I accepted Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge: "Who the Fuck is My D&D Character."I got: CURIOUS GNOME WIZARD FROM A NOCTURNAL TOWN WHO FAILED OUT OF EVERY GUILD GOING.The Challenge was too awesome to pass up, and obscenely fun to write. Hope you enjoy!
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“Tell me what you think your biggest fault is, as a team member.”
“If I had to describe my greatest fault, I’d have to go with “curiosity.” Just an unquenchable desire to know and see and do and try. This caused me no end of trouble back home in Qualf; they just really don’t appreciate a true spirit of inquiry. Qualf is in the hills, you know, the ones ruled by...oh what is his name? He’s a king. Or maybe she’s a queen. President? You know, politics were never my thing.
Anyway, so, yes, curiousity if my biggest flaw. You know, just want to learn everything, have to reign myself in.”
“...Alright. Curiosity. Great. Can you tell me about your previous guild experience?”
“Previous guilds? Yes, well. Of course there was the hometown guild. Run by dwarves, you know. We specialized in particularly difficult or dangerous alchemical brews, so the whole town was strictly nocturnal. You know, allegedly to limit the exposure to sunlight, heat, strong breezes. To this day I still start yawning when subjected to bright sunlight.
How did I come to leave the guild? Well, you see. Um. So, as I say, I was a curious little thing (even littler than I am now, hehehe...ahem), and I started to wonder if all of this hoopla about sunlight and heat was just a lot of bunk. I mean, lots of people do alchemy without needing an entirely nocturnal town! The more I thought about it, and the more I investigated, the more it seemed like this whole business was fishy! And then, well, when I thought about the fact that the guild and the town had been founded by a dwarf - a dwarf! Well, of course you know they hate sunlight, what with preferring to live underground and all - no offense, by the way. Some of my best friends are dwarves.
So, I set out to prove that we were living lives of perpetual night for no reason. I set up an alchemical experiment - I was subjected to a spell of secrecy upon my departure. Apparently they didn’t trust a traditional oath.
Anyhoo - I can say I was transmuting some basic gems and minerals, nothing flashy, in the town square at noon...everything was going really well. Then, it’s possible I factored something wrong, or maybe it was that the sun came out from behind a cloud, and it was very breezy that day. It...well, it sort of exploded. Apparently those reactions really are that sensitive! You know, everyone made such a big deal out of it, but really, the inn and the stables were only mildly damaged, and, everyone should have been impressed that I got that big of a reaction just by shuulkekec ghekhech, druukaan khror, duun lhal, ac akeluur taar.
Oh dear. I’m sorry, it’s that spell kicking in. I don't think they would have made such a big deal of it if that wall in the inn hadn't collapsed...and if everyone hadn't been able to see the mayor with that stable boy...definitely not sleeping. Not that I judge! Nothing wrong with a little healthy dwarf on gnome love! The mayor's husband? Not so forgiving. So, well, it was decided that me moving on was probably best for everyone. Best thing for me, I’d say, I mean, who wants to live under such constraints all the time?
So, once I realized that I needed to go elsewhere to express my creative genius, I decided to go in search of a guild more welcoming of my innovative spirit. I journeyed a bit, as young wizards do, and found a little town with a guild entirely devoted to candle-making - which of course I was overqualified for, but every great adventurer needs a humble beginning, right? The guild master warned me that candle-making held little to no glamor, but I knew that I was just the wizard to change that!
I created an entirely unique candle formulation. Ultimately the guild chose not to use it, only because the locals - dragonborn are huffy and closed-minded - completely overreacted to a tiny beta-testing issue. My creation was a special wax that, though a proprietary chain reaction, generated its own heat and light when the wick was lit. The whole candle would glow instead of just the wick! Of course, with any truly visionary project, there will be problems. My first beta tester objected when the candle glowed and radiated so powerfully that it went completely molten. The rug was….well, a total loss. And the bedding too, actually the whole house, but you know, we managed to save part of the village, so it could have been worse! If she hadn’t been using that candle in a rather...creative manner, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. As it was, poor woman, I heard she couldn’t sit down for...ahem. So unfortunate.
Well, the guild master agreed that my candles were the wave of the future, but unfortunately the people of his town were just too stuck in their provincial ways to see it. He was forced, entirely against his better judgment, to let me go.
So, then there were a couple of hmm...misfires with a few other guilds: there was a really nice necromancer’s guild, but it was like home all over again - dark, serious, so little sunlight! We parted ways amicably. I don’t hold it against them that they weren’t ready for my revolutionary take on necromancy. I can’t say much more, since I signed that non-disclosure agreement, so I’ll just say it was all very avant garde. Also, take my word for it - watch your language around the risen dead. They have no understanding of colloquial turns of phrase. One errant ‘oh, fuck it’ and...well, like I said, I signed that non-disclosure, so I really shouldn’t get into it.
Let’s see...oh, then there were those--”
“Oh, my, it looks like we’re running out of time! Is there anything else you feel we should know about you?”
“We’re out of time already? I thought this was scheduled for an hour...Oh well. I do have one final demo to show you why I am absolutely the wizard to revolutionize your guild’s approach to dragon dung collection…
...please, don’t leave - I took the liberty of bringing just a small amount of dragon dung with me. As you know, it’s highly flammable, and that’s where I think the world is missing an opportunity. With the addition of just a few simple compounds, like so...”
No! Wait! I haven’t gotten to the big finish yet - just wait, you’ll see - Meat of Qualf is going to be the name in dragon dung collection!”