I once was in a summer DND campaign where an evil wizard was attempting to take over a city through a combination of magical and military conquest. The locals had managed to put up a good fight for several sessions, but the wizard’s forces were slowly gaining ground. Convinced that the heroes would never be able to make it in time, the city had sent diplomats to one of the surrounding realms to seek aid in the form of mercenaries.
The party consisted of the usual mix of bards, rogues, barbarians, fighters and wizards (a halfling cleric, a dwarf fighter, a human fighter, a half-elf bard, and a human wizard). When we returned to the city and met with the prince, we were told that the situation was dire, that the wizard’s forces were on the verge of overtaking the city, but that we were just in time for a great battle.
One of the wizard’s generals (a fire giant) had been positioned on the outskirts of the city with a large force of giants, goblins, and other creatures. The prince wanted us to feign attack to the south, while a much larger force made a surprise attack from the north.
At the last minute, the prince decided that we should stay with the main force and join the battle. After telling the wizard’s forces to surrender, he then had the gates of the city opened and the rest is history. We were in the thick of the fighting, and things were looking grim.
The battle was quickly getting hairy. The cleric and the dwarf fighter were taking a beating. The wizard was nearly out of spells, and the characters that weren’t in melee were too far away to be much help. The cleric was fighting alone against the fire giant, and the dwarf was trying to help, bless his heart of gold.
Then, with a final swing, the dwarf felled his foe and turned to face down another. Out of nowhere, a massive fire giant hand gripped the dwarf’s left arm, lifted him off the ground, and began to choke him. The cleric turned and saw the dwarf’s plight, but couldn’t reach him.
And this is where I stepped in to save the day. I was playing the human fighter. My name was Eben.
The cleric (played by Jennifer) cried to me, “Eben! The dwarf! Do something!”
I responded in my best Schwarzenegger voice, “I have only one thing to say to you!”
The fire giant looked at me, then back at the dwarf, and then back at me. He quickly looked around and saw that I was alone, and the dwarven fighter was near dead. Ralph, our DnD DM, looked at me and asked that fateful question: “What do you do?”
My health was below half, and I was facing down a creature that had already killed. The dwarf only had a few rounds left. And I was tired. After several hours of combat, I was tired. But I had to say something. So I did.
“I have only one thing to say to you,” I said, in my most Schwarzenegger-esque voice.
The DM said “What is it?”
I said, “Leeeeee-roy Jeeeeeeeeeeeenkins!”
And then I ran forward… and rolled the dice.
Only an 17, but enough to hit! The fire giant looked at me and jerked his head back. I ran up and swung again. I missed. The fire giant took two steps back, raised his hand and pointed at me. I screamed and ran forward. I swung at the fire giant again, and missed. I was out of luck.
The fire giant charged me, grabbed me with his other hand, picked me up, spun me around and then chucked me into the stone walls of the city. I hit the wall, fell to the ground, and then crawled; using every ounce of strength I had to crawl towards the cleric.
The cleric and dwarf watched as I crawled towards them. The fire giant was approaching as well. The cleric pleaded with me, “Eben! Get up, Eben! Do it for the party!”
I looked up at her and said, “I know,”
I stood up, grabbed my sword with both hands and charged the fire giant. And I rolled a 20! Ralph didn’t look too pleased when he glanced at number twelve on the critical hit table.
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“The fire giant’s arm is severed and flies through the air. The fire giant cries in pain as a fountain of blood erupts where his arm used to be. The fire giant falls to the ground, clutching his arm, and Eben jumps on top of him and plunges his sword through the fire giant’s chest. The fire giant’s eyes go wide, then a moment later he is dead.”
After that moment, the rest of the enemy fled. We’d saved the city and the day.
I had a pretty high initiative roll, so I got to move first. I quickly ran to the dwarf, grabbed him under one arm, and ran back towards the archway. Then I turned and prepared to charge back out into the city.
The rest of the party quickly ran to the archway and lined up on either side of me. The cleric cast a spell and healed the dwarf while I gathered the rest of the party, making sure they understood the plan.
I looked at Eric, playing the dwarf, and said, “Give me a leg up!”
The dwarf looked at me, and I looked back at him. After a long pause, the cleric called out to me, “Eben! What are you waiting for! We’re going to run out of time!”
I grabbed the dwarf and threw him up onto my shoulders, and then I quickly turned and ran back through the archway. Once we were through, I threw the dwarf back down onto the ground and then lined him up behind the rest of the party. The cleric shouted at me, “What the hell are you doing?”
I looked back at her and shouted with all the anger I could muster, “I had a plan! I was saving the dwarf! But you just had to turn around and heal him!”
The cleric looked at me, and then at the rest of the party, and then she paused. She furrowed her brow, looked at me and said, “Eben, you’re a jerk!”
Okay, okay, that wasn’t the word she used.
I nodded and pointed at her, “Damn right!”
It’s still one of my favorite moments in all the years that I’ve been playing DND. The best part is that the party allowed me to pull it off. I knew the dwarf was at death’s door. I knew that the fire giant was between us and the rest of the party. I knew we had to get the dwarf back to the cleric. But I didn’t have any illusions about my odds of success. Well, okay, I did, but I didn’t care at that point.
Ralph being upset at another win by the party was the icing on the cake. As I’ve said, we dumped him as a DM after a dozen or so sessions, but I’ve got a ton of DND stories to share… more to come soon!