Touch of the Wraith

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"You come over the rise, the moonlight bright enough to illuminate the entire scene before you.

"It's a battlefield. A hundred, maybe two-hundred bodies litter the floor. Their banners and coats of arms on the shields tell you that both armies have suffered equally. One one side, the men of Queen Arganta, their red and yellow standard leaning heavily to the side surrounded by the dead. On the other, the deep blue of Duke Arianathan, his soldiers and horses lying in dark stained earth.

"Roll for awareness."

There was a shuffling and clattering of dice. "I get a one - I'm pretty much aware of everything!" piped up Don.

The dungeon master nodded and turned back to his notes. "You can see a black shape, like a ghost moving between the bodies. It is a wraith."

"A what?" Keith questioned.

"A wraith," doing his best deep voice to signal his paladin character is speaking, Andrew entered the conversation. "Pure evil. Its touch means death." Andrew's voice changed to his own as he added conspiratorially: "It'll drain a level every time it touches you - no save! Don't go near it."

"I can destroy it!" Hubert's voice was confident. "My magic is strong!"

"Do you want to go forward?" Michael, the dungeon master, smiled.

"I will!" Hubert continued, "Sir Callan, are you accompanying me?"

"I am!" Andrew added in his deep thunder. "Let us vanquish this beast!"


* * *


Mine! Your memories, your life! Mine!

Hubert vomited, his back arching painfully as the burning liquid forced itself from his throat. The game was so vivid. Its memory so staggeringly present. Where was he?


* * *


"How did your game go?" Mary Grange opened the back door as her son pushed his bicycle back into the garden.

"Rubbish," moaned Hubert. "I died. There was this stupid undead badguy thing called a wraith. It was far too powerful for us and killed us just by touching us. Michael was well off with the balance. We argued for most of the afternoon about it. No one is very happy."

"Ah well, never mind. I've made dinner."


* * *


Hubert tried to get himself to his feet but his body felt disconnected, like it no longer belonged to him. His headache was ferocious; his brain seemed to be freezing. Something was there, a dark shape in the nighttime darkness.

Where was he?


* * *


"So I tap these three Plains, this Island and this Swamp and cast..." Hubert checked the name of the card, "Serra Angel!"

"Damn!"

"That good?"

"Yeah, she flies and she doesn't tap to attack which means you can attack every turn and still have her there to block with. My stupid mammoth is never getting through now."

"Good! It's already done me nine damage all by itself. Anyway, your go."

Doug untapped and drew a card. He smiled before slamming it onto the floor. "Bog Wraith!" he declared, twisting his land cards sideways to indicate the casting. "It might only be a three-three but it has swampwalk!"

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