. A shambling zombie lurched out of the undergrowth. It was, if possible, even more stupid and annoying than the idiots in the Rogue camp.
“Can you tell me where to find the Den of Something-or-other?”
“Right. So do you know where it is or not? It’s, like, a cave.”
“Uurf, uurf aarf,” the zombie took a swing at him.
“Ow! You piece of…”
“Uurgh. Uurf, aarf.” Swing, swing, hit.
“Ow! Quit it!” Hamster II poked the zombie with his stick a few times, and it fell down dead. Deader than it was. Which was saying something. “Well, isn’t this wand supposed to be able to raise skeletons?” Hamster II twiddled the wand for a moment, remembering what Charsi had babbled about it. ”Come on then! Abracadabra!”
There was a whoosh, and the zombie corpse in front of him exploded in a cloud of fleshy bits. The skeleton within stood up, brushed itself off, and brandished its little sword.
“Where do we go now, chief? Huh? Where do we go, who do we kill? Watcha wanna do, huh?” the skeleton sniggered and ran back and forth like a puppy on a leash. ”Where to, what next, huh? Huh?”
Hamster II grinned. Here, at last, was something moderately cool.