Except we hadn’t been able to break away from planning, and just going by his participation in our exchange of texts and calls, Grue hadn’t managed to rest much.

So they’re like a D&D group, constantly messaging each other about the next session.

It’s kind of adorable.

We’d arranged plans, discussed priorities, sent messages to Coil, tracked down information from our various underlings, and in the doing, we’d managed to hash out a general game plan.

Sweet. Any chance you’re going to share any part of that plan with me before I get to watch it unfold?

Not that that would be a particularly good idea considering certain narrative tropes regarding plans and the sharing of them with the audience.

So is this the setting of this chapter? Their D&D group chat?

Or maybe a complication is about to arise before they even start executing the plan? Perhaps one that Taylor can’t tell the others about or something?

With a hundred problems we needed to handle, we’d agreed the most important thing was to deal with the most inevitable ones.

They’re just gonna go ahead and deal with the apocalyptic threat in this Arc, no big deal.

Okay, so maybe that’s not one of their immediate problems. :p

There was no point in working out a complicated and involved attack plan against Coil if we didn’t wind up fighting him.  There was a point in dealing with the Chosen; they were bound to attack us at some point, regardless of how future events unfolded.  Better to take the fight to them.

Fair enough.

This sounds a lot like the way Dinah’s aid normally allows Coil to lay his plans. It also sounds a lot like chess.

So attacking the Chosen is a priority. Alright. I wonder who’s their leader now, if they’ve filled the spot. Cricket, perhaps?

I shrugged.


Is his power essentially the D&D spell Vicious Mockery, as in insults that actually physically hurt?

Or maybe he’s conjuring a whore out of the gas?

The puff of smoke that accompanied the word detonated like a small thunder-clap, mere inches from my face.

Hah, it is! An explosive interpretation of that idea. It’s not a cutting remark or a biting insult, it explodes in your face.

I flinched, but it hadn’t been intended to harm.  Only to alarm.

Its bark was worse than its you get the idea.

I wonder if it has to do with the volume. Also, I wonder if the severity of the insult has to do with it.

I also wonder if he got this power from being viciously insulted by someone, or from being unable to physically defend himself and being given a power that could hurt with words only.

Does it have to be directed at someone, or could he help with the demolition by insulting some walls?

He sniggered.  I’d never met anyone who really sniggered before.

I could see how Coil thought Barker and Bitch would be a match.  I could also see where there would be some friction between the two.


“That line of thinking leads to madness.”

“Call me crazy, but I’d rather not gamble.”

She’s n[o]t a gambling lady.

But if she were, I w[o]uldn’t bet against her.

(Most of the time.)

“So?  What’s the plan?”

“We wait?  At least a little while.”

“Sure.”  She gave the bulldog a pat on the head.  “Give Bentley a chance to rest.  You can feed Atlas.”

Fair enough. Time to roll some hit dice and all that jazz!

“Pretty narrow window of time,” I added.  “Bitch’s effects on the dogs don’t last that long.  Figure twenty minutes, and we took at least fifteen to get here…”

Bentley’s currently not going to shrink without Rachel actively doing so, remember?

Unless that wore off at some point?

“But she gave them more juice than usual.  I’d say roughly ten minutes before he’s too small to carry me,” Tattletale said.

Looks like either it did, or Lisa forgot too.

“Ten minutes.”

We settled into a position behind cover, and I began drawing bugs to me to feed Atlas.  I wasn’t positive about his diet, and Grue had said that he’d given Atlas a more human digestive system, which left me uncertain.


Mushroom sandwich?

That said, Atlas was made of bugs, I figured he required the nutrients they provided on a sheer logical level, like how humans would generally get most of the nutrients they needed by eating other humans, if they had to.

That makes way too much sense.

That, and I’d pointed out to the rest of the group how bugs were something we could eat as humans, so his digestive tract could probably manage them.

…this keeps making way too much sense.

But hey, if there’s anything Taylor can get plenty of without issue, it’s bugs.

I’d been given tips on fighting, even if I couldn’t remember by who or by whom.  Catch them off guard.

That would be by Grue. The real one. 🙂

My arms around my face, nearly blind, I charged him.

Certainly an unconventional move, which is exactly what she wants here. 😀

He caught me in the side with a kick, but I had enough forward momentum that I crashed into him anyways.  We fell to the ground, and I reached for the smoking vial that hung around his neck.

Wildbow, DMing the world: “Now where are those grappling rules again…”

This kind of close range combat is exactly what you want against a range specialist like Jack. He can’t slice very easily like that, especially if he himself isn’t immune to his own power. Though do suppose he could stab.

Jack already had the stiletto in one hand.  He jabbed it toward my face, my eye, and I jerked my head back out of the way, abandoning my attempt to get the vial.  Using one elbow, he shoved me to one side, then flipped over, simultaneously reversing his grip on the knife in his other hand and driving it down toward the side of my head.

Looks like he’s got experience in dealing with it, though.

I rolled with the momentum he’d given me to escape before it could pierce my ear or my temple.  He was already following up, slashing both knives at me, one after the other.

This would be cool in motion.

He knew how to fight, of course.  He’d said he’d been at this for a while.

Hated this.  Hated fighting without knowing enough about my opponents.

The miasma really makes things difficult. Maybe Taylor could get Amy to cure it real quick?

Oh right, another snag I’ve forgotten to consider: Healing the miasma’s damage would involve messing with brains.

Jamie’s leg bounced nervously as she looked at the screen.  “And?”

“If you agree to perform three favors at a future date, and I suspect we could extend something of a discount.”

That seems like a fairly decent plan. Vague, could blow up in “Jamie”’s face, but decent.

The Doctor hit several keys, and the graph extended a little in every direction.  Where it had been white and light blue, it now showed cubes of dark blue.


“What would you ask me to do?”

“I don’t know yet.  I prefer to leave that option open.”

Everything in Jamie’s gut told her there was some small lie or misdirection in there.  Either the Doctor did know what she wanted to ask for, or she knew her customer wouldn’t like what she heard.

Quite likely, yeah. 

You’re gonna be a warlock.

I have a DnD story a lot like your decapitation one, but rather than cutting it off, I crushed a guy’s head by having my obese gnome monk jump off a building onto him. And the DM, who was also my roommate, had apparently spent hours planning that character. That was a good session.

What a way to go. Good job! :p

There’s a Wormverse TTRPG written by Wildbow (technically still in-progress but popular as-is), a Wormverse story done on a forum by Wildbow (kind of like HS), a few Worm MtG cards made by Wildbow and more by fans, and fan-made material for D&D (some of which you’ve seen – capes converted to spells), CAH, SotM, Savage Worlds, Hearthstone…

Sounds like both Wildbow and the fandom have been busy bees!