‘Dungeons and Dragons: The Road to Neverwinter’: Read an Exclusive Excerpt From ‘Honor Among Thieves’ Prequel Novel!!

One of the most exciting upcoming theatrical releases of 2023 is the highly anticipated Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves from Paramount. The beloved tabletop game has seen a resurgence in recent years thanks to shows like Stranger Things and watchable campaigns from Dimension 20 and Critical Role. Honor Among Thieves follows an adventuring party of, well, thieves who happen to steal the wrong thing from the wrong person and must fight to get it back before it brings about the destruction of the universe as they know it.

Ahead of the film’s big-screen debut, Collider is thrilled to share an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming prequel novel Dungeons and Dragons: The Road to Neverwinter by Jaleigh Johnson. The novel is set to tell the origin story of the adventuring party that we’ll follow in Honor Among Thieves. When a chance encounter brings bard Edgin and barbarian Holga together they decide to join forces and build a team of thieves to liberate the wealthy of their excess money.

In Honor Among Thieves, we’ll see Chris Pine bring Edgin to life alongside The Fast and The Furious franchise alum Michelle Rodriguez as Holga. The Road to Neverwinter will also introduce us to Hugh Grant‘s Forge and Justice Smith‘s Simon. The film will see this adventuring party collide with Regé-Jean Page‘s Xenk, a handsome paladin, and Doric, a tiefling druid played by Sophia Lillis.

What Is Dungeons and Dragons: The Road to Neverwinter About?

While the upcoming film will see Edgin and his friends team up to right their own wrongs after they accidentally unleash “the greatest evil the world has ever known,” The Road to Neverwinter follows the charming bard on a more Robin Hood-style adventure. The excerpt from the novel, which you can read below, sees the meeting of Edgin and Forge—while Edgin is a bard and Forge is a rogue, both characters have naturally high charisma for their classes. A friendly game of Three-Dragon Ante quickly turns into a competition between the two, which could lead to some of the lighthearted animosity that we’ve seen between the two in the trailers for Honor Among Thieves.

Check out the official synopsis along with the novel’s cover and then keep scrolling to read the exclusive excerpt.

Edgin Darvis’ life is a mess. All that he has left are his lute, his dashing good looks, and…not much else. After a chance encounter with badass bruiser Holga, Edgin is forced to take a hard look at his bad choices. But the road to redemption is long, and paved with unforeseen expenses. Fortunately, the world is full of rich fools begging to be parted from their money.

And so Edgin and Holga do what any sensible entrepreneurs would do—they form a crew.

Joined by a charming rogue, Forge Fitzwilliam, and Simon, a sorcerer with an intense inferiority complex, the team sets out to line their pockets with both well-earned and ill-gotten gold. Together, Edgin’s crew battles monsters across the realms: gnoll raiders, fey witches, and more fall beneath their sharp weapons and sharper wit. But when they encounter a new, more sophisticated villain, keen blades and piercing blue eyes may not be enough.

Their target? Torlinn Shrake, a wealthy eccentric known for abusing his servants and hosting lavish parties.

The plan? Play dress-up, sneak into the Shrake estate, and fill their pockets with as much loot as they can carry.

The catch? Shrake is hiding a terrible secret: one that could endanger the lives of everyone Edgin has come to care for—even if the loot is too good to pass up.

Dungeons and Dragons: The Road to Neverwinter cover

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves rolls initiative in theaters on March 31.

Read the Excerpt From Dungeons and Dragons: The Road to Neverwinter

“That’s the spirit.” Forge scooped up the cards.

Edgin held up his tankard, signaling for more ale, and then he cracked his knuckles and leaned forward in his chair as Forge began to shuffle.

They started a new game, but Edgin stopped paying attention to his own cards, and instead he watched Forge’s hands. To the casual observer, it probably looked like Edgin was in a drunken stupor at this point. To be fair, he was. But he was also falling back on years and years of training that had never really left him, no matter how far removed he was from the Harpers.

Forge’s hands moved fast, snapping cards and flipping coins, but in Edgin’s hyper-focused mind, they might as well have been going in slow motion.

There it is—he dealt from the bottom of the deck. Oh, very smooth. He used the coin flip as a distraction. Nice nail beds too. No hangnails in sight.

