Thank You Neil

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post of any sort. Close to a year. D’OH!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and in my case, it flew. It soared! And in that fun (work, really, but whatever) this blog faded for awhile.

But at the very least, I can say that I’ve written one entire blog post for 2016 (this post), but not because I felt any pressure to do so. For the first time in a long time, I was inspired to do so. I hope it’s not one-and-only for 2016, but we’ll see.

So I often write about tabletop RPG’s; I run and play in games nowadays. In fact,  I will run an adventure tomorrow at my FLGS, and need to prep for that.

But I digress.

So last night I participated in one of the most fun game sessions of D&D I played in awhile, certainly in recent memory. Long story short, our party engaged in combat with a demonic entity. It was a very tense combat, as half the party went down at some point. But that wasn’t what made it fun for me.

What made it fun was that there were so many revelations. Many of them were silly and came out of some free-flowing, organic narrative soup, where it started with the correct / incorrect name and snowballed from there. Here they are, in no particular order. As a note, while I list these, I will try to provide context so you, the reader, can hopefully understand.

1.) The name of the big bad of the week, or at least the name our party of a-holes (we are definitely a bunch of jerks!) believes to be true.

So this is how the session began last night. I’m paraphrasing due to my poor memory.

Demon Guy: You will all serve me now!

Party Leader: And who is the name of the person we may serve, for a fee of course?

Demon Guy: KNEEL!

The Rest Of Us: Neil? Your name is Neil?! Oh, that’s a…won…der..ful name. Neil!

…and combat ensues. For the rest of this campaign, this Demon Guy who we later find out is a fallen Paladin that became demonized,…this Demon Guy whom we barely defeated…will always be Neil.

 

2.) Clangeddin is the name of a deity in the Forgotten Realms. No, really.

So our Dwarf Barbarian wields a sentient, magical hammer named ‘Whelm.’ for close to a year now. Whenever he uses the hammer, the hammer screams “CLANGEDDIN!” For this entire time, each and every member of the party assumed it was some Dwarven war-cry of some sort.

So through magical shenanigans I don’t fully understand, our Dwarf destroyed the Big Bad’s source of power (I think) with Whelm, and the room we were in magically transformed into a shrine to Clangeddin. When the DM described the circumstance, including the altar having the symbol of Clangeddin on it, we all looked at each other briefly.

Dwarf Barbarian: Wait…are you saying Clangeddin is a god?

DM: Yes.

Dwarf Barbarian: That’s so awesome!

DM: Wait, you didn’t know?

No. None of us knew. We just thought it was like a war cry of some sort. How did we not know this?

 

3.) Shang-Chi thinks Kesh is fat.

So Shang-Chi (Human Cleric Jock who is not proficient in religion, because he slept through class and got through on natural talent alone,) is not a nice guy. He used to be a nicer guy, but hanging out with this party, combined with other traumatic events has turned him a bit cold and angry.

I mentioned some crazy magical shenanigans in the place we were in. One of the crazy magical shenanigans afflicted Kesh, our grey-skinned Half-Orc Barbarian with a great deal of sadness and apathy. In other words, when combat ensued, he moped around and wouldn’t participate in battle.

So Shang-Chi, played by yours truly, did the only thing he could think: give a back-handed “inspirational” speech. I should also mention that he’s below average on the Intelligence scale.

Shang-Chi: Listen, and listen well you Half-Orc Barbarian Fatty! Snap out of it, and get angry! Rage! If you don’t get angry and start fighting, we will all die here! Do you understand? We will be dead, unless you tap into you fury and start attacking Neil!

On his turn, Kesh proceeded to respond to these words…by giving Shang-Chi a hug.

Take two!

Shang-Chi: We don’t have time for this you damn fatty! Do you want to give up? Do you want to die here? Because that’s exactly what will happen unless you do as I say! Now, go rage and attack our enemies before it’s too late!

It appeared to work the second time around. Kesh finally raged and started doing what he does best, which is crushing our enemies.

For the record, I’m sure Kesh is nothing but a slab of Half-Orc muscle. But in game, Shang-Chi is confident that Kesh needs to lay off the junk food just a bit.

(And off topic, yes the name is a reference to the Marvel comics character.)

 

4.) We love side quests

So as a side quest, we journeyed into the Underdark to retrieve supplies and / or take revenge on raiders that stole supplies. Since then, we have somehow gotten on a side quest off the side quest we were on. Or so I thought. Apparently, we’re on our fourth side quest according to the GM.

At this point, I’m just curious as to how we’ll ever get back onto the main road.

 

5.) We are the Expendables

Honestly, we’re quite the bunch of misfits. I mean, my Cleric was formerly a life domain Cleric, but is now a Death domain Cleric (though technically not evil in alignment; homebrew for the win!) The journey of how this all happened is a post for another time, by the way.

The Wizard / Pirate Captain is a feared celebrity considered to be mad by his fans, hence the name: Mad Barth. The Rogue is a superstitious kleptomaniac. The Half-Orc Barbarian, even before his temporary, magically-afflicted sadness, is perhaps the most civilized barbarian ever conceived. All he needs is a suit and tie. Or a bow tie. Our Dwarf Barbarian is the hairiest being alive, with little plastic / clay miniature elves hanging off his beard. Our Gnome Fighter / Eldritch Knight is probably the most…’normal’ murder hobo among us, and he suffers from amnesia (he has no idea how he got to the surface. He just met up with us one day and decided to hang out.)

I just imagine us as the ‘Lord of the Ring’ B-Team. We’re the guys that were considered to be the Fellowship for maybe less than 10 seconds, before Gandalf and Elrond realized what a horrible idea that was.

But here’s the thing; it actually works for us. We’re flawed to the nines. We’re hardly heroes. We’re mercenary adventurer’s with very little tact and respect for anyone, friend or foe. We’re silly beyond measure. And that’s just fine.

All of this may very well be a ‘You had to be there,’ experience to find and understand the humor in any of this, but for me, it was the most fun, and humorous session as a player I’ve had in awhile. And it’s all thanks to a Demon Guy named Neil.