Audrey Houghton, Reporter

A party of heroes raise their weapons and focus their weary eyes on the threat moving down the battlefield. This test of their comradery will decide the fate of their world… the lumbering beast draws ever closer. Dice clamber on the table to decide the battle. While their classmates are enthralled in the thrill of the final battle of an epic Dungeons and Dragons saga, it’s easy to forget there is a person pulling the strings of the story in front of them. Behind the curtain Veda Puranik  (12) effortlessly puppet-masters the adventure of a lifetime.

With over a year of experience under their belt, Veda is a regular game master for 3 different parties and is highly requested to guide stories for UHS students. Fitting the game in between their busy schedule of work, difficult classes and busy social schedule is no easy feat but their love of the game keeps them running- when asked how they managed, they laughed and replied “improv”. 

Despite their skills in running games, Veda actually prefers to be a player rather than a game master. “Playing my DND characters is always my favorite,” they told us. “Lately I’ve been [game mastering] a lot more than playing, so when I get a chance to play a character I’ve been thinking about for a long time, it’s exciting!”

“Veda is like my awesome older sibling and I really appreciate them as a friend and a DM.”

— Ray Zoretich

Their players love them as much as they love the game, too. “I really felt like I fit in once I began to play DND with them and the rest of the group. They’ve been a super helpful guide even with my own campaigns that I’m trying to run.  Playing DND with them is a massive stress reliever especially if I’ve had a very bad day at school or everything is just stressing me out,” Ray Zoretich (11) who plays in one of their campaigns commented. “Veda is like my awesome older sibling and I really appreciate them as a friend and a DM.

Looking into the future, Veda plans to use their coolness under pressure to go into veterinary sciences. “As much as I want to keep up with DND I think I’ll have to cut back on [game mastering]; it takes a lot of effort to plan sessions at times. Hopefully I’ll get to play as a player though!”