(A brilliantly written RPG-pastiche! Treasures of a Slaver’s Kingdom - Details (ifdb.org))
>Z ‘You pause in manly contemplation.’
A good while ago, while sipping frothy ale in a local tavern, I got into a conversation with a large and manly man of the barbarian persuasion. From what little of his loudly bellowed and deeply soul-felt exhortations, I deduced his name to be Edgar the Hoity, although I cannot pledge to this. I felt sympathetic to his plight and offered to join him on his quest, for it was obvious that while he was certainly well-equipped in the brawn department, some assistance in the more, erm…, intellectually challenging portions of his pursuit might be warranted.
Indeed, in the words of the narrator of our quest (of whom I shall speak more later): “You consider the doxy’s words, and furrow your brow in mild discomfort, for there are many syllables.”
Having recently escaped from the undergound pits of the Slaver King, Edgar the Hoity (or some other fittingly barbaric name) had vowed to release the other slaves from their shackles, and to vanquish the evil Slaver King himself.
During our travels, it became apparent that it was well that I had volunteered to offer my aid to this fearsome warrior. Fortunately we encountered not many obstacles requiring deep thought or logical analysis, the most difficult being figuring out giving which of the many objects we found to whom, or at which time to revisit certain locations.
Rather, the most puzzling aspect of the quest for my barbarian friend was to choose the order in which to confront the many enemies that stood between him and the Slaver King himself. You see, as is to be expected with those proud and manly members of the barbarian tribes, Edgar the Hoity (or some other fittingly barbaric name) routinely overestimated his own physical prowess and battle-readiness, lunging forward barefistedly at the throat of any foe that stood in his way.
My greatest contribution therefore was observing the weaknesses of my barbarian friend’s adversaries, suggesting to perhaps wear some armour and equip a weapon stronger than his fists, working out the order of the enemies from weakest to strongest. After this preparation, it was mostly a matter of pointing him in the right direction and releasing him.
It took some pains and patience to find the correct way in which to adress Edgar the Hoity (or some other fittingly barbaric name), for he only responded to sufficiently dramatic and action-laden verbs. For example, a simple suggestion to TAKE THE SWORD would be met with condescending grumbling. I had to propose that he SEIZE it instead. In the end though, once I had grown more accustomed to the heroic mindset, this narrow set of verbs greatly simplified our exchanges, eliminitating as it did the need for nuanced and detailed wording.
Among the many dangers we encountered on our quest, we were fortunate to also meet various helpful people, willing to trade information or equipment for simple services or needed objects. Indeed, my cheeks still blush at the recollection of “trading” with the very helpful town doxy, especially when we, thinking she might be hungry, tried to offer her an ear of corn which had lain abandoned on a farmer’s field…
There is a surprising advantage to travelling with a questing barbarian. All our exploits were recounted aloud by an unseen narrator-voice as we were in the middle of the action. Rather than a dry account of events, this narrator had a flair for the dramatic, sweeping me along with the high-stakes heroic importance of our adventures, emphasising the historical impact of the battles and the far-reaching influence our actions would have on this realm.
It was with pride in my heart and tears on my cheeks that I saw my barbarian friend, Edgar the Hoity (or some other fittingly barbaric name) ride away on the Royal Road in search of new adventures and slaves to free.