In about a month the Dungeons & Dragons movie Honor Among Thieves is gathering its party and venturing forth to the big screen, but before that, two new tie-in novels will give us an insight into just how some of its ragtag heroes first met each other.
While Road to Neverwinter by Jaleigh Johnson follows Chris Pine’s swaggering bard Edgin, The Druid’s Call, penned by E.K. Johnston, will introduce us to Sophia Lillis’ Doric, the Tiefling Druid whose Owlbear antics have already had an impact on D&D itself, even before the movie hits theaters! Following Doric as she eschews the ranger training of her people to learns the ways of the wild, the novel sees the young Tiefling answer the titular call of nature magic to come into her own as a powerful Druid. The Druid’s Call will also see her cross paths with another familiar face from the upcoming movie: Justice Smith’s Half-Elf sorcerer, Simon.
Check out the preview below to learn how Doric and Simon meet!
One day, as summer was starting to really dig in, she came to a pond that had formed during the last of the spring floods and was still clinging to existence, though it was clearly drying up. The mud that bounded the water was cracked, and the plants seemed to reach in vain for the water. None of that was particularly important, given the time of year. What was important was that in the middle of the pond there stood a boy who looked to be only a little bit older than she was.
He was tall, and his skin was brown and sun-freckled in the summer heat. His hair was short, neatly framing his pointed ears. He was, for some reason, fully clothed, even though the water came up to his waist. He held his satchel above his head to keep it dry. He looked confused.
“Hello!” he said when he saw her. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” Doric replied carefully. “How are you?”
“Oh, you know,” the boy said. “Wet.”
“That happens in ponds,” Doric pointed out.
“Yes, I was aware of that before I came in,” the boy said.
Someone else might have asked him why, but Doric wasn’t really interested in conversation. She’d come to the pond to refill her waterskin, but now she didn’t want to. She had no idea how long he’d been standing there, and the pond wasn’t that big.
“I’m Simon, by the way,” the boy said. “I’m a sorcerer.”
“Doric,” Doric said, because even though she’d never met one, she’d heard that it always paid to be polite to sorcerers.
“You’re a tiefling!” Simon said. “That’s really neat.”
A long pause stretched between them. Simon’s bag was still above his head.
“Anyway, did you have plans for dinner?” Simon asked. “I was thinking about dinner.”
“It’s two hours after noon,” Doric said.
Simon looked a bit crestfallen.
“So, that means afternoon tea or something?” he inquired.
“No,” Doric said.
It wasn’t like she couldn’t refill her waterskin in the river. It was just more likely she’d get wet that way. She figured she had about two hours of water left if she was careful. She liked to hold some in reserve just in case, so she could probably make it farther, but there was no need to be incautious just because she’d met a strange boy in a pond.
“I’m heading out,” Simon said. “I’m going north.”
He started wading out of the pool, clothes cartoonishly ballooned and dripping with water. A frog leapt from one of his flooded pockets and back into the pond.
“I am . . . not,” she said with a bewildered stare.
“Oh,” Simon said. He narrowed his eyes as if he were really looking at her for the first time, focusing on her armor. Doric braced herself. “Are you a druid, then?” he said.
The question caught her off guard. It was the first time anyone had ever asked her. Liavaris had told her, Fenjor had assumed as much, and the spirit in the tree had been, well, a spirit in a tree, but still weird about it. The elves had accepted the declaration immediately, and none of the humans she’d met so far had cared.
“Yes,” she said before the pause got too awkward.
Simon picked his way through the drying mud, his wet clothes running rivulets of water through the dirt.
“Well, then I actually have another question for you,” he admitted with a sheepish slump of his shoulders. “There’s a village called Willowdale just over that hill there.” He gestured with both hands, the bag listing open as he moved it. “They’re having a problem with their wells, something about their gardens not growing as well as they usually do in spring, and now it’s almost too late to catch up. I was trying to help them.”
“By standing in a pond.” Doric lifted an eyebrow.
“I had planned to cast a spell,” Simon told her with a sigh. “It did not work out. I’ll be washing algae off myself for days.”
“I can see that,” Doric said.
She looked at the river and then at the sun, which was still high enough in the sky that she wasn’t thinking about where she’d camp that night. Surely it wouldn’t take too long to help a village and get back on her way. Plus, if she was being entirely honest, it was probably best to ask the locals for advice about the road ahead. The shepherds were fine, but their directions had already gotten her turned around twice.
“All right,” Doric said. “Show me what the problem is.”
Reprinted from Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: The Druid’s Call by E. K. Johnston. © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC. © 2023 Paramount Pictures Corporation. Published by Random House Worlds, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
The Druid’s Call hits shelves tomorrow, February 28, ahead of Honor Among Thieves rolling into theaters March 31.
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