It was a dark and stormy night when we arrived at the conventional hall for Force of Will’s GP Transylvania. Our carriage driver helped us with our luggage and pointed us to the large, oak doors at the front entrance of the facilities. “This way”, he ushered us.
I tried to push open the doors, but they were too heavy. Luckily, my team had my back. As we managed to shove the heavy doors open just wide enough to allow entry, we heard a cackling as our hooded driver and his spectral horses took off down the dirt path, leaving us stranded at the dark tournament venue.
“I don’t have a g-g-good feeling about this, guys! That innkeeper warned us not to come!” Dave whimpered.
“Get your act together Dave! That old innkeep was just trying to scare you.” I scolded, “We have a GP to win!”
My strong will and commanding presence calmed Dave and, with a newly formed fire in his eyes, he entered the hall before any of us. Rushing to the sign-up table, with us hurrying after him, we didn’t have much time to appreciate our setting. It was dark, macabre, and dare I say it…a bit spooky. Little did we know that, by not stopping to take in the grim visage, we were sealing our fates.
The fellow dressed as a vampire at the check-in table asked for $35 and 5 drops of blood as entry. We laughed, the vampire chuckled nervously. We paid the $35, turned in our deck registration sheets early, got our Reiya entry promos and playmats, and played a few practice games to get warmed up.
Sean thought that dork dressed like the vampire looked familiar, but we didn’t recognize him. Just some nerd who got way too into the whole Transylvania aesthetic.
Some guys in ghost costumes hovered silently behind us. We wouldn’t even have noticed them there had they not been so impressed by our decks! “OOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!!!” they exclaimed. I asked them to stop, it was annoying.
Soon after our encounter with the ghosts, the vampire guy from earlier got on the microphone to make the tournament announcements. Nobody could have predicted the events to follow…
“Hey everyone. First thing’s first, I want to welcome you all to GP Transylvania. We’re very lucky that Count Dracula is allowing us to use his castle for the tournament.”
“Did he just say D-D-Dracula!?” squealed Dave.
“Shut up, don’t be rude” whispered Ryan.
“Can you at least TRY to be cool for once?” Dylan joked.
“We have over 200 players here tonight, and we’re all itching to get started, I know. First…” he turned his gaze to my crew, “…we need to make you all aware that the complimentary tournament banquet recently arrived. Be civil, there’s enough for everyone to get a piece.”
It was at that moment that we realized that the vampire was actually Jordan! Also, he was a real vampire! And those ghosts…actual ghosts!
“Hey gang, I think this is our call to leave!”
Suddenly a skeleton popped out from under the table and grabbed Dave!
“GUYS! HELP!” he squawked, but it was too late. Dave was dragged under the table into the depths of the castle, never to be seen again.
We had no time to mourn the loss of our colleague. In a sense of irony, we were better off now that the group was smaller. We could flee more quickly. Fewer members to look after. That moment of reprise mattered not, for a pack of literal werewolves leaped over chairs and tables in an attempt to make us their meal.
“LOOK OUT!” warned Sean, but he was too late. Ryan was caught by the werewolves. Severed limbs and entrails were flung. There was nothing we could do but continue running away from the grisly scene taking place behind us.
Somewhere in our dash for the door, an oni grabbed Dylan and swallowed him in one gulp.
I told Sean that I didn’t think we were going to make it out of this alive, that we might as well go down swinging. He agreed. We made it to the corner of the room. Armed with double-sleeved cards, official FoW branded dice, and playmat tubes, we prepared to fight for our lives. The horde of monsters closed in on us.
That’s when I woke up in a cold sweat. “Phew! It was all just a dream” I affirmed out loud. “Just a dream…”
“In your dreams!” screeched Vampire Jordan as he pulled me under my bed.