So the news is Big D is back. And this time, he's bought buddies. Big deal, I think. There's always some would be hero around to be egged on by long winded bores like Deckard to fight them...but then I think, what if I can put myself in the monster slaying biz at no risk. Pretend to be some hero guide or some such.... I come up with an angle. It's genius. I advertise in the taverns and this skanky looking guy with bad teeth, heck-rotten teeth shows up at the 'Hungry Boar', my current abode. 'I'm your guy', he says. 'Necromancer Smiley at your bidding.' 'Fine,' I mutter as the guy creeps me out, 'can you stand downwind while we talk' Smiley looks at me and then twigs that there's a cloud of flies hanging around him. And is that a withered arm he's carrying? 'Oh sorry' he manages...'I forget to bathe sometimes...hehhehehheee'. I think it's the laugh that clinches it-I just want him gone. 'Sign here' I say, and moments later I watch him leave, to confront the prime evils and make me rich. After all, the sucker just signed over 10% of his loot/fame and made me his manager. What a sap. Part 2. Okay, so news reaches me at the Hungry Boar that Smiley has raised his last corpse. And he wasn't even halfway to the Big D. I swing into action and talk to Bertha, the barmaid. 'You know baby, you look pretty strong. I bet you could take on Baal and show these men a thing or two.' She looks at me thoughtfully, while drying a tankard. Bertha speaks with a foreign accent, sometimes it's hard to understand her. 'Ya, I could do it. But what's in it for Bertha little man?' Ahh, music to my ears. It's all about negotiation now, and she's in my arena. I point out that she has to graduate from winning the local mud wrestling matches if she wants to make any serious cash, and just like that, she's hooked! She signs and throws the tankard at her boss, Fat Gheed. He ducks, being accustomed to this sort of behavior which is a shame as I had a bet going for one gold that he'd be brained by the blow. Still. Bertha hugs me goodbye. It's emotional as I had to lend her gold from my stash to outfit her with a chintzy Javelin. Sure I'll get it back with interest, but it's the principle ya know? 'Goodbye girly man' breathes Bertha, enveloping me in a bear hug. There are worse ways to go I think as I am crushed against her chest, but then she lets go and I manage to catch my breath. 'Attagirl, eh.., warrior!' I manage. But I'm talking to her back as the proud warrior is already striding off towards Tristram. PART 3 Okay, things are looking grim. I'm down to my last 10 gold and I think the suckers in the Boar have begun to suspect I'm using rigged cards. I wonder what gave it away? Maybe it was 3 days straight of winning hands.... Anyway, it's midnight and I stagger into my little room on the first floor when I realize I'm not alone...whirling I find a shadow, man sized in the corner of the room. Too terrified to move, I watch as the shape moves towards me. Moonlight through the open window reveals a female face. I sag with relief-it's an assassin, dressed in black leather. Whew, for a moment I thought it was the royal tax collector-my goose was going to be cooked for sure. 'I'm here about your offer' she whispers. 'What' I reply 'The offer' she whispers again. 'I cup my hand to my hear and pretend I can't hear her 'What?' I say 'THE OFFER' she almost shouts. 'Hehee, I'm just screwing with ya. Assassin eh?' I chuckle. She stares at me stonily a beat before replying. 'You would do well to fear my kind ' 'Lady', I say, 'Give me a break. my ex wife is scarier than you'. At this she softens... 'Look, I want the offer...I can sneak up on Diablo. He'll never even know what's hit him.' Sorry kid' I reply. 'You're too late, I got an amazon under contract. Big D is as good as dead.' The assassin smirks. She throws something that gleams softly onto the table. With a sinking heart I recognize it as the ring I'd bought Bertha. I told her it was magic but it's mostly copper with gold paint with a 'B' inscribed in it. Now it had what looked like dried blood on it. I gulped. 'She didn't make it huh. Okay, I can sign you up. But it's going to cost you.' With contempt the assassin throws down a bag onto the table. It clinks as I open it and I see the dull gleam of gold in the moonlight. 'Congrats kid', I said. 'You got yourself a manager. Now, here's what we're going to do.' I looked up from the coins but the room was empty. In front of me was one of my contracts, signed by the assassin, 'Bob.' Strange name for a girl I thought, and then dismissed her from my mind as I went to get a fresh deck of cards. To be continued?