The Chaos Crushers' Day Off
by Alethea Kontis
"Where is that blight-brained halfling?" Hands on hips, Persimmon Petalwhisper stomped a
foot in exasperation. A burst of glitterspark and forget-me-nots sprang up beneath her expensive
heel and fell blessedly short of her couture mini dress. Persi enjoyed looking her best whenever
the guild wasn't adventuring hither and yon. But she couldn't afford to singe another hem with
Her guild uniform consisted of a dull but useful conglomeration of rags that concealed a
variety of supplies for mischief-making, and no shoes whatsoever. But as a result of the sleeping
sickness that still held High Wizard Vasim in its thrall, all their daily wear was receiving a much-needed cleaning. The Chaos Crushers had suddenly found themselves with some time off.
Which meant that today was game day. The guild gathered around the table in their usual
abandoned barrow. Most of them, anyway.
"Yenry's always late." Kian tied his shining locks of black hair back into a queue, revealing
the dusky pointed ears he normally kept hidden. "Mithrax knows why we put up with him."
"Because, even late, he always shows up." Azorius slid his shield beneath the stone bench.
"And he's usually very amusing."
"Unlike Bob." Nex crossed her very long legs. The curl of her blood red lip revealed a pointed
"He said he might show," said the paladin. "But you know Bob. They're a private person."
"Bob's probably a double agent," said the dark elf.
"Bob's not a double agent," said the dragon-shifter. "Bob's a jerk."
"It's tough being a gelatinous sphere," said Azorius.
"Try being a dragon stuck in a human-sized body needing to depend on that gelatinous sphere
for backup. Why is he part of this guild again?"
"He can kill anything," said the dark elf.
"Bob prefers 'they,' not 'he,'" said the paladin. "Be sensitive."
Nex's nostrils flared and smoked. In a gracefully sinuous move, she tossed the violet waves of
her hair over one turquoise shoulder. "Our guild is the Chaos CRUSHERS, not the Chaos
"We can play without Bob," said Persi. "But if that half-witted halfling doesn't bring us the
game soon, I'm going to kick him so hard he'll poop flowers for a fortnight."
Nex raised an eyebrow. "Your date didn't go well then?"
"Our date didn't happen at all! The numbskull 'lost track of time while acquiring a shining
treasure.' Shocker, right?" Persi crossed her arms. "I knew it was a bad idea. I never should have
said yes to him in the first place."
"But we've been dancing around this for years," said Azorius. "You two are perfect for each
other. Give him a chance."
"Nah." Nex snorted. "Cut his heart out and eat it instead."
"What she said," Kian chimed in. "I've got a blade or twelve you're welcome to borrow."
Persi smiled. Not one for the front lines of battle, she was more suited to the role of spy, thief,
healer, or good luck charm. But that never stopped her guild mates from suggesting that there
might be a bloodthirsty soul deep down inside her. It made Persi feel powerful. And that was why
she loved them. Well . . . all except Yenry.
As if summoned by thought, the halfling tumbled through the opening of the barrow in a cloud
of dust. He jumped quickly to his feet, spread his arms and cried, "TA-DA!"
"Are you being chased?" asked Azorius.