Even the bravest that are slain
Shall not dissemble their surprise
On waking to find valor reign,
Even as on earth, in paradise;
And where they sought without the sword
Wide fields of asphodel fore'er,
To find that the utmost reward
Of daring should be still to dare.
-- Robert Frost, 1913
The Trial by Existence is a story cycle set in the Dungeons & Dragons
universe, consisting of the following stories. Each one is a standalone story,
but the later ones rely on character development that occurs in the earlier
ones, so I recommend reading them in order.
Important Note on Ratings
The original cartoon was intended for a child audience. These stores are NOT.
They are all rated PG-13 for mature themes, including violence and
sexuality. Certain stories have two versions -- one rated PG-13 and one rated R
for explicit sexual activity that's pretty much on the same level as that found
in your typical bodice-ripper romance novel.
You have be of legal age in your location to read the R-rated version.
If you aren't or just prefer to avoid explicit sex scenes, the non-R-rated versions
aren't missing anything plot-wise -- they just have the sex scenes neatly excised --
so you won't be missing all that much.
All of the poems' titles and epigraphs come from poems by Robert Frost.
There's a good collection of almost all of his poems at the
The Trial By Existence
A map of the region where Trial takes place.
Road Less Traveled
Miles To Go
Design of Darkness
Design of Darkness - Rated R
The Fire Itself
The Fire Itself - Rated R
Night of Dark Intent
Acquainted With The Night
Fire and Ice