Title: The Chalice from the Palace
Fandom: Criminal Minds
Universe: Born to be Mild (Part 6)
Characters/Pairing: Morgan, Reid, Prentiss, Garcia, Kevin – gen
Summary: Letting Reid be the Dungeon Master meant that they would probably all be dead by the end of the quest.
Author's Note: This series has been adjusted to include the two stories from the Nerdverse
The Chalice from the Palace
Penelope Garcia paused in the hallway of the exclusive apartment building. She knew that she and Kevin were both out of place there, but she had spent so much of her life being idiosyncratic that she wasn't about to stop. On one arm, she had a bag of groceries; including the Cookies and Cream Ice-cream that Emily had requested, and on the other arm was her purse. Kevin had the bag that contained most of their gear; everything they would need for what promised to be an eventful evening.
Not eventful by some definitions of the word, of course – they were people that caught serial killers for a living, or, in Garcia and Kevin's case, mostly helped catch the serial killers.
Careful not to throw herself off balance, Garcia lifted a hand to ring the doorbell. It was opened quickly – by Morgan, which was unexpected. Usually, he was the last person to show up.
Emily, it seemed, was on the phone, putting the order through for pizza. 'Hey Garcia, they're out of anchovies, you okay to go without?' she called out, giving a nod in greeting.
'Foolish mortals. They dare think they can survive the power of my wrath?'
Emily raised an eyebrow. 'That's okay,' she said, over the phone. 'Without anchovies is fine.'
'Where's Reid?' Kevin wondered aloud, as he set the bag on the table. It was the Boy Wonder's turn at DMing, which meant they were all prepared for a ridiculously complex, detail-laden adventure. It meant that for the first time in a while, Garcia was actually part of the game, instead of directing the action. She couldn't wait to test out the Gypsy Pirate Elf that she'd put together over her last free weekend. It had started off as a Pirate Elf, until she remembered that without a wizard, they were at a disadvantage. There was no way that Reid wasn't going to use his extensive knowledge of the Arcane to make the adventure as difficult as possible.
Garcia was fairly certain that they were all going to be dead by the end of this one.
The doorbell rang again, and Garcia answered it this time, stepping back to let Reid rush in.
'Sorry I'm late,' he said hurriedly, letting his messenger bag drop to the ground. 'My comic book store got some second-hand 3.5th Edition books in, and I figured that I could integrate some of the content. It's a lot cheaper, now that 4th is so prevalent.'
'I'm going to pretend I know what you just said,' Morgan frowned. Emily gave him a look.
'How many times do we need to go over this one, Morgan?'
'Obviously, if he admits to understanding it, then he's one of us. As long as he continues to remain oblivious, he can deny being a nerd,' Garcia pointed out. She put a hand to her heart. 'One day, you'll realize that nerds are just plain sexier than the rest of humanity, chocolate thunder.'
'Hey,' Kevin said. 'Wait, was that a compliment?'
Garcia pinched his cheek. 'You will always be my favorite sexy nerd beast, Kevvy, you know that.'
'Alright, maybe we could get this started before you two need to find yourself a room?' Emily asked, grabbing some glasses from the dishrack.
'We would never sully your apartment so heartlessly,' Garcia said, sincerely.
'Better not,' Emily told them, in a tone that subtly threatened violence.
They sat around the table, Reid at the head. Garcia was amused, but not in the least surprised, to see that he had no books with him, only a few sheets of paper with intricate looking maps drawn on them. Garcia only managed a brief glance before the pages were flipped over.
'Alright,' said Reid. 'Let's get started.'
'Alas, Siegfried the wizard has suffered a most grievous ailment, and will be unable to join you on your quest until such time that he is healed,' the cleric told them, in a heavy-hearted voice. 'Although, if you're not too busy to help us, we've been the victims of a heartless robbery – the Chalice of Babel was stolen from our midst not two days ago, and I fear that we are not the only ones who have fallen fate to such treachery.'
'Tell us about this Chalice of Babel,' Amari prompted. 'Is it valuable?'
'None but the priests of our order know its true worth,' the cleric explained.
'Well, then it was obviously one of the priests then, wasn't it?' Roger pointed out, and the cleric gave him a look that made him shrink back in fear.
('Why would I be afraid of a cleric? have 22 Strength.'
'He's like…level 30. He could whoop your ass without even blinking.'
'So why does he need us to find the Chalice?'
'Because otherwise we'd be watching DVDs instead of doing something interesting.')
'We accept the mission,' Amari told the cleric. 'We will find the chalice from the palace, with the brew that is true.'
'Wait, what?' Gryorden frowned. 'What are you talking about?'
'Never mind.' Amari shook her head.
They existed the temple by the back door, whereupon they were intercepted by an elf in a rather garish set of pink robes.
'Greetings, wanderers, I am Esmeralda, and I ask that I may join your quest.'
'Fine by me,' Gryorden shrugged.
'Is it really in character to just pick people up outside temples and let them come along?' Roger asked.
('Ow! What was that for, Garcia?'
'Sometimes we need to cross the line between characterization, and keeping the plot moving. Stop making things difficult.'
'Making things difficult is his sole function.'
'Oh, you are going down, Princess.')
Out of nowhere, Roger tackled Amari to the ground, drawing his sword.
('Wait, Morgan, what the hell are you doing?'
'Making things interesting.'
'Well there's a line between interesting and stupid, too. Have your catfight later, we need to get the chalice before the world is destroyed.'
'Hey, did you read my notes?'
'You don't have any notes, Spence. Way to make cheating difficult. Beside. Stolen artifact, clerics, sense of imminent doom. Gotta be a world destroyer.')
'Fine, you can join us in our quest,' Roger grumbled. He got to his feet as the doorbell rang-
'Pizza's here,' Morgan said. 'Who's got cash?'
'I paid by card,' Emily told him.
'I was going to tip,' he explained, searching through his wallet. 'Never mind, I got it.'
'Do they have pizza in Faerûn?' Garcia wondered, and the question was met with a silence.
Not even Reid could answer that one.