Out of Character

"Has anyone seen my D20?"


April 2017

Episode 96: Adventures in Middle-Earth Part Unexpected Guests


Episode 95: Adventures in Middle-Earth Part 2 The Dangers of Mirkwood

In the 2nd introduction to our Adventures in Middle-Earth campaign we join an elf on parol deep in the southern reached of Mirkwood.

Aliens of La Mancha

Our friend Joelle Mellon wrote a short story for a contest sponsored by  It is about some strange creatures from another world who stumble upon Earth and have a close encounter with Spanish wine. I thought it was funny, and she wanted to share it with our readers.  So, without further ado:

Aliens of La Mancha

Glog had been piloting his ship all night, but reluctantly, he pressed the navigation stick steadily down to the floor, causing the craft to land.

“Are we finally home?” his wife demanded, “We only have one bottle of Ikoe left!”

He knew they should have packed more. Glog and Xemvahr derived all of their nourishment from alcohol-based beverages, just as plants photosynthesize sunlight.

“I’m afraid not, dear,” he ventured, timidly.

“I told you to let the ship drive itself, but would you listen?” she demanded, “Where in Drahkt’s name are we?”

“According to the navigation module,” he said, squinting, “We seem to be on — Earth. Specifically, Spain. Even more specifically — La Mancha.”

“Why does that sound so familiar?”

“Not sure,” Glog replied, “Something from intergalactic broadcast?”

“That’s it!” she exclaimed, “The film from that Earth director with all the bright colors, remember?”

“Oooh, yes,” her huband agreed, “Almodovar.”

“Almodovar,” the ship’s computer repeated in a monotone, thinking that the shouted name had been a request for entertainment. Almost instantly, it queued up Volver and began playing it on a screen.

“We know there’s alcohol here, anyhow,” she said, “Let’s go find some.”

Xemvahr, ever the more practical of the two, took the precaution of strapping the last bottle of Ikoe to her belt, in case they didn’t find anything suitable to drink soon. At the push of a button, the ship’s hatch opened, and the two aliens ventured out into the night. She led them toward an area where the most lights seemed to still be twinkling, assuming that would be their best chance at finding some drinks. Soon, they came to a friendly looking cafe with the words,

“La Fabula” emblazoned over the door in silver script. Several tables had been set outside on the sidewalk. Hurrying over to one of them, they zeroed in on two half-full bottles of wine, which had been mysteriously abandoned by their owners.

“Tempranillo,” Glog read aloud.

Tipping the bottle into his mouth, he was filled with a sense of unabashed pleasure as the wine warmed and filled his translucent body. Almost immediately, he turned a deep shade of burgundy red. If just a mouthful was this much more nutritionally efficient that Ikoe, he realized, what remained in these two bottles would keep them going for weeks.

“Malvar,” his wife pronounced, reading her label.

She swallowed, and a pale golden color suffused her, almost seeming to make her glow with happiness. After a moment, however, an expression of concern settled over her features.

“We don’t have any local currency,” she said.

An hour later, one of the cafe employees came outside to bring the tables in for the night. Much to his surprise, he saw that a full bottle of some exotic blue liqueur had been left behind.

“Hey,” he called back into the restaurant, “I think Manuel’s been ordering some weird stuff again. Want to try it?”


To find out more about the competition and explore the idea of Spanish wine tourism, be sure to check out:

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