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Dice of Fate


by 88grrrrr88

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Roo Island.

     Known for its world-famous carnivals, delightful sunny weather, a superb Altador Cup team, and the best dice games in Neopia.

     One of these dice games is Dice-a-Roo, which King Roo invented himself. As you might know, Dice-a-Roo involves five dice and a pot full of Neopoints. After every roll, the player has an option to take the pot and scurry on home with their pockets jingling. However, he or she may choose to roll the die again, trying to improve their fate, by getting more Neopoints or moving on to the next die. If the player manages to surpass all five dice, then he or she wins the Jackpot, which is often a huge sum of Neopoints. Unfortunately, if a large “X” shows face-up on the die at any time, then the game is over and the player loses all the Neopoints in the pot.

     Dice-a-Roo is extremely popular among the citizens of Roo Island. However, there is one that truly despises the game. He would be the terrifying Blumaroo by the name of Count von Roo.

     As the legend says, Count von Roo had such an immense hate for Dice-a-Roo that King Roo banished him from the main city on Roo Island. He had no choice but to reside in a small cave hidden within the shadows of a dense forest on the southwest coast. Feeding on small rodents and insects, Count von Roo lived the rest of his solemn life within the confinement of his cave.

     After his death, the Count became a horrible vampire, lying in his coffin all day save for the time between midnight and 1 AM. However, unlike most vampires, von Roo did not go out terrorizing the villages at this time of night. Instead, he invited the Roo Island residents to come to him. One night, he cut a path through the forest and posted a sign welcoming gamblers to come and try their luck at Deadly Dice.

     Deadly Dice was von Roo’s own creation, a dice game that severely contrasted with Dice-a-Roo. He strived to make the game the most popular on the island, putting Dice-a-Roo out of business. This did not happen, but the Count did find his audience. Many determined gamblers would come to his spooky cave in the night’s darkest hour to test their fates with a game of Deadly Dice.

     Both the Count and the player would roll a single die. Simply, if the player’s roll was higher, then he or she would gain one level. If von Roo’s roll was higher, then the player would lose one level. There was a twist, however. If both die rolls were the same (1 in 6 chance), then the stakes doubled. If the rolls were the same for a second time, the stakes doubled once again. Deadly Dice had the potential to become very deadly, indeed.

     For a while, Count von Roo was content with this afterlife, as Deadly Dice became more and more popular. One night, however, he decided that he wanted more than just playing with people’s fate with his dice game. He went into town sharply at midnight, and paid a visit to the one who banished him.

     *****

     “Your Majesty, there is someone here to see you. He says the matter is urgent,” the palace night guard announced.

     King Roo stumbled down the spiral staircase in his multi-colored pajamas. “At this hour? What could possibly be—oh.”

     The Count smirked.

     “What is it you want, von Roo? You well know that I banished you a long time ago, and I assumed that you had died by now.”

     “Oh, but I did,” the Count replied slyly. “I’m a vampire now, can’t you tell?”

     “Excuse my lack of perception; I’m usually asleep at this hour,” King Roo groaned.

     “You’re excused, Your Majesty. I’m sorry, but it’s rather hard for me to find a better time.” Von Roo gave a little chuckle.

     “Yes, of course.” King Roo blinked sleepily and yawned. “Now would you get to the point, perhaps? I’m very sleepy, and you are as banished as the night is dark.” He began to tap his foot steadily, impatiently.

     “Well, I have an offer to make with you.”

     “Ridiculous! I would never make an offer with a banished one!” King Roo stopped tapping his foot as fury took over his face.

     “Please, hear me, and I’ll be out of here when I’m done.”

     “Well, I suppose... but please make it quick.”

     Count von Roo made a few steps toward the King and asked a single question.

     “Fancy a game of chance?”

     “You know I love a game of chance! I invented Dice-a-Roo, after all.”

     “I had something a little... deadlier in mind.”

     King Roo’s expression of impatience and annoyance changed into fear.