Forge’s sleeves, now that Edgin really looked, had little embellishments on them that from a distance looked like fancy decorative embroidery, but in reality they were there to conceal slits in the fabric, large enough and positioned in such a way as to hold cards if he needed them while he rested his elbows on the table.

Oh, there he goes, slipping one out to put into his hand, and another goes in.

Forge was very good. Edgin could always admire a sleek, well-orchestrated hustle. It was like standing in front of an oil painting and leaning close to study the brushstrokes, or listening to a piece of music and trying to separate out the role of each instrument that contributed to the whole beauty of the piece. Yes, Edgin was a connoisseur of hustling, even in a drunken stupor.

Actually, he was even better at hustling when he was drunk.

“My turn to deal?” he asked after Forge swept up another handful of coins. Edgin’s own pile was getting dangerously low, and Forge glanced at it with a good-natured wince on his behalf.

“Are you sure you don’t want to call it a night?” he asked, but he handed the cards over willingly enough when Edgin made a vague gesture for them.

The halfling bard was still onstage and had just launched into a jaunty tune that was perfect to stomp his feet to. Edgin noticed his lute still lay untouched on the stage. He’d almost forgotten about it, but he wasn’t worried. He’d get it later.

“I sense a comeback in the making,” Edgin said, rolling his shoulders and shuffling the cards.

And Edgin began to cheat. Shamelessly, effortlessly, and all the while he watched Forge’s face to see how long it took his fellow hustler to notice.

To his credit, it wasn’t very long.

Edgin had just collected his second victory pot when Forge’s brow furrowed. He leaned against the table, tapping his cheek with the index and middle fingers of his right hand. He began to watch Edgin’s hands. Edgin was tempted to slow his pace down, just a bit, to give Forge a chance, but no, he decided now was a good time to see how skilled the other man really was.

He saw the moment Forge realized Edgin was cheating too. A muscle in his finely sculpted jaw ticked, and he smoothed a hand through his graying hair. His gaze lifted from the table, and their eyes locked for an instant, neither making a move. They were just frozen there, watching each other, one hustler recognizing another, and it was like they were introducing themselves to each other all over again.

Hello, I’m Forge, and you should know that story about being a merchant on the verge of settling down was a load of steaming horse dung.

Hello, I’m Edgin, and I know you wanted to fleece me while I was drunk and vulnerable, but you should understand the drunker I get, the better cheater I am.

Nice to meet you.

At least, that’s how Edgin imagined it playing out in his head. In reality, all that happened was a slow smile spread across Forge’s face, and it wasn’t his aw shucks, laid-back smile, or the patronizing grin he’d worn when Edgin was losing so much coin. No, this was the hustler’s smile. This smile was tight, and it was all teeth.

“Another round?” Forge asked, picking up the deck and tapping it on the table.

“Absolutely,” Edgin said.

After that, neither of them even tried to hide their techniques anymore. Edgin pulled out every trick he knew and presented it to impress Forge, and Forge did the same. Even Holga started to notice, but when she opened her mouth to call out the blatant cheating, Edgin cut her off.

“It’s all right,” he said, clinking his tankard against hers. “We’re just putting on another performance, aren’t we, Forge?”

Forge chuckled and slipped another card from the bottom of the deck. “It’s been the most educational evening I’ve spent in some time,” he said. “Truly, the way your fingers caress the cards to distract from what you’re doing. You must teach me how it’s done.”

“Gladly,” Edgin said, with a little half bow in his seat. “And you simply must tell me who your tailor is. I have to get one of those shirts. It’s perfect for this sort of work.”

“Oh, this old thing?” Forge lifted his arms carelessly. “I made it myself. I can give you the pattern.”

“You’re too kind.”

Holga rolled her eyes. “I’m going to the bar,” she said, and left them to their mutual fawning.

It wasn’t the way Edgin had expected the evening to go at all, but he discovered, to his shock, that he was actually enjoying himself immensely. He hadn’t been able to perform onstage, but he’d had no trouble slipping into this performance, and he appreciated Forge as a worthy opponent. Maybe that’s what it was—to play well against a worthy adversary made him feel like he hadn’t lost as much as he’d thought. It made him feel more like himself.

And then the door to the tavern burst open, slamming against the opposite wall so hard the building shook.

Edgin looked over his shoulder and noted that the draft coming in the open door was quite chilly, but before he could yell at someone to shut it, the gnoll raiding party poured into the tavern.

via Collider

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