Heroes (D&D humor, female perspective)

TanithT

First Post
Heroes

Talking's dry work. If you pour me a cup of ale, I might be able to tell you a bit more about the city. It doesn't do to walk into a place like Tharquan unprepared, especially if you're planning to do a job here. Don't bother telling me you're tourists; I can spot you folks a mile away. Used to be a hired sword myself, before my luck turned bad. After Lady Aldana took command of the city, things have been a lot different in Tharquan. No orc raids, no goblin invasions, not a damned thing to do. An honest merc can't get a job to save her life.

How did all of this happen? Say, that ale looks awfully good. An Elvish brew, is it? Thanks, don't mind if I do.

When I was young, just knee-high to a pixie, times were mostly peaceful. Not too many women took up the sword unless they were pretty serious about it. Me, I was serious about it. Earned quite a reputation for myself in a few years, too. Dragonslaying, crawling around in dank caves, that sort of thing. You know. The usual. It suited me, anyways.

'Long about the fifth year I was adventuring, I was approached by a young woman who wanted me to teach her all about being a warrior. She was as tall and slender as a curving vine, and she had the brightest, longest blonde hair I'd ever seen in my life. If it wasn't for a few of her other generous attributes, you would have thought that a good wind could blow her away.

She was dressed up fancy in a belted silken tunic and leather pants that laced up at the sides and didn't cover a whole lot of territory. I won't even mention what particularly sensitive areas she left completely uncovered; that might make me do an insult to this fine ale. Incidentally, could you order another pitcher? Thank you; I'm much obliged.

A man might have promised her the world; I just tried not to laugh as I told her what I thought of the idea. "Look, the first thing that would have to go is your hair. It would blind you in a fight, give an enemy a good handhold and any scout worth his salt could see it a mile away. Second, you're going to have to gain about four stone if you don't want to get knocked on your back the first time someone slams into you with their shield. Third, go buy some decent armor and a sword. Fourth, you'll have to pay me." I figured that this would scare her away, especially when I named an unreasonably exorbitant sum for my fee.

There was just no way that I was going to be able to make this bit of fluff into a warrior. It had nothing to do with her sex; I'm living proof that a woman can make it as a merc. But to look at her, it was obvious that she just didn't have what it takes to be a fighter.

You there in the corner in the fancy robes. Would you like to fight me with a sword? I've got arms and legs like an old oak tree, and yours look more like a grasshopper's, same as that skinny little girl. Nobody with any sense would try to make a fighter out of either one of you. Quit muttering that nonsense under your breath and have another drink. Your friends are paying for it, and it's a shame to waste good ale. Drink up, now.

Well, much to my surprise, she agreed to everything. I figured that for the kind of gold she was spending, I could give the wench a lesson or two. I sent her off to the best smithy in the city and told her to get a custom job on both sword and armor if she could. She was supposed to meet me at this very tavern to start her lessons when everything was finished, which I figured would take about six weeks if every smith in the shop was working on her order. Actually, I was rather hoping she'd give up and never show up at all.

I settled down in the tavern to do some serious dr- ah, waiting, her gold resting securely in my pouches. Well, more or less securely, as the gambling has always been good around here. The weeks passed profitably as well as comfortably.

To my dismay, the lady showed up right on schedule, and in the middle of a good game, too. I was holding four dragons and a pair of unicorns at the time, and we'd started the ante at thirty gold.

"I got my sword and armor. When do we get started?" Her voice was breathy with suppressed eagerness, and every other eye at the table must have turned to look at her. I knew better than to look away when there was gold on the table, so my beautiful brown orbs stayed fixed right where they were. I didn't even bother to take the opportunity to dip into the pot, so confident was I of winning. I told her I'd meet her outside when I was through collecting.

Well, I lost to a full flush with griffons high across the table. Darn elf-mages always cheat at cards. No offense to you there in the corner, of course. I prudently decided it was time to quit gambling and strolled outside to meet my student.

