Heads Or Tails

Quick Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the world they inhabit. They were created by the fabulous people at Zombie Orpheus for their equally fabulous RPG, Masters of the Metaverse!  Be sure to tune in to Twitch.TV/zombieorpheus every Monday at 6PM PST to see more!



At the moment of death, the very second where life ends and the beyond begins, there comes a point where all the mysteries of the universe are revealed. All questions are answered, all legends are explained, all wonders are shown. Life, the universe, and very nearly everything are given their proper order and place in the fabric of time and reality. No longer is it unclear as to why things exist, what is the purpose of life, and how it all fits together. In this moment of clarity and enlightenment, the spirit must undergo a transformation. It must finally and for one brief moment, became what it was always capable of being. At last, the pinnacle of self is achieved. Unless of course, you are a Chad sort of a bro.

“Heads or bottoms?”


“Very well Chip, let us test your theory.”

Dale plucked the skull of Chip from his chest cavity and gave it an expert toss into the air. He watched it arc gracefully up before catching it again, almost effortlessly. He glanced down at it and made a disappointed tutting sound.

“Bottoms, I’m afraid Chip. Care to try again?”


“Suit yourself.” Dale returned the skull to its former home.

It was at this point that Umbra rounded a corner and slumped dejectedly to the ground. Chip and Dale regarded the glowing celestial wolf with as much concern as their skulls were able to convey.

“How’s it going then?” asked Dale, shifting a bit closer to the dejected creature.

Umbra lifted his head and sniffed, “I see that you have gained the ability of speech. If I was not so preoccupied with my own problems I would have serious concerns about this.”

Dale spread his hands, “Concerns about what? About me and Chip? Whatever would give you a reason to be concerned about us?”

“You are animated skeletal remains brought back from death to be controlled by a skinny necromancer with a penchant for polka. What about this situation does not warrant my concern?”

“Fair enough. But you said that you have your own problems, ergo we are not one of those problems, therefore you don’t need to be concerned about us. Besides, I’m fairly certain you’re the only one who can hear us. So, what’s going on?”

Umbra sighed and laid his head back down, “I am charged with guiding The Chosen One on their preordained path. However, Zelle is…resistant to my advice.”

“You mean she ignores you?”

If it was possible for a spirit wolf to glare, Umbra did so now. Dale shrugged and folded his massive arms.

“Bro!” came a muffled sound.

“Oh! Right, terribly sorry about that Chip. Is that better? Facial structures still intact? Nasal cavity open? Jawbone attached? Yes? Right, good.”, Dale patted Chip absently.

“Zelle is headstrong and spirited. These are qualities that will allow her to pursue her destiny in the most trying of circumstances. But at the moment they are qualities that are making me want to…well chew up her shoes.” said Umbra.

Dale nodded, “Plus she made you eat your own sick.”

“I do not wish to speak of that!” Umbra snarled, “Certain moments are private and meant to be kept between myself and The Chosen One!”

“Bro.” Chip said solemnly.

“Yes, Chip makes a very good point. While you might be feeling that you are completely to blame for the issues at hand, you must consider what part your young charge has to play in all of this.”

Umbra shook his head, “The Chosen One is untrained. She is not to be expected to know the correct path without guidance. I am here to provide that guidance. Any fault in that path lies with me.”

“Consider death.” said Dale, abruptly.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Well, have you?”

“Have I what?”

“Considered it.”

“Considered what!?”


“Why would I consider death? I am a celestial spiritual guide, astrally projected into this world in the form of a wolf. I do not age, sleep, or die. Why then, would I consider death? Unless of course, you are suggesting that I consider death for The Chosen One. Which I certainly hope you are not.” Umbra growled.

“Now, now. Just hear me out.” said Dale, “Look at me. Before death, what was I? I was nothing. I was a lumbering idiot with the intellectual acumen and verbal eloquence of a mentally deficient donkey. And then I died. And in that moment, I became aware of…well, everything really. Death is wonderfully clarifying. It does wonders for the mind and the spirit, as well as allowing one to become their ideal self. Why not let your chosen one just casually die, just on the side no big deal, and then have the necromancer bring her back? I promise you her mind will be much more focused on the task at hand.”

Umbra stared at Dale and said nothing.

“All right, fine. We’ll call that Plan B.”


“Yes, Chip, yes. B for bro, very good.” Dale sighed, “Always truly edifying to chat with you Chip, a real mental decathlon.”

“I do not understand why she is so resistant to my teaching. She is The Chosen One, contractually she is destined to save the world. And I am obligated to be there to guide her down the correct path.” Umbra said, “There are moments when I feel as if I am finally getting through, finally making progress. And then she murders sleeping orcs.”

“As far as I can see there are three possible reasons for this behavior. One, you are not a very good spirit guide, and you need to improve post haste.” Dale began counting out on his fingers, “Two, she is actually supposed to be an evil chosen one and you’re wasting your time trying to get her to be good.”

“I am not evil.” Umbra interrupted, “I do not guide evil chosen ones. And Zelle is not evil…she is morally apathetic.”

“Right, well moving on. If it isn’t your fault, and it isn’t because of moral apathy, the last possibility that I can see is that she isn’t The Chosen One at all. You just happened to think she was and are now trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, as it were, and somewhere out there the true chosen one is running about willy nilly with no spiritual guidance at all.”

Umbra blinked. He stared at the giant, talking ogre skeleton in silence for a long time.

“Clearly I am a terrible spirit guide and I need to change my ways quickly. Perhaps I’ve been too strict. After all what’s wrong with killing a few orcs? Sleeping or not, they could have attacked the party.”, he said at last.

“The blacksmiths? With the little hammers?”

“You don’t know!” Umbra cried, a bit shrilly.

The great wolf gave a sigh and laid his head down with a slight whimper. Dale reached out and patted his back.

“It’s all right”, he said, “I don’t like the person I work for either.”

“I do not know what you are implying. The Chosen One is my destiny, I serve and I protect because I must.”

“Of course, of course. All I’m saying is that given the opportunity, I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to be enthralled to a gangly, folk music obsessed necromancer with wardrobe malfunctions. But here we are. If I hadn’t have smashed Chip, I never would have ended up here in the first place.” Dale replied.


“Yes, I have apologized for that Chip. Several times. I’m not sure how many more times I need to say it.”

Umbra curled up and turned away from the giant bone golem. Dale sat quietly for a time before pulling Chip back out and tossing him up and down a few times, experimentally.

“Heads or bottoms?”

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