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 Post subject: The DM is G-D.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:45 pm
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This was taken from Signs and Portents issue 25, a magazine published by Mongoose Publishing. You can get many issues on pdf for free here.


Written by Fey Boss

The scene - the heavens above, a mass of dense white clouds roiling in tumult below. Angelic construction workers crawl about, tap-tapping with staves and ploughshares that will later be beaten into swords. Above it all stands Our Heavenly Father, clad in overalls and flannel shirt, sleeves rolled up to His inexpressibly majestic elbows. A fat cigar hangs between His lips and the smoke from the end rises and then falls to add to the mass of unformed mist below.

Archangel Michael, somewhat less resplendent than usual for having grey muck under his fingernails, makes his way up to the Heavenly Foreman. ‘God? Hey, Boss, got a question for you, o Heavenly Creator.’ He touches his cap, then pulls it off to wipe at his forehead with a red and white polka-dot cloth. God rolls His cigar around to one side of His mouth.

‘Yeah, Mike, what’s up? How’s the construction going on the game world?’ He leans forward, squinting His eyes as He watches a squirming conga line of shirtless angels toss animal and plant parts from one set of hands to the next. ‘Looks like your boys are getting things in order. I hereby pronounce it Good - but what’s the deal? Running into problems?’

‘Rather,’ Michael agrees, stuffing his cloth away. ‘Look, God, I hate to be a bother, but, well, some of the boys, they’re starting to ask questions.’ He shuffles his feet, looking uncomfortable. ‘And, well, I don’t know what to tell them. I’ve got them calmed down for now, but it’d help if You wouldn’t mind - well, if You could talk to them, maybe.’

‘Questions?’ God frowns, and Michael looks away quickly. Without haste, God takes his cigar, stubbing it out. ‘Looks like that’s enough raw material for now. Just as well - these things hurt My throat. What kind of questions, Mike? Come on - walk with Me.’

Michael hurries along in God’s wake, his sword dragging a line of vegetation behind him. ‘Well, they’re feeling that You’re asking too much,’ he mutters uncomfortably. ‘All this work we’re putting in - it seems like a lot of work just to be able to play a game. The boys’re starting to get a bit antsy. I calmed them down for now, but I don’t know how long it’ll last.’

God sighs. ‘Already? Trade unions aren’t due for billions of years! Or six thousand. It all depends who you’re planning on asking, of course. Alright, Mike, so who’s the agitator? It’s Luke, isn’t it.’

‘Lucifer has been a bit - firm in his views, yes. But that’s not it, God.’ Michael leans against a cloud, rubbing his nose. ‘The problem is that the angels’re listening to him.’

‘Well, what’s he saying?’ God relights his stogie, putting it back between his teeth and chewing on it contemplatively. ‘Let me guess - the usual. I’m demanding too much, especially for a game, that I’m stingy on the XP, that I don’t provide good enough snacks?’

‘That’s about the size of it,’ Michael agrees, sticking his hands in his pockets. ‘He’s holding out for those marshmallow treats You sometimes make. Says if You wanted to, You could add peanut butter. That You don’t value your players enough, that You expect us to put in an awful lot of work on this new game of Yours - all this building, just so You can run the simulations, and You haven’t given us any dice yet.’

God snorts, taking His cigar away and exhaling a long plume of smoke. It goes up and collects into the shape of a girl in a chain mail bikini charging with a staff at a group of kobolds. Michael applauds politely, and God gestures in dismissal. ‘You should’ve seen the pin-up I did - now, that was worth saving. Keeping that for when I’m ready to find a mother for my kid, but I shouldn’t give plot away this early, that game hasn’t even started. Anyway, here’s what you do. Paying attention, Mike?’

Michael draws himself up smartly. ‘Paying attention, sir!’

‘No one likes a brownnoser, Mike. Right, here’s what you tell them.’ God sticks his cigar behind his ear, ignoring the thin trail of smoke ringing around above his head like a wreath. ‘First - I invented peanuts, and we don’t even have ‘em growing yet, peanut butter marshmallow treats are off the list. But here’s what I’ll do.’ He holds up a hand to forestall Michael’s protests. ‘I’ll make a special exception for the next gaming break, and I’ll bring enough Guinness for everyone. How’s that?’

