“So tell me why you came to see me today, Nale.” It was as good a prompt as any, Doctor Yamaha thought. The brat had spent the bulk of the session bragging about how well his latest dungeon crawl had gone (probably because his own friends were sick of hearing about it), so now that there was a lull in the conversation they should probably try to get to some actual therapy.

“Same stuff as usual,” said the goateed teen with a shrug, “I’m bored. Dad won’t let me command some of his army. I spend more time with Thog than I did with my last girlfriend. I’m here more to spite Dad by wasting his money than for actual help. Don’t think there’s a prescription for that.”

“Maybe a better girlfriend…” the therapist murmured.

“Really?” said Nale.

“No,” said the therapist hurriedly, “I was joking.”

“Because I think some sexual validation could really help me with my self esteem issues…” the blonde mused.

“You don’t have self esteem issues, Nale.” You’re an egomaniac. Which was the problem with being the kid’s therapist in the first place; his father was the local Tyrant, so it wouldn’t exactly be the wisest course of action to imply that there was anything wrong with the boy’s consuming obsession with what a gift to the world he was.

“I’m just putting my mental health first, here,” said Nale quite seriously, “And if I recall correctly, it is your job to do the same.”

“Of course,” said Yamaha as tolerantly as he could manage, “Alright. Then stop to consider that self esteem comes from within, not without.”

“I dunno,” said Nale, “I like the idea of sexual validation.”

“Why haven’t you gone on a campaign yet?” Yamaha soldiered on.

“Excuse me?” said Nale.

“You know,” he said, “A campaign. You and Thog have done what? Some grinding? A few mini-quests? If you really want validation, put together a party and start a real campaign; it’ll give you a sense of purpose. Leave home for more than a week for once. Pick out a quest that’ll take some real work. Go have an adventure.”

“A campaign…” Nale repeated thoughtfully.

“Yes,” said Yamaha, glad the boy had gotten his mind off—

“And sexual validation.”

Yahama sighed and resisted the urge to do a facepalm.


An adventure… Nale mused on the way home, And some real validation… Maybe it really was time for a more long-term quest. Getting together a party shouldn’t be too hard, and a good quest ought to come up naturally if he just started out in a big city. And he knew just the place…


Cliffport. The big city. Markets. Skyscrapers (five whole stories!). Whorehouses. Parks.

“Free puppies!”

“Huh? Thog! Come back here!” Nale snapped out of the awed daze the magnificent city had put him in and chased his friend to the cardboard box filled with tiny wriggling mutts. “I’m not buying you a puppy.”

“Free puppies,” Thog repeated stubbornly. “Thog want.”

“I don’t care if they’re free,” said Nale irritably, “You wouldn’t take care of a puppy, and I’m not going to mess with it.”

“Thog take care of puppy,” said Thog, scratching one of the free puppies behind the ears happily.

“Yeah, right…” Nale muttered, glancing around. It was getting late. A sign advertising CHEAP ROOMS!!! answered all the questions he had about where they could spend their nights (of course Dad hadn’t loaned him any money for his quest, the cheapskate). “You can stay here. I’ll check us in.”

There was a short line at the desk in the lobby. After a blonde headed off to her room, two dark-skinned chicks checked in between groping each other and giggling.

“Lemme guess,” said the lady behind the desk dryly, “Missus and Missus ‘Smith’?”

“Teehee,” said one of the girls, which was a little weird, Nale thought; he’d never heard someone actually say “Teehee” before. “Room for two,” the girl said, “But we only need the one bed.”

“Room Sixteen,” the receptionist said, handing them a key.

That looks like an “adventure”… Nale thought, stepping up to the desk.

“Checking in?”

“Yes,” said Nale, eyeing the previous two customers with a leering grin. “Room for two. With two beds,” he added quickly.



“Nale what?”

“Nale the Fighter. Slash Rogue. … Slash Sorcerer.”

“I was fishing for a last name,” the receptionist said flatly, giving him a critical look over the top of her wiry spectacles.

“Oh,” said Nale, “Uh…” He frowned.

“That’s fine, honey,” said the receptionist, writing in the record book, “Nale the Fighter slash Rogue. Is that right?”

“Slash Sorcerer,” Nale mumbled.

“Right. Room Seventeen,” the receptionist said, handing him a key with a smile. She was thinking about what a wonderful prestige class “Slash Sorcerer” would be.

“Seventeen,” Nale repeated. “Come on, Thog,” he called over his shoulder.

“Thog busy,” the half-orc’s voice replied from outside the doorway.

“We’re not getting a puppy,” Nale said sharply, “So stop playing with them.”

“Nale mean,” Thog said, entering the building pouting.

-later that night-

There was silence in Nale and Thog’s room. Or at least there would be if the walls weren’t so thin.

