The first time I played Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) I created a pretty straightforward character. She became my most memorable character death though. I was not an inexperienced role player at this time having played a huge number of other games including the boxed edition of Dungeons and Dragons. My other friends had met a new guy who liked to Dungeon Master the game and so I went along for a game.
Grog, the Half-Orc Barbarian
Hey, I said it was a pretty straightforward character. I wanted to run around and smash things. I normally played utility roguish characters so this was an experiment. Grog joined in on many adventures and ran it solo for a while too. She got to the fifth level and was doing exceptionally well. On her last adventure, she had obtained an exceptionally well-balanced battle axe that seemed sharper than all other blades (+3).
The Dark Master had gathered his minions and a small army. They were moving on the fine city of Avram and mercenaries were flocking to the city state’s call. Grog was being badgered by a paladin who had would later in his career be polymorphed into a duck (another player character) to help the embattled city-state. In the end, it was the promise of bloody battle and some coin that won Grog over.
A brisk spring morning – chill still in the air we stood on the battlefield. Horns cried out as a horde appeared across the salt flats to face us. Demons of all shapes and sizes alongside with undead and horrors unknown. One being stood out, an extraplanar titan leading a demonic horde. By far and above the worst of the creatures that advanced on the city.
Roll a d20 and do not roll a 1.” said the DM
I rolled a 1.
The titan is moving his troops to your half of the battlefield. Roll a d12 and do not roll a 1.” he stated.
I rolled a 1.
The titan is now looking as though his troops will be very near your group. Roll a d6 and do not roll a 1.
I rolled a 1.
Demonic troops head directly for your troops and you are suddenly enveloped ina purely chaotic battle. As you fight the demons you see the Titan commander look around for an opponent. He carries two giant swords in his hands. Roll a d4 and do not roll a 1.
I rolled a 1. The titan looked directly at me and the battlefield opened up for our epic battle. Parrying and attacking. Swinging, ducking and pleading with the paladin to stand with me the battle was epic.
It was an epic battle. One I was clearly outclassed for but brilliant none the less. Death was all around on the battlefield and Avram looked to be winning. But it was a battle of attrition between the Titan and I. The paladin had decided ranged combat was wiser and fell back with his longbow. I stood toe to toe with the beast but I could not stop the inevitable. A natural 20 finished me. Severed my torso from my legs and I fell.
Later that evening the Paladin returned to the battlefield. I thought that he was going to retrieve Grog’s body and have her resurrected. But instead, he lay her battleaxe before her and propped up her arm and middle finger in the direction that the invaders had come. One last act of defiance that suited Grog down to the ground.
My thoughts on Grog’s death
Grog was an experiment. One that I enjoyed but she was never so much a favourite character. Most of my favourite characters’ deaths are pathetic and completely forgettable. For some reason, this death sticks with me. It makes me smile as I think of the sun setting on that battlefield, Grog sticking her middle finger up to the world. It just suited her defiant nature. Let me know about your favourite character deaths in the comments and keep rolling!