Trouble in Paradise, by King Mike-Noh

King Mike-Noh the Ambivalent

As the King of Zakhara, in the southernmost land of the Continent of Faerun, I have protected my ancient kingdom from many a threat: dragons, ancient evils suddenly awoken, the massed armies of my evil cousin to the west…the standard fare. But I now find my nation beset with a figurative plague caused by a literal plague.

Zakhara has become quite the hotspot ever since the world of Earth was overrun by the Virus of Corona, and the influx of immigrants has placed a strain on the flagging economy.  Zakhara, once a prime location for the advent of many Dungeons and Dragons adventures has become a tourist trap, and crowded to capacity.  Locals and old-timers are beginning to lose faith in their government to keep them safe from the uncaring tourists.

“Where am I to get that amount of mead?” asked local bartender/proprietor of the Broken Drum (8 Filigree Street).  “The distillers can't keep up with the demand.  Mind you the hardest spirits we continue to dilute with turpentine, but barbarian adventurers have certain expectations, and you can't just tell Bjern Doogpiker, 'My apologies good sir, we're bereft of the elixir you seek, we do carry Coke products.'  I've had to replace the mirror behind the bar five times already.”

A local armorer, who chose to remain anonymous, said that his shop has been “crowded to capacity with a line outside, like these people had never even HEARD of social distancing.  I'm a man of education, and skill.  I have a trade, and a shop.  I provide a valuable service.  These people have no respect for what they are dealing with.  These are real swords.  They cut themselves.  It's a valuable lesson, to be sure, but my insurance rates are skyrocketing. My agent, Dha Bhlath is looking to buy his own trireme and is limiting my claims and demanding more signage.”  

Eddie, our dark lord, Gruberman, Dungeon Master Journeyman, International Brotherhood of Dungeon Masters (IBDM local 666) complained that there are untrained Dungeon Masters out there just throwing loot and experience at new adventurers trying to get them up to a sufficient level to be able to attempt to raid the hoard of the Great Alasklerbanbastos.  
Continent of Faerun, home of empires and craft fairs

“They are throwing these people at them like so much dragon fodder,” fumed Eddie. “Needless to say, ALL OF THESE ADVENTURERS are virgins.” Because of this even the minor dragons like Altagos, the young brown male has gorged itself to the point that the ZSPCD (Zakhara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dragons) had to be called in to protect them from their own weight gain. 

“Believe me,” said Lance the Disembowler, ZSPCD Lt., “these are NOT low-fat adventurers.  Some of the smallest take up a love-seat recliner when they sit down to their pizza and Mt. Dew.”  

But it's not just the professionals in this realm that are suffering.  The local denizens are finding that their houses are collapsing due to the discovery of hitherto unknown labyrinths and catacombs found under their neighborhoods.  Many Homeowners Associations are levying fines of several silver pieces for unsafe sinkholes in yards that were once verdant gardens and homes to fine faery folk.  And in rural areas, the farmers cannot produce enough of any staple to keep the markets open, let alone supply the inns with enough meat, potatoes, gruel, and slop.  A local land owner, and farmer, Miss Renata Flitworth, complained that regardless of how many signs she puts up stating “Hlep waned!” tourists in Birkenstocks, shorts, and long sleeved t-shirts speaking some foreign gobbledygook about Etsy, and St. James Arts, offer to buy her sign, but no one wants to work.

Yes, Covid 19 has hit all of us hard, but some harder than others. But all we can do is bear with it together, as one kingdom, until this passes. As king, I have a solution in the works. My wizards are forecasting catastrophic hordes of zombies shuffling in from the East. It wouldn't be the first time my people have spent a week cowering in the cellars listening to the screams of unsuspecting and unprepared Outsiders.


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