Motley Microfiction: Weekday Warriors

Around the tavern’s table sit the four most-feared warriors in all the land: Conan the Bloodthirsty, Robin Quicksilver, Esmeralda Copperflame, and their leader, Paisimander the Wise.

Dice clatter on the table.

“A disgruntled middle manager flanked by auditors appears,” says Paisimander. “Conan, you’re first.”

“My accountant casts Creative Accounting,” announces Conan.

“That’s a +2 deflection bonus versus mathematical attacks. The middle manager begins Motivational Blather.”

Chaos breaks loose. “Quick, someone interrupt him!”

“Cast Extra-Long Lunch Break?”

“No, try this: we duck into the Break Room for coffee.” Everyone grunts their agreement.

Dice clatter.

“Coffee maker’s busted.”


“We’re so screwed.”


Conan the Barbarian (1982 film)
Once, we were the warriors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s story is an homage to the changing faces of heroism. I love RPGs, both in video game and tabletop game form. It cracks me up about medieval RPGS in particular how we indulge in escapism by imagining life in what was, objectively, a very hard time period to live in. While the life of a medieval warrior may have been pretty good compared to his peasant and serf counterparts, I’d wager he’d trade it all for the chance to be an accountant living now. Coffee breaks, dental insurance… what’s not to like about an extended life span?

And so today, I’ve given them a chance to live out their wildest fantasies in my story.

An insightful reader who previewed this story pointed out that in some ways, this reversal is also about growing up. We used to be the warriors, but then we became adults, got jobs, and are now the accountants. But we are more like warriors playing at being an accountant. Underneath we’re still the over-muscled heroes we were all along.

Do you enjoy RPGs? How do you feel about the change from weekend to weekday warriors in our old age?

8 thoughts on “Motley Microfiction: Weekday Warriors

  1. I’ve had days like this, it’s also got a touch of underdog solidarity to it. Evading the MD-dragons whilst raiding the office-dungeon for gold, hoping only to escape with your lives…

    Weirdly, I was also talking to my friends yesterday about getting an RPG up and running. It’s been a while, it’s now at the stage that it feels like it would be easier to write another book than prepare for all the eventualities my friends could throw at me. I’ll keep that extra long-lunch break in the bag, just in case.

    1. Which RPG are you guys playing? My friends and I have an on-again off-again D&D campaign going that keeps dying out until, months later, I suddenly get the inspiration to write another adventure. It’s a lot of work, though; I’m agreed that it’s MUCH tougher than even noveling. Probably because the many, many rulebooks bring out my most OCD tendencies, and then I get overwhelmed and want to kill all the players off. :-p

      1. GURPS 4th ed, old school baby! I’ve got the OCD problem as well – I’ve made a deal with the most awkward of my PCs which is he helps me steer it towards the plot and doesn’t totally spike me at every turn. But he did also say he wants to be half dwarf, half troll *sigh*

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