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Rialacha Teach Mhorgunna


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And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

You probably remember the people that sat around the table at that first role playing game. You certainly will recall the brand of game … and maybe what kind of character you played.

But do you remember the first monster you faced?

Mine was a dog. Not a Hell Hound … not a Warg … not a war dog. It was a dog … a dog named Eric.

I was very excited. I had been invited over to Frank's and Sue's house for dinner … and my very first game of Dungeons and Dragons. I was going straight over from work on Saturday … armed with only the barest of equipment … the starter box kit. Frank had told me I needed to pick it up as he didn't have any books any more. We would have to even share the dice. Still I could hardly wait. As we were leaving work with my directions to his house in hand, Frank turned to me and looked a little sheepish.

“Umm … John … we may be a little late,” he said. “We have to pick up the food. So if we aren't home and you go to the door and knock and we don't answer … we aren't home.”

I stared at him and replied, “Ooookay.”

Frank started to laugh and said shaking his head, “I forgot we left Eric out today.”

I stared at him and replied, “Ooookay.”

“Eric is our doberman. We sort of live in a rough neighborhood and he protects the house while we are away. He will let you in the yard … he just won't let you out. What ever you do, if we're not home, don't try to leave the fenced in yard. Seriously, sit down on the steps and wait.”

I stared at him and replied, “Ooookay.”

I have to admit, I found this a bit unnerving. So rather than rushing over to his house as I had planned, I went home and cleaned up so I could give everybody a little time. Still, when I got there, I looked for any cars or any evidence of somebody being at home. Nothing. But then I didn't see the dog either. I decided to take the chance.

I had not taken more than five steps into the yard, past the gate when Eric came around the corner. He had a bouncy gate like a puppy, but his size immediately brought to mind Frank's warning.

“If we aren't there … sit down on the step and don't move and wait for us.”

So I did exactly that. I sat down on the concrete steps and waited. Curious, Eric came to investigate. I closed my hand and made a flat fist to let him sniff. He seemed satisfied and I began petting him. I petted him. I stroked and scratched his back and behind the ears. I rubbed under his chin. Soon he has sitting next to me on the steps. I wondered wither Frank had been pulling my leg. Eric seemed a big softie who liked attention.

After an hour, I was feeling a little bored. I figured I would go to my car and get my stuff, so I could go over the rules one more time before we played. I got to the gate and paused. I looked back at Eric for any sign of aggression. All he did was whimper and wag his tail. So I went out relieved and came back with my treasured box and took perch again on the porch with Eric. Not long … maybe a good ten minutes, along came Frank and Sue.

Sue was afraid that since it took so long that I had given up and gone home. Frank laughed and said that Eric had kept me from leaving. I told him that I had left the yard to get the starter kit. Frank seemed genuinely surprised and said I was joking. I showed them that all Eric would do on my departure is whine. He repeated the performance … wagging his tail at my return. Frank and Sue just stared in disbelief. Once inside Eric tried to sit on my lap, but to no avail. The dog took up more of the chair than I did. He had to be satisfied with laying his head in my lap, which just fit.

Frank's younger brother, Paul joined us later to play as well. He was told how Eric had let me out of the yard. Paul smiled and said that Eric must finally be mellowing out. As he reached down to pet the dog, Eric about took his arm off.

Eric never did mellow out. But over the next two years, as we played at Frank's house, he was my lap dog … as circumstances would allow. I played, making my rolls with one hand and petting my buddy on the head with the other.

And that was my first monster.

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  1. LordEntrails's Avatar

    Dogs have a sense. I'll admit, if I have a service guy in my house that my dogs don't like, I hang around.
  2. dulux-oz's Avatar
    Mine was a cat - one of those big, white fluffy ones.

    I sat there with it on my lap, stroking it. After about 10 minutes everyone else just burst out laughing. I asked them why. They said because they all had the exact same thought: "Here was Dr. Dulux, evilly stroking his feline familial while plotting to take over the world!"
  3. MarianDz's Avatar
    My was bat followed with rat :p

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