“Why is Switzerland in my kitchen?”
A tabletop, role-playing
game called MystikQuest is a fun diversion
from the disappointing lives of Wes Walker and his socially awkward, junior
high friends, Marc and AJ. It doesn’t
matter to Wes that his friends think his game is a lame rip-off of “Lord of
the Rings.” Playing fantasy fiction is harmless fun until
one fateful day when Wes discovers a dying creature in his treehouse, clutching
an old arrowhead relic Wes dug up from his back yard. The creature looks remarkably
goblin. Fiction soon becomes reality.
What Wes thought
was an old arrowhead turns out to be
an ancient magic artifact that defends itself by spinning elaborate, seemingly
realistic illusions. One moment, they’re
all in AJ’s basement, entertaining other reluctant teens banished from the
adult party upstairs, the next moment, a sunny, Swiss mountainscape appears
where AJ’s kitchen should be. It’s only
an illusion, but it looks, sounds, smells, and feels real.
The level of inexplicability
rises when Wes’s mysterious,
long-lost Uncle Dru suddenly shows up claiming to be a real-life wizard assigned
to protect the stone from a rogue member of his order. On cue, a black-clad
wizard with red eyes bursts
in, initiating a wand duel that trap the six bewildered teens in the crossfire.
Stray wand blasts trigger the stone’s defense mechanism and the kids are
magically transported into the fictional world of Wes’s MystikQuest game.
Chosen for them by
the stone, the kids are thrust into
ironic game avatars: Lanky, geeky
Marc is a charismatic, muscular warrior; quiet, autistic Schroeder is a transcendent
druid; brainy, logical Wes is a mystical wizard; tall, stylish high-schooler
Tyler is a diminutive hobbit; introverted emo Katie is a scantily-clad,
voluptuous elf warrioress; and foul-mouthed, obnoxious AJ is the equally foul-mouthed
and obnoxious half-ogre. Adjusting to
their new superhuman bodies and abilities, they must navigate the game to
somehow conclude its story for the stone to release them. But how can a
bunch of nerdy, awkward teens who rarely exercise or go outside, much less know
how to fight maniacal orcs and fire-spewing dragons, be expected to defeat an
entire evil kingdom as daunting as (and ripped off from) Tolkein’s Mordor?
And how can they stop the red-eyed wizard from sabotaging the game and hunting
them like prey?
With help from two of the game characters, a kindly, garrulous
old wizard and an Aragorn-like heir in exile, the kids will battle giant
spiders, drunken brutes, moronic orcs, plagiarized plots, and their own insecurities
to somehow beat the game before they’re stuck in the stone’s illusion forever.