Having played Dungeons and Dragons for a while now, a new character is refreshing especially when he’s not like anything you’ve played before. I find myself all too often falling into a mercenary fighter role, sometimes a valiant hero but that’s much less common. So when I knew I needed a character, Oaen (pronounced Owen) was about as different as I could get.
See, Oaen is 3’4″ tall and about as smart as a rutabaga. As a player, I go into every gaming session looking for stunts to pull which should, in all honesty, end up in the death of poor Oaen. The problem is that Oaen is built, in terms of the game, to be damn hard to kill. Let’s give you a rundown of the latest gaming session.
You know what? Screw that, here’s the story from Oaen himself.
A story eh? Fine, but I’ll be wanting a pint when I’m done.
Oaen leaned back in the chair and propped his boots up on the table, not an easy feat considering his stature, but he managed it and made it look easy.
I had been elsewhere doing other things, if you know what I mean, and I had come to catch up with the party but when I reached the docks they had already cast off. Damn. Now, I’m fast, but water is my undoing. I’m the first to admit, I’m not a strong swimmer. So I decided to laze on the docks, relaxing in the sun until I couldn’t wait any longer. So I begin looking for a ride out there. No one seemed to be departing anytime soon, so I bumbled about when a kind gentleman and I struck a deal. I’ll spare you those details, but just understand that I won that bet fair and square, it’s not my fault he didn’t know just how easy the proposition was for me.
So with the boots, I tentatively came to the end of the dock. Then I leapt onto the water, not sure what to expect but I found that it was a lot like running on marsh, so I took off at a trot and left the little village behind me. As I ran I watched a larger vessel come up alongside my friends’ boat, unfortunately the wind was to my back so I couldn’t hear anything but I saw some weapons flash and I decided to kick it into high gear.
Now my legs may be short but I can move along when needed, and so I ran up towards the ships, stopping about 100 feet away. Looking around, I realized that a lone figure on the water may be a bit unusual and there wasn’t exactly anything to hide behind so I just crouched down and took stock of the situation. Now friend, I don’t know if you know this, but those Red Wizards are always getting in my way. Sure enough I spot one on the deck of the larger ship, along with what looks to be his bodyguards and some armored imbecile. Full plate on a ship. Great idea.
They had lashed the small fishing boat to theirs and they looked to be preparing to jump in the water as near as I could tell. I saw the lot of them stripping off heavy armor and extra items. So, figuring my friends were under the water, and with only eight or so enemies I felt my odds were better than good. I pulled out the crossbow and loaded a bolt, and I took careful aim. The wind was behind me, which would help the shot, and the ship was large enough that it wasn’t moving too terribly much. And then I waited.
Who knew it could take so long to jump in the water. I watched as four of them all jumped in at the same time, just as they did I unleashed my crossbow bolt and took off at a sprint after it. The bolt flew true and nailed the wizard in the shoulder, even with the wind behind me I could now hear his cursing.
I know what you’re asking yourself, how did Oaen get onto the large ship without giving up his safety? Sure, I asked myself the same question as I was running towards them. Thankfully the wind had kicked up and I saw my answer. The anchor chain. The ship was pulling roughly on the anchor line, and I won’t lie and say I didn’t grin as I ran straight up the chain to the bow of the boat.
Now those that know me, know that a confrontation isn’t my style, but I felt fairly confident that chaos was a good strategy at this point. So as I appear at the top of the bow, another soldier had jumped into the water and chaos was definitely a good theme at this point as the ship’s crew were running about, yelling, and trying to figure out how the bolt had come out of nowhere. It took them a moment to even notice my form on the bow.
Unfortunately for me, the red wizard gave me a nasty blow with his damned magic missiles and so it was earning of another crossbow bolt before I decided to disappear and run up the sails. From there I surveyed the chaos I had created, invisible and safe from the battle as the soldiers in the water soon began to bleed and pop up dead and as those on the ship had more to worry about. See, it was actually a bit chaotic due to the sudden appearance of a swarm of rats, attacking anything they could reach (which wasn’t me thankfully.)
So with this going on, I decided to add to the chaos again. I tossed two smokesticks down to the deck and began shouting “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE” only to stifle my laughter as the rats covered the smokesticks for me and the sailors frenzied once again to try and contain my nonexistent fire. At this point I pondered a number of other options, my friend Nym had appeared and was in combat with the knight and the mage was distracted as it seemed, his forces quickly dwindled as they fell into the water and did not return.
At this point I pulled out my Drow poison and applied it to my kukri, deciding to go for one fell swoop of attack. I mean look at me, as awesome as I may be, toe to toe battles aren’t my forte. So I take my time, drink a healing potion, and gauge my attack. The knight ended up being quickly killed and so it is all beginning to calm down above the water, the smoke and rats are gone, the wizard seemed to think order had been restored. Oh how wrong he was.
I’m not going to lie, I wanted to scream like a banshee when I leapt off the sail riggings. I mean it, flying through the air, my gut reaction is to scream and hoot, but I didn’t this time. No, an invisible wraith, I leapt down onto him and used my force to shove the kukri into his shoulder, driving his hovering form to the deck of the ship, my blade in to the hilt.
Now, had I been given the chance, he would have been done but as soon as I take him down, Eleanor shows up dripping wet and puts her sword through him, ending any opportunity I might have had. But had it not been for my flying leap from thirty… no, forty… maybe fifty feet up, he would have definitely been a bigger issue. Yep, I won that battle. And had the captain of the ship somehow perished in the battle, I had been ready to claim it and begin my life as a dreaded pirate, alas though he survived.
Now, about that pint…