     “I was referring to Deadly Dice, Your Majesty. Do you know the rules?”

     “Hmm, I’m afraid I don’t, but I certainly don’t like what you’re getting at.” King Roo backed away, almost tripping on the staircase.

     Count von Roo reached into his black robe and revealed a pair of dice. The faces were colored as dark as his heart, and the pips were as silver as his gleaming eyes.

     He held one die in each hand. “Take one.”

     King Roo nervously examined each die, trying to determine if one was rigged. After some consideration, he took the die in the Count’s left hand.

     “Take a seat, King.” Count von Roo sat on the blue and green tiled floor and smiled wickedly.

     King Roo sat down across from von Roo and looked into his eyes full of trickery and deceit. He sighed anxiously and shrugged. “So what do we do now?”

     “We both roll our respective dice; whoever rolls the higher number wins. It’s as simple as that.”

     “That’s certainly simple. But what are the stakes?” King Roo asked.

     “If I win, you repeal my banishment and let me live in the city. Also, you must quit that silly game of Dice-a-Roo.”

     “That’s ludicrous! I would never let that happen!”

     Von Roo smirked again. “Then I suppose there’s no need for me being here any longer.” He began to head to the door, slowly, knowing King Roo’s next response.

     King Roo’s eyes suddenly opened wide. “Wait, what if I would have won?”

     “Hah, I knew you were curious, Your Majesty. What did you have in mind?”

     A thousand thoughts flew through King Roo’s head. He practically had his enemy wrapped around his finger! After a moment of thought, an idea came to his mind.

     “You, Count von Roo, shall become my personal servant and act upon my every whim and will.” For the first time that night, King Roo smiled.

     Von Roo did not show any weakness or fear from this remark. He just smiled again. “You know, I’m only awake one hour a day, so that’s a pretty foolish wish.”

     King Roo did not stop smiling. “Well then, you’ll have a bundle of work to carry out in that hour.”

     After a short pause, the Count spoke again.

     “What’s done is done. Do we have a deal?”

     “We do. Let’s roll.”

     Both Blumaroos held onto their dice tightly, grasping the tiny cubes with their sweaty palms.

     “You may go first, King Roo.”

     “I’d rather not; you may go first if you like.”

     “We can’t keep talking. Let’s just go at the same time!”

     “Deal. Count to three.”

     “One... two... three... ROLL!”

     The dice flew out of their paws, gliding over their heads for what seemed like an eternity.

     Then there was an infinitesimal “click” sound. The dice had hit each other right between the two of them.

     King Roo covered his eyes, but then peered at the two dice and gasped.

     “What is it?” The Count swiftly glanced at the dice lying on the floor.

     They both went into a state of shock as both dice looked back at them with four shining pips on each of them.

     King Roo recovered first. “Okay, it’s a tie, so what happens now?”

     Count von Roo gulped, showing his emotion for the first time in his visit. “The stakes are doubled and we re-roll.”

     King Roo was confused. “Doubled? How do we double these stakes?”

     “Name your price and I’ll name mine,” Von Roo said intensely.

     King Roo bit his lip, sighed and looked at the clock. “It’s 12:45 and I need my sleep. Don’t you need to get back to wherever you live?”

     Von Roo took a deep breath. “I always fall asleep at 1:00 and sleep until the next night. I thought we would have enough time, but I guess you’re right. We can finish this tomorrow night.” He stepped outside and walked briskly back to his cave.

     King Roo stumbled back up the staircase and lay down in his bed. After about an hour of deep thought, he fell asleep.

     The next night, Count von Roo surprisingly did not go back to King Roo’s palace. Instead, he took on his usual business of playing Deadly Dice. The night following, he did the same, as well as every night after that to this day. Nobody actually knows why the most fateful game of Deadly Dice never resumed. Some say that von Roo was too afraid of being King Roo’s servant, while others say that he just did not want to abandon his regular nightly games of Deadly Dice.

     Whatever the reason, it was for the best, because it is always a dangerous thing to gamble with fate.

The End

 
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