Monday, November 9, 2009

Epic Barbarian Chieftain

(Non-Player Character Concept - Drok Hjanor)

Drok Hjanor was born to lead men in battle. His father had been a Chieftain, and so had his father before him. A long line of brave Hjanor warriors stretched back - as far back as any skald could remember, and their tales were told around fires all across the Frozen Lands.

The day Drok himself was raised to Chieftain - over the body of the former Chieftain - came as no surprise to anyone. Drok had fought by the side of the old Chieftain, Kolo "the Bear" Krasduur in many a battle, but it was expected that Drok would challenge him one day. Leadership was gained through mastery of fear and proof of strength. Some day Drok would be challenged himself, and on the day he failed, he would follow the Bear to the Great Hall. The gods would have it no other way.

It was three years ago to-day that Drok had led his people to the Valley of Greening, an almost mystical place that had only been spoken of in Legend. But he had found it and brought his people to live here. Life would be easier for the women - for them all. This was both a blessing of the gods and a curse of men. Food would grow here, and there was plenty of game to be found. And so Drok had ordered all the men and slaves to work on re-building the fortifications that had stood here during the Age of Giants. If the people were to find rest and peace and comfort in this place, it would have to be defended.

It was at the end of the first summer that the ogres' camp had been found. The ogres were strong. The ogres had known no fear ... until Drok led his men against them. On that day many men died in glorious battle, but Drok led them to victory nevertheless. It was a pity that the strongest and bravest among the ogres had had to be put to the axe, but those were too dangerous. The rest were put in dwarf-forged chains and made to help in the building. With their assistance, the project was nearly finished.

And so it was on this day that Drok Hjanor, Chief of Chieftains was surveying the defenses - the walls of stone that would allow his people to hold what they had found. This was the dawn of a New Age for his tribe. An era of prosperity and plenty. His people would thrive here.

It would be far too easy to become weak in such a land. If that happened, then his people would lose everything, for the gods would be displeased. It was his duty to ensure that they never forgot the Old Ways - the Way of Battle. He would do his duty until the day he himself died in battle or challenge. Either way, he would train up his successor.

Drok had picked a half-dozen of the bravest and strongest of the young men. He made them his honour-guard. He brought them to survey their lands. He would make them live outside the valley for a time, to discover their strength and their cunning. He would do this once every year until his last.

They stood on the tallest tower on the western wall. The sound of wood-chopping echoed from the nearby pass. From here they could see anything that approached through the narrow defile between the dual peaks of Malnos. (Nothing short of a dragon or a god would be able to approach over the mountain itself.) The trees in that direction were in the process of being pushed back. Already, it was half a mile from the wall to the tree-line, and Drok had ordered that it be pushed back further still. He wanted plenty of warning, should an enemy arrive.

As Drok and his young guard examined the stonework, an ogre-slave and his handler stood by. The master mason was pointing out some tricky bit of engineering that would enable the wall to withstand even the heaviest attack. This was all beyond the ken of Drok. He had brought Dwarf masons to help oversee the building. No expense could be spared in protecting this valley, their new home, their gift from the gods.

It was after several minutes of this explanation, that his patience began to wear.

"Is it not time for meat?" He asked. "The wall is good, but warriors need strength more than talk - especially this night. For it will be our last within the walls for a moon-cycle."

He led his men down the wide stone stair that ran behind the wall and led to the gatehouse. He entered the hall, and ordered serving girls to bring him and his men meat and mead. The half-dozen youth that made up his guard took to their meal like it was their last.

As it turned out, it was.

The Party of Adventurers burst into the hall twenty minutes later. A huge man in full-plate armor and a huge metal shield came crashing through the front door, his sword swinging freely despite the enormous pack on his back. An elf leaped through the window and started yelling something about avenging the honor of some nymph or something and loosing arrows with abandon. A tall, dark-haired woman followed the warrior. She was wearing what appeared to be a bright red bikini made of crushed velvet and gold. It offered no protection at all, either from battle or from the elements. Colored lights springing forth from her fingers. Through the kitchen, came a dwarf in a gem-studded golden breastplate so gaudy it made Drok's eyes water. The dwarf immediately set about him with a huge hammer, calling on some foreign god to aid him in his quest.

And in the midst of all this, came a halfling, all in black and with a hood covering his features. he, too had a pack on his back that was nearly as large as he was, but it impeded his movement not at all. First, swinging down from second-floor deck on the chandelier, he dropped to the floor. Next he was stabbing people in the back and picking their pockets! The insanity! The utter gall!

What in the name of the gods is wrong with these people? It wasn't until after he'd taken a fireball to the face, an axe to the knee and a knife in his back that Drok Hjanor Chief of Chieftains, thought to himself, "Gods dammit! Bloody Player Characters!"


  1. That is spectacular. I nearly wept with laughter.

  2. Thanks!

    I wasn't sure if anyone else would find it all that funny, but I figured anyone who's ever played D&D might get a giggle out of it. (Or at least a groan ...)