“What Nale think happening next door?”

“Wh-what?” Nale jumped nearly three feet straight up in the air from where he’d been standing with his ear to the wall. Recovering his nerves, he said, “I thought you were asleep, Thog.”

“Thog no sleep. Too much noise. What Nale think happening?”

Wild, passionate, lesbian love-making that may or may not involve possibly illegal implements and activities, my half-Orc friend. But I don’t feel like giving you a vocabulary lesson right now, so… “It’s just a couple of girls having a pajama party, Thog,” Nale said matter-of-factly, “Go back to sleep.”

“Thog can’t,” the fighter whined, “Too noisy.” Thog sat up and retrieved his greataxe from where he’d discarded it on the floor. “Thog tell girls to be quiet.” He stood up and headed toward the door.

“Nonononono!” Nale protested, throwing himself between his friend and the door.

“Why not?”

“Oh, for the love of…” Nale sighed and restarted as patiently as he could, “I mean, I saw those girls while I was checking us in, Thog. They’re both really pretty, and they’re having a slumber party; it’s Cootie Central in there, man, you can’t risk it!”

Thog went green…er and shuddered. “Thog no want cooties.”

“Right,” said Nale, “So you just get yourself back to bed and forget about it.” As the glorious noise continued and Thog tried to fall asleep with his hands over his ears, Nale wondered if either of the girls next door would be interested in joining a new party…


Nale obviously held the favor of multiple gods; he left his room that morning just as the ladies next door were heading out for breakfast.

“Why hello there,” he said, putting on his most charming smile.

“Hello yourself,” said one with an impish grin, “You’re cute.”

“Detect evil,” the other one muttered. “Darn,” she said after a pause, “He is cute, but he’s evil.”

“But Lawful,” said Nale with a shrug.

“I don’t mind,” said the first.

“Well I do,” said the other one, who seemed to be a cleric, “And besides, everyone knows that Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil don’t mix well.”

“That is true,” said Nale, “Sadly.”

“Well,” said the one who didn’t mind, “What you don’t understand is, maybe you wouldn’t go for this kind of guy, but,” her eyes began to glow red, “I’m pretty sure he’s exactly my type.”

“B-but,” said the Outsider’s former partner staring wide-eyed at the Outsider, “I don’t understand. You said you were Chaotic Good, same as me!”

“Yeah,” the fiend replied, lazily stretching out wings that had suddenly popped out of her back, “If I recall correctly, Sense Motive isn’t a class skill for Clerics, and I get plus nineteen to Bluffs. Think it over.”

Nale let out a small chuckle. Niiiice…

“But… but I can’t…” the cleric muttered, obviously very distressed about this turn of events.

“Now what were you saying, cutie?” said the woman who very well might be the future Mrs. Nale the Fighter/Rogue/Sorcerer to Nale, “The name’s Sabine, by the way.”

“Nale,” said Nale, taking Sabine’s hand and kissing it pretentiously.

“Teehee,” said Sabine, her girlish giggle deliciously faked for Nale’s benefit. His heart skipped a beat.

Or felt like it did anyway; it wasn’t as if he believed such nauseating clichés actually happened. The point was he felt like for the first time in his life, he’d found a girl he could really relate to.

As pleased as he was with his find, however, there was the matter of… “Isn’t your kind always Chaotic Evil? I’m still Lawful.”

“Yeah,” said Sabine with a shrug, “But I’ve always figured that Evil gets along with Evil just fine, no matter what the rest of your alignment is.” She winked at him and licked her lips suggestively. “Wouldn’t you agree?”

No. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since the first time I cast Suggestion it’s that good chemistry is not a strictly necessary component of a pleasant and functional relationship. “Sure,” he said gamely, “Why not?”

It looked as if Sabine were about to say something delightfully naughty when a door a little further down the hallway slammed open and a blonde girl with dark circles under her eyes stormed past them, not giving Nale or Sabine a second glance.

“Good morning, Janine,” said the blonde to Sabine’s recent victim, who was still standing in the hallway, inarticulate. She added perfunctorily, “I don’t need to hear how great the sex was.”

“I…” said the dumbstruck Cleric, apparently Janine, “I think I need Atonement…”

“I said I don’t need to hear how great the sex was,” the blonde repeated through gritted teeth, “Now let’s get some breakfast.” The girls left.

“So…” said Sabine with a sensual grin.

“So,” said Nale eagerly.

-A while later-

“That was fun, baby,” said Sabine.

“Yeah…” said Nale, a bit dazed.

“So what are you, an evil adventurer or something?”

“Uh huh…”

“That’s cool. Hey, if you’re not already busy with some other quest, I know where you can find this really powerful talisman.”


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