A Hero's Tale...Tall as It May Be

by: Brokain

The Man that sat across from him had the look of a grizzled veteran.
He was strong and muscular,
covered in scars from many previous battles. He hid a knowing smirk
under his goatee and his blue eyes flashed with intelligence as he
recounted the adventures he had had in the mines of the Rujilark orcs,
despicable creatures that had threatened the citizens of Maj’Dul for
years. A tale that was started because of the Steelfist memento he wore
in his ear.

“So you were the glue that
held this ragtag group together?” asked Ab’jar, a look of intense
concentration on his face. He and two others had sat for the last 30min
of this warrior’s story, enraptured of the tales of his heroic deeds.

“Exactly.” The man answered.
“Without me they were doomed. We would’ve still been wandering
the entrance halls looking for how to get deeper into the mines had I
not realized that we needed to find this ‘Overseer’ gent. So I lead the
group back to the lift and we went through the door next to it, obviously
the overseer’s lair. It was dark and the walls seemed to close in on us
as I took point, the monk in our group behind me as backup…but she really
just wanted to enjoy the view, if you know what I mean.” The man winked
and nudged one of the other two men, Hakim, with his elbow.

“So then what happened?”
Ab’jar asked eagerly.

“Well, we knew we were walking
into the den of the lion, so to speak. Danger weighed down upon us like
a heavy blanket. Our Troubadour, there to collect info on my deeds for
a new ballad she was writing, was shaking bad. She was scared but
trying to hide it. She’s a trooper, that one. Knowing that she could be
a weak link in the team should this fear overtake her, I had to do
something to break her fear.”

An audible gasp escaped the
group. They had picked up 3 more people since the man continued his
tale. “What…what did you do?” asked Hakim in awe.

“I stopped the group. ‘T’, I
said. ‘T, you have to get a grip. You’re endangering the party like
this. Don’t worry, I won’t let anything happen to you and we have our
resident High Templar here as well. It’ll be ok.’ Well needless to say,
she gathered courage from my words and we pressed on.”

Murmurs of respect and awe from the crowd.

“So we moved forward, entering
the chamber. Sure enough, there were miner orcs everywhere you looked.
We had no choice, we had to get to the door that was on the other side
of this room, no doubt the offices of the Overseer. So the battle
began. With me in the lead, we began to cut a swath in the ranks of
these putrid creatures. I hacked, I cut, I bludgeoned. The plan was
simple, as I was point, I would soften these creatures up and make them
manageable, and the rest of my group would finish what I had left over.
It was the safest way to keep everyone alive after all.”

“But…” Rajiir, a newcomer
asked, “Wasn’t there a High Templar in your group? Could he not have
kept you alive as well?”

“Good question. The answer is
that as much as I love that little dwarven priest, he’s not always the
brightest light in a dark dungeon, if you catch my drift. Many times
our Necromancer would have to call upon the forces of life and death to
rez him!”

This brought a raucous
laughter from the crowd, which had continued to grow until now it was
the better part of the tavern.

“So, there I was, in the thick
of heated battle, the others backing me up admirably, when suddenly a
blow lands on our monk’s head! She was stunned heavily and began to
wander away from the group into some of the other miners ahead of us. I
had to act fast if I was to save her life,” at this the man stood up,
intensity flashing in his eyes “because NO ONE dies on my

One of the ladies fainted, and
the person who caught her asked in an excited tone “So what did you

“The only thing I could do. I
screamed back at the Necromancer, ‘Have your undead minions hold these
orcs here! We have to split the group!’ I held off the wave of orcs
long enough for her to raise our help from the depths of the hells and
then leapt over them to engage the group that our injured monk was
headed for. I ran as though the gods of hate were on my heels and
passed our monk. She was still dazed and didn’t notice me. I jumped
into the group and screamed ‘Your mother looks like Antonia Bayle!!’ a
taunt no orc could stomach. They all turned and attacked me!”

The crowed gasped and shuffled
as more joined in to hear the story! “How did you get out? Did the
others come and help you?” someone asked.

“No, I knew they had their
hands full with the four orcs I left them. There was no one
coming to help. I had to do this alone, to save our companion! So I
took on the 10 orcs now coming at me single handedly. It was a fierce
battle to be sure, but I summoned my own companion from the depths and
we battled hard. We battled fiercely. And in the end, we prevailed!”

The crowd went wild and
cheered. Suddenly the strangers drink cup was being refilled as it

“After all was said and done
we had triumphed over these ugly menaces. Our monk was hurt, and after
I went and tended caringly to her wounds, she seemed to be ok.” The man
looked into the eyes of one of the women at the bar when he said this
and she swooned

“Are you all right now?” I
asked her.

