Written for Elliot’s Dungeons and Dragons campaign as a snippet of the backstory to my character, Rurik von Diesel. The campaign is set in Eberron, but it could easily have taken place anywhere.
Rurik is one of my recurring characters, used for dwarven fighter-types. Honey is my other recurring character, used for innocent, saccharinely sweet charmers. The surname von Diesel came from an impromptu exchange I found myself in when Rurik was still surnameless yet needed to prove his bravado through force of name.
In this campaign Rurik becomes a duskblade, an elite swordsman who combines sword and sorcery. His constant drills and focused training allows him to wear ordinarily restricting armor while casting spells, and practice lets him perfect his signature move: channeling a spell through a swing.
Slash, slice, thrust.
Parry, stop, sweep.
Slash, slice, thrust.
Parry, stop, sweep.
We’ve been daein’ this fer hoors, an’ it’s driving meh daft! No’ that ah donnae like tae drill, brothers always said it wer good fer the boady an’ the mind, buh ah wish we wid do somethin’ mair interestin’ thaen jus’ hackin’ an’ slashin’! There’s nae style in this, naethin ah could show aff tae ma brothers. This elf sparrin’ partner o’ mine seems tae be really gettin’ intae it though. Prolly daydreamin, imaginin’ himsel’ cuttin up some orc. Ah wouldnae mind slicin’ me up some orc masel’.
Slash, slice, thrust.
Ah’d prolly even toss in a wee bit o’ magick, confuse the hell oot o’ the bugger afore ah show him how sharp ma axe is. That spell ma brothers showed me wer a nasty piece o’ work. How did it go?
“What the flame was that?”
Mah instructor walks o’er, an’ she’s lookin’ nane tae happy.
“He fucking electrocuted me! Goddamn filthy dwarf used magic on me!”
So much fer elves bein’ a’ high class. Mebbe he’s young.
“Is this true?”
Truth wer, ah dunnae know whit happened masel’.
“I um. Maybe? No.”
“What a sleazy lie, the people in the next room probably heard that shock, and I sure as hell felt it! You all saw the sparks! Feels like my goddamn arm was burned off!”
Pottymouth wer still clutchin’ his sword arm. Ye think that hurts, try gettin’ a full-on handshake when yer brother’s goat wan o’ thae charged up.
“Did he touch you?”
“Of course he did, look at these fucking burn marks!”
Ah dinnae even come close tae touchin him!
“That aint true, you swung at me!”
“Yea, and look at what I got cause of it. It’s just some lousy drills, for Valenar’s sake, save your dwarven manners for the war.”
Ah. That explains his language.
“So Rurik did not touch you, but instead parried one of your swings, and thus you were electrocuted?”
“How many times do I need to tell you that before you kick him out of this class?!”
Oh goad, the teacher’s stoopin daen an’ starin’ at ma eyes. This wouldnae be so unsettlin if she wiznae so pretty. If it wer ma brother ah’d stare right back an’ then punch him in the face.
“Perhaps I made a grave mistake assigning Rurik to this class. This is a problem I will rectify immediately. Class, resume your drills until my return.”
She’s leadin’ mae oot o’ class, through the halls. Am ah gonnae git kicked oot because o’ the word o’ some stupid elf?
“Uhh, miss. I don’t mean no disrespect to elves, and certainly not to you, but what happened in there was a mistake. I was a little distracted, sure, and maybe he deserved it, but I didn’t mean him no harm! Please don’t kick me out!”
Mebbe a lil’ disrespect tae elves.
“That would be my first course of action, had I not noticed that everyone in this room had been wielding wooden weapons, incapable of delivering an electric shock even if you happened to be wielding some sort of electric artificer device. In fact, my quick spell showed me that your outfit was completely mundane, and that the source of electricity was you. With that spell I could practically smell the residue of evocation magic emanating from your body into sword arm, trickling through your weapon until it found another host.”
Whoa, whit? Ah wiznae huvin’ nae magickal dinner partay, wut’s this elf talkin aboot?
“It’s something I see in my candidates very rarely, because they are so often cherrypicked before they come down to me. To be fair, they really don’t belong with me at all. No, Rurik, we have a special place for
people who make “mistakes” like you did back there.”
We’re comin’ round’ the corner, an–oh flame, if ah thought that wan stupit foulmouth elf was bad, ah jus’ walked inta a whole room full o’ em! It wuz another drill room, but they wurenae some greenies practicin with wooden swords, these boys wur in full armor daein’ drills wit swords an’ shields! Was the pretty elf gunnin’ fer me after a’? Ah didnae wanna git ma arse kicked by a whole room full o’ em, or worse!
“Commander Alastair, I hope I am not interrupting too much, but I have one more for you.”
“A dwarf, Elena?”
Oh, ah wiznae gaun to git ma arse kicked by the room, jus by the shiniest elf. He wiznae in the same plate armor as the others, just chainmail, buh ah know mithril when ah see it. Ah could bust open ma head against that before he even got a bruise.
“No training as far as I could tell, much less discipline, and yet I saw him perform one of those infused swings you teach to your third-years. His sparring partner was quite…shocked, you might say.”
“I find that hard to believe, Elena, but you have never been wrong before. Still, there is a first for everything, and we shall test your word and his skill at the same time. Master Dwarf, should I presume that you wield your kind’s waraxe?”
Ah dunnae know where this is goin, buh ah donnae like it. Ahm tossed a big ol’ axe. Good weight, good balance, no’ bad fer belongin tae an elf.
“Was his skill demonstrated on the attack or defense?”
“Well that makes this all the more fun for me. What is his name?”
“Rurik von Diesel.”
“Well then, Rurik, why don’t you prove Elena is not a liar?”
Wha? Who said th–by the flame, he’s coming at me wit his even bigger killstick! Fuck ah just barely blocked that. He’s nae stoppin either, ahm jus’ barely able tae git my axe up in time tae block his attacks.
“Why don’t you prove that you should not be jailed and charged with magical assault?”
If anyone should be charged wit assault, it should be ‘im!
“Why don’t you prove that you deserve a spot in the Ninth Wands?”
Ma brothers’ company?
“Why don’t you prove that you deserve a spot next to your brothers?”
ZAAAAAAAAAAP! Oh flame ah jus’ assaulted their commander too. Ahm gonnae lose ma name if the clan hears aboot this. That’s prolly why he’s smilin a’ me.
“Not bad. I could have stabbed him once for each year of my life in the time that it took to produce that response, but I concur that there is something in him worth coaxing out.”
Like, ma heart? Because it’s threatenin’ to jump out of ma chest right now.
“Astute observation as always, Elena, thank you. As for you, Rurik, head over to the armory and mention my name to be suited up accordingly for drills. Do make haste, for I remember the successes of your brothers, and I am keen on helping yet another von Diesel rise through the ranks.”
Ma brothers’ company. Ah didnae make haste, ah ran. Wait till the clan hears o’ this. Brothers, ahm comin fer ya.