Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge this week is “Who the Fuck Is My D&D Character?” I was the bard in my D&D group for a number of years and recalled fondly a time when I wrote bad poetry and inside-joke-style fiction because of it.
The generator provided me with ample fuel:
“You think your character is cool? My character is a fucking adventurous Tiefling Fighter from a nocturnal town who always refers to inanimate objects as ‘shes.’”
Naturally, I couldn’t resist.
The Hero of Night Town(‘s Disgruntled Sidekick)
“Hand her to me,” Hero said, waving his hand imperiously.
Hero’s half-orc companion grunted and lifted the barmaid by one ankle.
“No no, my good Gurgaboth. I was referring to that tankard of ale.”
Gurgaboth shrugged and let the woman go. She called Gurgaboth a host of names that might have offended a human (or a human’s mother) then turned and dumped the tankard of ale over Hero’s horned head.
Gurgaboth “hurr hurr hurred” her laughter.
“She has spirit,” Hero said. He tossed his magnificent head of purple hair back to shake out the ale. The droplets sparkled in the torchlight. Gurgaboth heard a few love-struck sighs (and reflected that a pretty face did wonders to dispel, or at least put on hold, humans’ usual reservations toward Tieflings).
“I shall go up to the bar. I have time for last drink before daylight is upon us. I cannot be touched by the rays of the sun, as you well know, having come from the nocturnal town of Night Town.”
Gurgaboth did know that. In fact, Hero never shut up about it.
He was the brave Tiefling from Night Town who risked his life daily to protect the innocent, though his past was (literally) filled with darkness.
He was from a long line of evil Tiefling warriors who had long ago made pacts with vile demons even more foul than most stories had ever told. He was the sole member of his family who had good in his heart and he had left them to undo the evil they had wrought.
Over the years he had become what he named himself– a Hero. He was noble, honorable, truly skilled with a blade, blah blah blah.
Hero returned from the bar with a new tankard and took his seat. One sip was apparently all he needed to whet his whistle, and, as though he were a bard, he began a mighty tale.
“I am the brave Tiefling from Night Town – ”
“I’m going to bed,” Gurgaboth said.
“You’ll take the floor, won’t you, my companion? I took a look at the bed, and she’s not made for someone of your…qualities. Besides, a hero’s sidekick should be willing to make sacrifices, no?”
Gurgaboth hadn’t always been a sidekick. A few weeks ago she’d been a laborer in the mines, worked to the bone by her human overlords. Hero had liberated the mines and given her freedom, and to be fair, he hadn’t realized that she didn’t want to be free.
She could have explained, but she didn’t think the truth would make it past his heroic ego bubble.
“Floor’s fine,” Gurgaboth said.
“There’s a good orc!” Hero said. He waved his hand at her again and Gurgaboth recognized she was being shooed. She glanced aside and saw the tavern’s on-duty minstrel making eyes at her boss.
Hero had a strong preference for minstrels and bards. He insisted it was because he enjoyed their “colorful souls” but the truth was plain. Whenever he seduced a song-writer, a new Hero song went into circulation.
To his credit, Hero’s reputation was genuine, and he’d done all of the good things they sang about.
“Run along now, Gurgaboth. I shall retire to our room…much later, I think. Leave the bed free for me, of course. Wake me at sunset and be sure the innkeeper has breakfast ready for me.”
Unfortunately, his good reputation meant that he was exactly what he had named himself – a Hero, complete with the over-inflated sense of self-importance, self-righteous attitude, and one or two ridiculous outfits he wore to formal occasions that he thought made him look “dashing.”
“I miss the mines,” Gurgaboth said, confident that Hero wouldn’t be offended because he was already ignoring her.
The tavern door burst open and three large, leather-clad Tieflings wielding cursed blades pointed said blades in Hero’s direction.
“Brother,” said the biggest one. “I have come for your head.”
Ah, well. At least her new life wasn’t boring.