"Who takes this boy as his apprentice? He has broken his bond to the mage and must be apprenticed in The Ways."
The high school gym seemed like the most ridiculous place to find a bunch of guys dressed up like it was Halloween. A bunch of grown, adult, guys anyway. I had no idea when I joined The Gamer's Guild that this was really what it was all about. I thought we'd sit in some guys basement and roll dice or play video games or just meet up online in one of those MMOs. But no. Instead I get hooked up with the freak show who likes to act these things out in reality.
On cue, a rather rotund individual dressed in what looks like a bear skin rug that was found at the garbage dump (which, indeed, it was), replies "We of the barbarian guild shall apprentice him. We shall help him forget the hocus pocus of the mage and teach him real combat."
At that remark, a bunch of Gandalf look-a-likes waved their paper mache' staffs in a matter that they thought was menacing but was really just stupid.
Why did I stick with this group, you might ask? Well, honestly, I had nothing better to do. My girl had dumped me, I don't have any real friends at work, and there's really no social scene in this town. So these guys are it.
The mage guild leader shoved me toward the "barbarians". They took my staff and handed me a cardboard sword thing that, if it had been made of metal, would weigh a ton. It was bigger than my Geo Metro. Well, hopefully these guys would be more fun than the "mages" who took this thing way too seriously. The barbarians seemed a lot more laid back.
"This concludes the assignment ceremony, let us commence with the feast!"
Now we're talking. This is what I really wanted out of these guys, pizza and beer. (I know, we shouldn't have beer on school grounds, but the head of the rogue's guild was the head janitor. He's in a prayer group with the vice principal so it all works out.) Once these guys are fed and drunk, they're a lot more fun.
"Hold!", called an unfamiliar voice from somewhere, "I call the challenge."
Oh, come on, I thought, this is ludicrous. Can't we have pizza first?
The ranks of the mage guild parted to show where the voice had come from. It was a girl. A girl? I didn't know we had any women in this group! And not only a woman, an attractive woman, in a very flattering costume. Unlike the characters you see in those online games or the fan-art sites, she was covered, no neck line down to the belly button, no metal corset that pushed her chest up to her chin, no leopard skin thong. But while her guise was modest, it was none-the-less very beautiful. I know, I'm a guy, I'm not supposed to use words like "beautiful", but it really was. Black, floor-length, and form-fitting, but not tight. She obviously had it custom made. Must have been expensive. She, herself was stunning as well. Very fit and would be pretty in the face if she wasn't wearing purple contact lenses. She didn't fit at all with the middle-age fat guys that made up this group.
If I had known she was part of the mage guild, I wouldn't have changed sides, I thought to myself.
"I challenge the apprentice barbarian," she said, "for he may reveal our secrets to his new guild."
I mage leader turned to me and asked "Do you know her?" I didn't think much of it at the time and just shrugged, but I'd find out later that he didn't know her either. Nor did anyone in the gym that night.
The guys started to mumble among themselves, some were saying "can we do this later, I wanna get drunk" but most were surprised to be in the same room with a woman that wasn't their mom. Only the guild leaders seemed concerned that a stranger had invaded our "secret" meeting.