‘God, You’re a genius.’ Michael beams happily. ‘I’ll go tell them right away, shall I?’ ‘You do that.’ God turns back to His examination of His work. ‘...Uh oh. Here comes Gabe. Go on, Mike, you go tell ‘em, I’ll deal with Gabe.’

Michael hurries off while another archangel, Gabriel, approaches. Gabriel is wearing darker clothing and has a bugle under one arm. ‘Evening, God,’ he greets the Creator. ‘Hope I’m not interrupting?’

‘Never. What’s up, Gabe?’ God offers Gabriel a quick salute and a smile around His cigar. ‘How’s the men shaping up? All ready for the next war game?’

‘Going pretty well. Or, well, it was. Seems some of the boys’re getting cranky about all the prep work. They don’t understand that in order to have a good game, they’ve got to pay attention to the terrain and the building of the armies.’ Gabriel shakes his head mournfully. ‘I blame Lucifer.’

‘Luke, again? What is it with that boy? I tell you, Gabe, I never should’ve brought him into the game.’ God looks annoyed, fisting a hand against His hip. ‘Next you’ll tell me he’s started weighting his dice so they’ll only roll natural twenties.’

‘You mean Mike didn’t tell You?’ Gabriel raises his eyebrows. ‘Though that’s not the worst of it.’ ‘You mean there’s more? Dangit, Gabe...’ God shakes His head, taking His cigar out of His mouth and looking down at it. ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with that boy. Luke’s a bright kid, I’d think if there’s anyone who’d know better, it’d be him. What’s he doing?’

‘Well, it’s about the game, God. He thinks You’re putting in too much work on it - that You won’t have time to run Your usual games for the rest of us.’ Gabriel shifts the position of his bugle under his arm. ‘He’s been really worried about it for a while, and he’s been getting everyone else worked up. Feels too that You might not put in enough work on keeping the game going, You’re so taken up with this new project of yours.’

‘Well, that’s real sweet of him to worry. But he needs to concentrate on getting his job done and not worry about Me getting Mine.’ God shakes His head, reaching into a pocket and pulling out a handful of gemstones. Rattling them, He remarks, ‘Here. Give him some of these, won’t you? Maybe a few dice will make him feel better - a little gift, you understand.’

‘Might want to hold off, God. I haven’t told you everything.’ Gabriel twitches in place, taking the gems but not putting them away. ‘See, he... well, I don’t know how to say this.’

God reaches into a cloud, pulling out a can of Boddington’s and cracking it open. He drinks thirstily, then sets the can on the air. ‘Go on, I’m about as ready to hear it as ever.’

‘Well,’ Gabriel mutters, looking down at his feet, ‘since You’re so busy with this new game, setting it up and all - well, Luke’s started a game of his own, on the side. Bunch of the other angels are playing in it- using their characters from Your campaign.’

‘They’re WHAT? Right, that’s it!’ God sputters, spraying Boddington’s to rain down on the mist below. ‘Gabe, grab your horn; it’s quitting time. Get your boys together!’

‘What’re You going to do, God? Or I mean, what do You want us to do?’ Gabriel immediately brings himself to attention, straightening and bringing his bugle up towards his lips. ‘I’m at your command, my Lord, but let me know.’

God turns away, stalking towards His Almighty Office, rolling down His sleeves. ‘Those ungrateful gits are OUT of the game, Gabe. I don’t care what you have to do, but get ‘em outta here, especially Lucifer! - And TAKE AWAY THEIR DICE!’ The slamming of God’s door coincides nicely with the blowing of Gabriel’s horn. God fl ings Himself down in
His chair, putting His boots up on the desk as he leans back. ‘Imagine that,’ the Creator mutters. ‘I go to all this trouble to make a nice game for everyone, and someone has to go and ruin it. Ah well,’ He sighs. ‘And to think the d20 system hasn’t even been invented yet.’


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