# Meeting Barzilaih

|

Candy lay on Danny’s bed chewing bubble gum and pouring her energies into her phone–likely Facebook, but potentially Instagram or SnapChat. Yes, I can put current social trends directly into the story because I have little to no concern for saving this story from outdated references. This is practically writer suicide, watch me care.

Benny had also lost interest in the pixellated game and found entertainment down the hall, where he discovered how fulfilling it felt to flush random objects down the toilet repeatedly.

Jimmy and Danny still sat by the computer.

Inside the tavern, Danny found a meticulously built eating area, bar, and kitchen. Upstairs, he found furnished rooms for rent. He searched the building and found a wall that seemed too thick between a pantry and the staircase. After poking around some more, he found a switch that opened the section of wall, so he went down the secret stairs.

Under the tavern, Danny found a large room mostly filled with chests. He thought about searching them all, but instead, he noticed a crystal chest at the far end of the room. Inside, he found a lone sword that looked very much like his own but in pixel form. He tried to pick it up, but instead got a warning message from the game:

protected zone, no modifications allowed by unauthorized users.


Oh yeah, he thought, some of the servers add protections for bases. I should really play more minecraft, I like what they’ve done with it–

Then the local chat in minecraft started to populate:

BARZILAIH: what are you doing in my tavern?
BARZILAIH: how did you know about the basement???


He turned and saw another character standing in the tavern basement. Wearing armor from head to toe, Barzilaih looked like just about every other minecraft player he’d seen.

Now what? Do I play dumb or explain everything?

VORDAGON: ... hi? cool base, it took me a while to find the switch
BARZILAIH: you know that you can't steal or destroy anything, so what are you doing sneaking around
VORDAGON: I was looking for the sword to make sure you're the real Barzilaih that everyone's talking about
BARZILAIH: I haven't told anyone about that sword, snd who's talking about me?
VORDAGON: the mice wizards, the bears, and destiny
BARZILAIH: is that some kind of pickup line?
VORDAGON: what? no! those are the people talking about you. the mice wizards want to help you win, the bears want me to win, and destiny gave you the sword as a candidate for high wizard of the northern kingdoms
BARZILAIH: I haven't heard of the mice or bears, but you're not wrong about sword
VORDAGON: so have you figured out how to get the sword out of the game and into the real world?
BARZILAIH: impossible, also, why would I do that? how would I win the tournament if I didn't have the sword in game?
VORDAGON: ... the "tournament" is irl


For the non-gamers: irl means “in real life”

Barzilaih and Vor–Danny continued back and forth for a while in the basement of the tavern. Danny trying to convince Barzilaih that the candidacy was real and not a minecraft quest. After some lengthy discussion, he mentioned his own copy of the sword irl. Barzilaih called his bluff, but he stood his ground.

Then in a stroke of idiocy, he demanded to see the sword. Danny refused, citing all the logistical concerns with meeting in the real world, then he stopped himself, because he really did need Barzilaih’s help to win the candidacy. In a furtunate twist, they both lived in Boise. Apparently, the algorithm for choosing a high wizard candidate had more than a few bugs to work out.

They decided to meet at Ann Morrison park by the clock tower. The location was public enough to be safe-ish but private enough to discuss wizardly things.

Danny, Benny, Jimmy, and Candy all piled in Jimmy’s van and drove to the park. It was technically in walking distance, but it’d probalby take an hour or two, and they already drew unneeded attention from the giant bear in their midst. More importanly, their meeting was at 3, so taking a 2 hour walk didn’t seem feasible. The group arrived at the clock tower a few minutes before 3, they would have arrived earlier if Candy hadn’t insisted on picking up some Dutch Bros coffee on the way, then taking 15 minutes to order and flirt with the cashier.

They stood awkwardly under the clock tower for a few minutes, then, on the stroke of 3, a flowing figure dropped from a nearby tree with catlike grace. The figure had a dark green cloak that reached the ground and a hood that masked his face. He stood and walked toward the group. The hooded figure walked up to Danny and pulled the hood back.

She had dark brown hair in a pony tail, piercing green eyes, and a sly smile. She offered her hand, “Hi, I’m Jenny. Um, Barzilaih. You must be Vordagon.”

Danny and Jimmy stared in shock.

Candy sipped her coffee and texted one handed.

Benny scraped paint off the bell tower.

The dog barked.