Kulan Poetry (a Villanelle): Bactra’s Song

Through trees and hills of high woodland,

Swords and spells ready for the bloody skirmish,

Listen to my tale of our lost homeland.

 

Against the demons, so cruel and taloned,

Their dark visages are vile and fiendish.

Through trees and hills of high woodland.

 

We are now so few against countless thousand,

How many can the war-priests hope to banish?

Listen to my dark tale of our lost homeland.

 

I once thought I was old and wizened.

How many of my kin have I watched perish,

Amongst trees and hills of high woodland?

 

A redwing flies high over a burnt-black wasteland.

Its home, like my old Knotwood, will soon vanish.

Listen to my tale of our lost homeland.

 

The last of the elves call me and the Companions legend,

But all I feel is the impending death of all things elvish.

Through trees and hills of high woodland.

Listen to my tale of our lost homeland.

Companions of Harqual

Wonderment. Angst. To close. Pluck.

Hip. Shift. Back. Shoulder. Slap.

Harp. Bard. Jeddar. The Silver Sun. Blade.

Inn. Fire. Merriment. Friends. Night.

Cold Wind. Outside. Danger and Adventure.

Stories Told. Songs Sung. Remembering… the Fallen.

Jeddar Sings. Mesik Laughs. Bactra Smiles.

In the corner… Dabuk Broods.

Thessa and Dvalin watch over their son.

The song sings of family and friends. It sings of lost comrades and old glories. It lives amongst The Companions.

Tomorrow they face war and strife in the hope of winning peace.

Dabuk Tigerstorm

Dabuk is one of the iconic characters of the Lands of Harqual.

the half-elven ranger’s childhood was full of misery and trails. His mother was butchered by ogres while young Dabuk was forced to watch and listen from a hidden spot. Her death was brutal and it scarred Dabuk. It also made him determined. Ogres are a blight that must be wiped out.

After his mother’s death, Dabuk was relocated to the City of Fruen in the Kingdom of Thallin. His father, Garth, left him in the care of the boy’s grandfather, Carl, and the Tiger Guild — a organization of rouges and spies that often worked to protect the interests of the kingdom. Dabuk grew up in the guild and his mentor was Mesik Tindertwig.

Bactra, his cousin, came to Fruen soon after Dabuk started his training. The two became infamous in the city as they got their feet wet in the adventuring way of life. Jeddar and Dvalin soon met up with them one fateful night and the four of them became the best of friends.

Dabuk’s obsession with killing ogres often took him into the wilderness, which forced his friends to follow him. Knowing he’d never be able to keep close to Fruen, his grandfather let Dabuk and his friends explore the world. All he asked was that Dabuk come back with information on what he discovered. The group’s first real adventure was the module “Rudwilla’s Stew” from DRAGON Magazine #45. After that the characters traveled to the Far South and then to Onaway in the west and the Isle of Dread and then all the way to another continent called the Fallenlands. The game ended with the module “Prism Keep” from the same magazine.

Here’s his stats at the end of the AD&D 2E game.

Dabuk Tigerstorm (CG male half-elf, Ranger 7/Stalker): hp 53; AC 3; Mv 12; THAC0 14; Melee short sword +1 (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 12, Dmg S/M 1d6+2/L 1d8+2), Melee rapier (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d6+1/L 1d8+1); Melee knife (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d3+1/L 1d2+1), Ranged composite short bow (2 per round, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d6/L 1d6), Ranged knife (3 per 2 rounds, THAC0 14, Dmg S-M 1d3+1/L 1d2+1); Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 10; XP: 98,036.

Saves: Paralyzation: 10 | Poison: 8 | Death Magic: 10 | Petrification/Polymorph: 11 | Rod/Staff/Wand: 12 | Breath Weapon: 12 | Spell: 13.

Weapon Proficiencies: Blowgun, composite short bow, garrote, knife, quarterstaff, rapier short sword. | Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Armorer (10), Camouflage (0), Hunting (10), Leather Working (12), Persuasion (0), Land Riding (12), Tracking (15). | Languages: Common, Elf (sylvan dialect), Halfling (hairfoot dialect), Ogre, and Orc.

Class Abilities: Empathy with animals, Hide in Shadows (48%), Move Silently (55%), Special enemy [ogres] (+4 to attack rolls and a -4 penalty to reaction rolls when encountering this creature), Tracking Proficiency, Two-weapon Style.

Other Gear: Backpack, belt pouch, darksuit, desert camouflage, garrote, good cloth cloak, green dragon hide armor, light war horse (equipped), quarterstaff, quiver of unidentified magical arrows, riding boots, shoulder belt, two extra knives, two wineskins, waterproofed quiver, winter blanket, and other various clothing.

DM’s Note: In truth, I was stingy with XP during the 2E campaign. The PCs should had reached closer to 9th level by the end. My PbP players are lucky. I hand out XP like it’s candy. They have to fight, a lot, for it, however. My SCAP campaign was the same way.