“Yes, yes I am now” she

“ You should go back, you may
get injured again and I couldn’t have that on my conscience’ I told
her. To which she answered’

“No! No I have to be here! I
have to help you! Please don’t make me go!”

“Now I was torn. My companion
had a serious blow to her head, but had I sent her back a more serious
blow would I have given to her heart. I had no choice. ‘Very well, but
be more careful from now on, please’ I asked her.”

“I will, I promise.”

Sniffling could be heard from
the crowd at this point. The man took a long swig of his drink. It was
obviously to his liking as he stopped to look at the glass, smiling.

“ We continued on through the
mines, my companions and I, until we came to a chamber full of toiling
miners and elite guards. ‘Stop here’ I said.” Now the man stood up from
his chair, animating his story to the crowd, which now filled the
tavern and crowded around to hear and see his tale… all except for four
figures over at the bar who could’ve seemed to care less.

“We need to scout ahead. If
only we could get in there unseen…’ I was stumped. Then our little
gnomish Necromancer jumped forward and looked at me.

“‘I can go invisible and look
ahead”. She’s a pip, that one. Always eager to please.

“Ok,’ I said ‘just be careful
not to bring anything back with you’. She turned invisible and off she
went. Little did we know the surprises that waited just around the

“What happened next? We
to know!” a man in the crowd exclaimed.

“Well, she came back…with a
‘friend’. An elite orc that had seen many battles from the looks of his
body and armor. He leapt on us with a ferocity that we weren’t
expecting. We took up arms and fought him, me in the front taking the
brunt of his attack. It was a brutal fight, but luck was not on our
side at this moment for another elite guard came through on patrol and
noticed our skirmish. Quietly, under the sounds of our battle, he snuck
up on our Necromancer...”

The crowd was silent, awaiting
the impending doom foreshadowed for the little gnome.

“And with one blow, he killed
her. She hit the ground and we lost the assistance of her undead
minions. The fight now turned bad. These weren’t the untrained miners
we had fought up until now. These were battle-hardened vets who knew
what they were doing and we felt it through their blows. I was holding
my own just barely, but our Monk, Templar, and Troubadour were fading
fast. Soon it would be just me, and I would’ve failed my team.” The man
looked sad as he took another gulp from what was now his fourth glass
of some concoction of spiced wine being served to him.

“But you didn’t let that
happen… did you? They lived, didn’t they?” A young boy, who had
wandered in, asked.

The man looked at the boy and
a smile crossed his face. He tussled the boy’s hair with his hand. “Do
you think I’d be here now if I’d let them die, young one? No, I knew we
were in serious danger. I had to do something and had to do it fast or
we were going down somewhere where our bodies would be defiled many
times over and I couldn’t let that happen to my precious team. I
maneuvered behind the orc our monk was fighting, while still keeping
mine at bay in front of me. I used a forgotten magic to all but the
most gifted of Shadow Knights. I focused all my concentration and drew
upon a power that resided in me from before I was born and unleashed…”

The crowd once again grew
silent, hanging on this man’s every word, waiting for more…

man animated the gesture of palm striking someone’s chest as he yelled
this, startling the crowd. “My magic drained the life right out of the
orc and he fell lifeless to the ground. With that done, I turned on the
elite that was about to crush the rest of the party and with me
fighting he had no chance left. He too fell dead. Our Templar and his
acolyte tended to our Necromancer and called the power to bring her
back to the land of the living. We rested, got our strength back and
pressed on.”

The crowd lit up in cheers,
relieved to hear the story would go on. Now on his sixth cup of drink,
the man had to sit down to tell the story as he was starting to sway as
he told the story.

“On we pressed, until we
reached…The Vault Of Dust!”

The crowd gasped loudly at the
mention of the name…even though they had no idea what it was.

The man’s face became serious.
“This was no regular dungeon. This was where the orcish heroes were
laid to rest. Filled with the wails of the dead” He hissed “it was no
place for the living and only our Necromancer was comfortable here.
Down into the main chamber we fought. It was a grueling battle when we
got there. We had invaded sacred sanctuary and there was no forgiveness
to be found here. Suddenly, we were assaulted on all sides by heroic
priests! There seemed to be no escape, our Monk went down! Our
Necromancer went down! The Troubadour went down! Our Templar and I took
off to the exit to make our stand! There was no other option. We had to
live for the others to survive! As we neared the top, the orcs caught
our priest and took him down quickly. It was down to me and it was down
to those elite orcish priests. I leveled my sword and began battle! I
took down two and turned to the third and fourth…”

A low baritone voice boomed
from the bar. “That’s enough!! I canna believe you would spin such
falsehoods, ya jackal!!” A dwarf, decked out in plate armor jumped down
from the stool he was sitting on and he made his way through the crowd,
followed by a tall, beautiful Barbarian woman, a childlike figure who
was accompanied by a shadowy figure, and a Kerran female with white fur
who moved with the grace gifted to her by her catlike nature. The crowd
was parted easily by the sour look on the barbarian female’s face as
the four moved toward what had now become the stage for the man telling
this tale.

