Thursday, May 31, 2012

Death of a Friend

Last night I lost a friend. I've only known him for about a year, and lately, I haven't spent a lot of time with him, but he was dear to my heart. What makes his death even harder to stomach is the manner in which he died, a horribly violent death. It pains me to even speak about it.

Knand al-Shalabi was a wanderer. He came from the barren deserts of the East, but had managed to find his way to "civilization" in hopes of finding a better life. Not the most graceful of people, Knand used what talents he had in order to get by. What he lacked in social graces, he made up for in loyalty. That loyalty is most likely the reason for his demise.

Knand wasn't my first character, in fact, he wasn't even a character that I created. Knand was a third rate henchman, found naked and sweaty, rotting in a cage high above a dark cavern. He was rescued by Hanuman, after making a greedy pick from the Deck of Many Things; DONJON: Imprisoned. To show his thanks to Hanuman, Knand swore loyalty to the monk and promised to follow and protect him at any turn. In reality, Knand most likely had no choice anyway and figured he could earn a free meal ticket by hooking up with Hanuman. But let's not split hairs, Knand's decision will be remembered as noble.

After many adventures, Knand sort of became my most beloved red headed step child. He was a henchman, a hired hand, but of my three characters, I felt Knand had the most personality. He was gruff, greasy, and unmannered. He made selfish decisions and blundered through any adventure he was in. He progressed slowly compared to the other characters, but that didn't stop him from jumping into any fray (or running away at the first sign of danger). Probably his most memorable moment was blowing the surprise attack that Hanuman had devised in order to escape an evil cult. Knand slipped and fell out of a boat, just as Hanuman was sneaking up on a pair of guards, blowing his cover, and ultimately getting them both captured and imprisoned, again. Last night topped that, in spades.

The above picture illustrates the epic sequence of events that led to Knand's horrible death. Knand, brave Knand, had entered the fight against some vicious gargoyles. Putting himself in harm's way, be went toe to toe, taking a lot of damage from the beast. So much, that he went negative, on the verge of death, stunned by an attack from the stony creature. Thats when Hanuman stepped in to help. With all of his martial arts training, you would think that a 6th level monk would be quite accurate with his blows. Thats not true when I'm rolling the dice. As you can see, the two black 20 sides above came up snake eyes, TWICE. This isn't the first time I've done this, in fact I had already done it earlier in the night. So, fumbling, Hanuman rolled on the critical miss chart, a 7. Seven ended up being a broken bone. Basically, Hanuman pulled a spinning backfist, completely missing the gargoyle, hitting Knand, who was standing there, stunned, with -2 hit points, basically standing dead anyway. I rolled the big "body part" die, before I did, I asked Jim jokingly, "Hey, is there a 'head' on this die", not knowing how horribly prophetic that would end up being. Of course, I rolled 'head', another perfectly bad roll. This meant I had broken Knand's skull. How broken you ask? MAXIMUM DAMAGE! Hanuman rolled the d12 for damage, rolled a 12, and added 2 for strength. Crushing blow, destroying Knand's face in a spray of blood and gray matter. Absolutely not coming back from that.

Slumping over in a mound of grease and gore, Knand fell lifelessly to the ground. Hanuman completed the move with a powerful KI-AIIIII!!! before realizing what he had done. The party was silent. There was nothing to be said. Knand lived his life proudly, selfishly, for himself. He enjoyed cheap ale and loose women, although the latter didn't enjoy him. He had no aspirations beyond today, he lived life moment to moment. We can only hope that he now rests with a harem of 999 virgins in the cloudy heavens of paradise above. Knand, we will miss you.

1 comment:

Omega Agent1 said...

great set up to introduce us to your favorite henchmen.