RICHMOND, Va. — During a walk through Carytown, a group of five freshman hallmates from VCU entered the local hobby store One Eyed Jacques, only to exit as a Dwarf Guild, with a new bond as strong as steel forged in the hottest furnaces of Erebor.
“It’s definitely a pretty big change in my lifestyle,” Benjamin Patton, now Thamrud Stormfall, explained. “I used to stress about my sociology exams, but now I’m usually up until 4 or 5 in the morning deciphering runes.”
The group had seen a Magic: The Gathering promotion in the window and had stepped in with the intention of reigniting a shared childhood passion. After hours of gameplay in a Tolkien-inspired storyline, the group realized that a more important quest lay before them: finding stolen treasure and regaining the honor that elves and men had stripped from them.
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The newly formed Guild, led by Helmick Leadbreaker (née Carl Johnson), almost immediately eschewed classes and extracurriculars for melting and shaping molten steel, carving intricate designs onto armor, and brewing ale based on recipes from the Middle Ages. VCU police have been called to their below-ground apartment multiple times this semester as community members confused their potion-brewing and axe-forging with a methamphetamine operation.
Sergeant Herman Mullins explained that the group has become a nuisance to his officers. “Every time we get a call about this apartment, the door opens and the smell of God knows what wafts from the room. I’m sick of being told I’m banished from their realm and having the door slammed in my face.”
One Eyed Jacques’s manager, Brandon Rodriguez, is more sympathetic to the group. “I believe the community has a lot to learn from these newly-bearded little warriors. I sure haven’t seen anyone learn to mine, refine, and sculpt mithril armor this quickly in a long time.”
Fellow VCU freshmen have been wary of the group since its introduction to the campus. Brandt Hall resident Matthew Jones says members of the Guild have fiery tempers and are usually avoided by their peers. “Look,” Jones said, “If I’m late to my anatomy class, the last thing I want is a group of bearded, axe-wielding crazies accusing me of stealing treasure. It’s really made my morning commute a lot more stressful.”
Information gleaned from long scrolls the Guild nails to the neighborhood telephone poles indicate that they are soon leaving on a mission to retrieve gold from a “wicked fire-drake” who guards the treasure in a place the group refers to as “the Lonely Mountain.” Requests for comment from the group have not been returned.
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