The dwarf and company stood
before the man, whose face had just twisted into a mask of abject
terror. The crowd shifted restlessly. Who were these people and why
were they about to attack their new hero?

The childlike female stepped
forward and cleared her throat. “Brokain,” she said in a low voice,
“Did you think we weren’t gonna find out about this? This is the
establishment you’ve hit to get free drinks with this
story, you idiot. Word does get around here in Maj’Dul y’know.
Satinka,” she glanced over her shoulder at the Barbarian lady, “be a
dear and help Tarra and Klathar out getting Brokain here over to the
corner. It looks like he’s drank too much.” Satinka nodded and grabbed
Brokain underneath his arms and lifted him out of the chair and with
Klathar holding his legs, carried him, struggling, over to the corner.

The gnome climbed onto the
chair where Brokain had been sitting and sat on the backrest and put
her feet on the seat. “ Hello folks. My name is Tallika and I’m a
Necromancer and along with Satinka the Monk, Klathar the High Templar,
and Our Kerran Troubadour, Tarra, we make up the heroes in the little
tale you’ve just heard.” Over in the corner could be heard sounds of
struggling as chain mail was forcibly removed and thrown to the side.

“Now, what seems to be a point
of debate is the veracity of the man’s story you were just listening
to.” Tallika pushed her dark glasses up the bridge of her nose with a
finger. “While most of it is true, some of the facts have been muddled
a bit. I’m here to set things strait. Any questions?” The Shadowy
stalker that flanked Tallika seemed to cow the crowd in to quietness.
“Good. Now the first thing that you need to do is imagine that every
part in that story where Brokain was ‘in the lead’ and ‘taking the
brunt of the punishment’, isn’t actually Brokain but Satinka. Secondly,
the part where he comforted the Tarra? That never happened. It was
actually the other way around. And finally, in every part that Brokain
‘heroically’ jumped into, saved us from, or otherwise took down a
number of the orcs, that never happened. He’s actually not skilled
enough to touch them except with a few lame duck spells that don’t do
crap against these orcs. What he did do well, is die a lot.

The crowd’s attention turned
to the corner for a moment as they heard…

Brokain: GOOD GODS,
You can’t do that! You’re a man of the cloth! Of peace! AHHHHHHH!!!

Klathar: Aye lad, that’s true.
However, even the gods will forgive me based on the circumstances!


“*A-HEM*, Tallika
cleared her throat. “Now, parts of his story were true so we
should probably clear those up real quick. The part where Brokain hit
the elite orc with his malefic touch? True. However, every Shadow
Knight worth his salt has that spell and it didn’t ‘drop’ the orc but
it did take some life out of him and that helped but did not
the fight.”

The crowd’s attention was once
again drawn to the corner…

Satinka: “…a more serious blow
would I have given her to her heart.” ?? WHERE
do you come UP with this garbage???

Brokain: OWWW!! *OOOFFF*

Tallika waves her hand at the
crowd “Focus people! Fo-cus! Now, more truth to the story is that
Brokain actually did scream during our adventure, but it wasn’t ‘I
won’t let my people die’ or the name of his attack or anything like
that.” Tallika snapped her fingers. From over in the corner, Satinka
looked over and nodded her head. “ It was more like this…”

Brokain: HOLY CRAP!! GAH!! I

“And also some of this”


“ Oh and MY personal favorite”


“Over here people.” Tallika
motioned at the crowd, “Look this way please. We’re almost done. Now,
the only reason he has that stupid trinket on his ear is because we gave
it too him out of pity. The boy couldn’t fight his way out of a wet
paper bag. The healer is
competent, I choose to go invisible and scout ahead, and our
bard was never planning to write a ballad for him.”

The crowd can’t help but
listen in at the corner as…

Brokain: Tarra I was kidding!!
I know that you were only gonna do a poem about me!

Tarra: *hissing, angry cat

Brokain: Not the claws!

Ok folks, with that,
it seems we’ve cleared this all up. So, if you want to see your hero,
you can come watch him dance naked in the bazaar while screaming, “I
squat to pee!” and singing “I’m a little teapot”. Something
he’ll be doing all week so feel free to bring the whole family.
Ok Tarra, make him dance….”

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016