Published by: eXtasy Books
Word Count :40036
Publication Date :2019-11-01
Series : Storyteller#7
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2551-7
It’s all about the game…
No man lives forever, and Dodger realizes he is no exception to that rule. Not wanting the good he’s done to die with him, he takes on a protégé, Zeke, who will carry on the work of the Yesterday’s Youth Foundation when Dodger is gone.
Dodger teaches Zeke everything he knows while he is still able. He even plays Morgan’s game with Zeke, and they find themselves trapped inside the bodies of the characters.
While no doubt considered by some to be evil, Morgan wishes to redeem himself, although the road to redemption is not an easy path to travel. Good and evil are not nearly as black and white as some might think. His fertile imagination comes up with a game, something to draw people in, show them he has a more playful side. Plus he wants people to experience life from a different perspective. Somewhat similar to most roleplaying games, Legendary Mythology begins with a blank page, a pouch with a figure, and dice with no numbers. The rules are contained in the game’s book.
After his return from the game, Dodger is instructed to pass the game to a group of teenagers. As they complete their adventure, the teens find that their journey isn’t over. A hunt for the citadel leads to a visit with Morgan that results in relics and assigned duties.
Over the years, Dodger watched the small town become a big city as progress closed in on everything, even him. Although the city couldn’t take possession of his land, he still wanted to secure it so they never would. In the process, he wanted to do something for those being pushed aside by society. With the help of 001, he came up with the idea of two homes, one for the old and one for the young. With his mind set on it, he went to the city council and presented his proposal.
The idea of the homeless and riffraff off the street won an overwhelming amount of support and donations. Not only did he receive permission, but the needed paperwork pushed through with rapid speed as well. Within seven months, more than enough money was collected and construction began. The property was enclosed from the rest of the world with only two ways in or out. Homes were constructed with the best materials, equipped with the same, and were finished within a year.
The orphanage was placed on the back of the estate and the senior home was built near the main entrance. An onsite medical facility was constructed between the buildings, and each home housed twenty staff members and seventy-five residents. As the owner and benefactor of Yesterday’s Youth, Dodger controlled everything. He spent most of his time at the orphanage working with the kids.
In the program’s tenth year, the city council generously built a large workshop on the grounds and started an orphan work program within the city. In the program’s twentieth year, the council secured another five acres for the estate and constructed two buildings for those who didn’t belong in either of the original homes.
Having run the place for twenty-six years, Dodger discovered many honorable young people, some of who still worked for him, and just as many seniors who still had everything to offer the world. After the new program was set in motion, he watched it grow into numerous extended families.
The youths assisted the seniors, who in turn befriended the young. Every day, once in the morning and again at night, he spent several hours walking the streets and alleyways looking for neglected or unnoticed people. Through the years he watched the young grow up and the old pass away. The city limits quickly surrounded his estate, building roads near both entrances. He never had to walk far to find strays, since most of the time they found him.
On one particular morning, Dodger stood inside the back door, watching. He was tired of waiting inside. He stepped out and leaned against the wall, looked both directions, and quickly glanced at his watch. “Should have been here by now. Must have been caught.” He frowned and sighed, folding his arms over his chest.
Malina smiled. “Sir, there’s a long-distance call in your office. He gave no name, just simply said to ask you if 001 rang a bell?”
“Thank you. I have an idea who it is.” After entering his office, he closed the door, sat behind the desk, and pressed a key. “What do you need?”
The system queried, “It’s not what I need, old friend, but what I can do for you. Do you know who I am?”
“You don’t talk like 001. No, I’m not sure who you are, but I can disconnect you.” Dodger pressed a button. “That’ll teach you to make prank calls. “
“Not really.” A warm, deep voice chuckled.
He slowly stood, his voice locked within his throat, his eyes studying the towering figure standing in the room.
The solidly muscled half-elf stood six-foot-two. He appeared to be about thirty, but his emerald green eyes held wisdom and age well beyond those years. His silky jet-black hair touched his shoulder blades, gently feathering away from his tanned handsome face. Broad shoulders allowed his flowing black velvet robe to hang open to his stomach, revealing a powerfully muscled chest while a black sash encircled his waist. The figure laughed warmly. “Surely you’ve not forgotten me?”
Dodger shook his head, walked around the desk, and hugged his friend. “I never thought I’d see you again this soon. What are you doing here?”
Morgan returned the gesture. “I’ve brought a message. We know the spell is wearing off, and I’m afraid it can’t be cast a second time.”
“I know, but I’ve had ten times the life most people could ever imagine. I wasn’t going to ask you to cast it again.” He sat in the chair. “How’s Michaela?”
“She’s fine and wants to see you again. We’ve put our heads together, and we’ve come up with a plan. You and Michaela are going to spend some time in the citadel, and then we’re going to play a very special game called Legendary Mythology.” Morgan placed a case on the desk and stepped back. “This game has a method, thanks to Raz, of letting people experience life.”
Dodger picked up the case and studied it. The midnight-blue leather casing was adorned in ancient white gold but cracked with age. The lettering was delicately enhanced by a now non-existent yellow metal. He met Morgan’s gaze. “Gold?”
“The purest. The case holds a large velvet pouch with a rule book containing just enough blank colored pages. There are several smaller pouches, each of which holds seven blank dice and an unpainted miniature figure. The game always manages to have the same amount of pouches and color-coordinated pages as there are players. You’ll understand when you play it.”
“Why are you giving this to me?”
“My gift to you was the length of your life, which wasn’t immortal. Michaela’s gift to you is the love you share and the child born of it. Raz’s gift to you is this game. It gives you the chance to live it up one more time. It was his idea, but I created it and put all my imagination into it.”
Dodger sat back. “And when I’m gone?”
Morgan shrugged. “You’ll pass it on to your protégé. Who you choose is in your hands, but that person must play the game with you the first time. We all figured you could use someone under foot again.”
“Only you and Raz would be that wicked.”
“Michaela had a lot to do with it. Someone’s coming.” Morgan tilted his head and vanished.
Dodger eyed the ceiling. “I hate that disappearing act.”
“I’m not gone,” whispered a warm, deep voice beside him. “Just out of sight.
“What’s the difference?” He chuckled as the door opened.