Dungeoneer’s Diary #13 – The Cruel Carnivorous Strawberry

Posted: March 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

Praise! A victorious day! For tomorrow is not promised!

© 2018 G.N. Jacobs

Excerpted from the journals of Stephor the Seeker:

“Everybody run!” I had shouted pointing to the table where the victor would soon raise her spoon against the traditional meal.

I suppose I should backtrack a bit, I do so love my in media res openings. In my travels seeking to unite my compass with what I believed sure was now named the Necklace of Theongrave, I had occasion to visit Britain, the part called England, during a particularly warm spring only to blunder into the tennis at Wimbledon. Largely because I haven’t permission to open my mouth about a lady, I will skip over the part where I met, romanced and ultimately parted with one of the female contenders, later crowned Queen and Champion of Centre Court. And she must remain safely anonymous. If it matters, we cried at the leaving.

Anyway, I digress. The lady in question is surprisingly relevant to what happened next and will thus be alluded to anonymously. As part of her competition ritual, the lady prefers to watch movies with quite a bit of cartoonish gore the night before a big match. On this particular night, the she insisted on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. We laughed and the other things as you might guess. I hummed the immensely catchy theme song, but not the intentionally horrible Tomato Death Song, as I made my morning grooming ritual watching her sleep contentedly in the warm morning light.

She played her match practically giving the truth to the playground boast about still winning with both hands tied behind her back. And then, holding silver platter aloft and saying the required platitudes about gratitude and sportsmanship all champions give someone mentioned the strawberries and cream traditionally fed to the victor. My Lady Nettia of Racquet produced the pearl white smile that had hooked me a week earlier during the bracket competition. She may have been hoping for a picture to entice strawberry growers to give an endorsement. In fairness, strawberries are good in of themselves, especially when you chew and hear them scream, but I’m getting about fifteen minutes ahead of the main narrative.

My Lady allowed herself to be pulled towards the bowl. Cameras flashed. She raised her spoon saluting a fallen foe. And now we rejoin the narrative with me shouting my warning. Of course, this was a moment before anything happened so the crowds, reporters and the male contenders waiting their later turn at championship with victor’s strawberries and cream all looked at me as if I dropped my pants to reveal a happy face painted down there. I sometimes am able to feel nasty turns in the local magic or technology (to the extent these may be the same thing) and I gave warning.

A few seconds later, the two hundred or so strawberries held in the crisper for the champions emerged taking a hovering flight of the kind that violates physical law unless magic is part of the equation. Even I screamed like a small child allowed to stay up eating sugar and to watch the more terrifying horror movies in Earth’s oeuvre, like, say, The Exorcist…

Editor’s Note:

It is at this point, that I will cut into Stephor’s narrative about the apparently covered up Wimbledon Carnivorous Strawberry Attack of 2018, even as gory as the story gets with a tennis crowd fighting off the strawberries with tennis racquets, cream and peanut butter what with fingers getting bit off and such. And so for those of us living in a more mundane world where a roleplaying game blogger goofed around on Facebook referring to a Carnivorous Strawberry in an unrelated post, what are the game stats?

It would seem that these lethal berries are pissed off swarm animals with behavior much like Africanized Honeybees. Presumably, vibrations, sound and pheromone triggers will induce an attack as will a feeling of great threat like, say, close proximity to cream or the more apparently more effective of creamy peanut butter and toast. The strawberries quickly choose leader-berries that they feed first in order to make decisions about tactics instinctively using their levitating-flying abilities to eat perceived threats first.

Since these fruit that bite back start out as regular produce, a DM/GM would be well advised to give each individual a single or two hit points for each. I suggest that each hit point eaten from victims increases the size of the biting strawberry to the tune of three hit points gained. So win the fight early or there is no telling how large they get. And eating the strawberries will regenerate all injuries caused by these bites, even recovering fingers, toes and noses.

As stated above before excision from a longer more boring version of this post, a song or rhyming couplets involving why we eat such things will stun the strawberries. In the pseudo-science rattling around between my ears, mentioning cream is slightly effective but peanut butter really does the trick. Why? You have to crush strawberries to make jam. And, yes, as a roleplaying note, they scream in the most satisfying way when you chew and swallow.

While we’re on the subject of the songs and rhyming poetry about how tasty strawberries are, yeah, I do have to whip up something for Stephor to have recited/sung with feeling to save his lover and the crowd…

Red heart

Pitted with seeds

Sweet tart

Bathing in the white of valorous deeds

Red jam, Red jam

On a smooth field of brown

Toast, between them we slam

Evil sweet goin’ down!

(It’s been a long while).

Now, there are a few things that another DM/GM is perfectly justified tweaking to make these vile beast individual to his/her game and to prevent the phenomenon of players reading ahead in the monster books. First, since I specifically goofed on tennis and Wimbledon a GM/DM does get to vary the mayhem due to the presence of tennis racquets. I merely thought of them as handy objects of blunt force trauma. But, as I toss the Carnivorous Strawberries into the care of others, I won’t get huffy if someone else has a better brain fart that makes for an even more hilarious monster fight. Something about tennis racquets as a help or hindrance could go a long way.

Next, please, Dear God, don’t just confine this one to strawberries. The same magical/supervillain DNA technologies that cause these things are equally applicable to wine or table grapes, apples, tomatoes (direct plagiarism alert), carrots, refried beans or whatever produce is tastiest to eat. For instance, a wine grape swarm will likely snap at Lucy and Ethel’s ankles chasing them away. The varieties of mayhem are endless. And with that I have a bowl of fruit to consume…

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