This time, I did laugh. She was resplendent in shiny new armor that covered about as much on her as my shield did on me, and I was wielding a small arm-buckler at the time. Every single one of her joints were bare, as were her thighs, as was most of her arms and chest. She was wearing a metal helm with spreading dragon's wings that looked rather delicate and awfully impractical. There was some sort of hobbling contraption on her tight leather boots, a thin spike that stuck straight down from each heel. I suppose it might have been of use for stomping on defeated foes, but she wasn't likely to be able to defeat anyone if she was constantly tripping over her own feet. To give her some credit, the sword wasn't actually bad at all.

After I finished laughing at her, I roared. "What in Durga's name did you let them sell you? I told you to get the best custom work money could buy. That piece of tinselled k'hat you're wearing is the worst joke I've ever seen!"

Although I used a word native to quite another continent that an old drinking buddy once taught me, I think she understood me perfectly clearly. Her pretty face fell. "You don't understand. I got something better than a custom job. It's -"

Just then, we were interrupted by the clangour of the city's alarm bells. "Attack! We're under attack!" After a few seconds, we could also hear agonized screams, the clashing of swords and the other various and sundry sounds that generally accompany a fight.

Now, I'm normally a model of tact and sensitivity, as I'm sure all of you have noted; but there just wasn't time to spare the girl's feelings. I told her to go hide herself and her toy armor under a rock and leave the field to the real warriors. Then there wasn't time to tell her anything, because the orcs were running through the streets and I was fighting for my life.

Four of them came at me, and I fought as I had never fought before. I slammed the first one aside with my shield, thrust wildly at the second and desperately dodged the third and fourth, trying to get my back to a wall before they surrounded me. I'm a pretty good fighter, but these kind of odds were more than I could easily handle. I was definitely starting to sweat.

Now I hear the girl talking behind me. "Go to sleep," she says firmly. And the orcs fall down on the ground and start to snore loud enough to drown out the alarm bells.

So I look at her in astonishment. "You a mage?"

She shook her head. "Nope. I've got a Helm of Command, Boots of Flying, Iron Cups of Protection and a magic sword that shoots out tongues of flame and fights by itself." The look she gave me was innocent enough to make an elfmaid sick, no offense to you over there in the robes. "You told me to get the best armor and weapons I could buy, so I did. If you'll excuse me, I've got to go and slay the Orc chieftain and save the city now. Thanks for the advice."

So naturally she flies off and does just that. How was I supposed to know she was the Highlord's daughter? With the best magic armor and weapons all of his money could buy, she didn't need anyone to teach her how to fight. The magic did it all for her.

She single-handedly crushed the orcish horde and was the toast of the city inside of the hour. When her father died rather suddenly in his sleep a few days later, she took over his position. It kind of made me wonder, but then again, he was an old man.

And that's the story of Lady Aldana. So why the long faces? Oh, I get it. So that's what you guys are here for. No, I wouldn't advise going after her treasure, as rich as it is. She's still got all of her original toys, and then some. And she keeps quite a few of the ex-mercenaries around the city in her employ, if you know what I mean.

Sure, I knew a good thing when I saw it. Wouldn't you have done the same? Here, have another mug of ale.

I wouldn't try anything if I were you. This is an awfully public place. Besides, I don't actually have to tell Aldana anything, especially if you can manage a small contribution towards the retirement of an ex-mercenary. Thanks, I knew you could.

Why am I so happy about betraying my employer? No, I'm not drunk. It takes a lot more than Elvish barley-water to put an old merc like me under the table. Again, no offense to you over there under the hood. Say, how do you see out from under that thing, anyways? Never mind, I don't think I want to know. Magic and me have never really gotten along.

Ever since Aldana pulled that stunt with the magic armor, every bard for miles around has been convinced that all of us go out to fight that way. Ever seen a picture of a so-called woman warrior? Tall, slender, generously endowed, wearing armor that wouldn't stop a pea from a halfling child's toy sling. That's what all the high lords want to hire nowadays. And it's all her fault.

Me, I'm a real warrior and I look like one. My armor's not pretty, but it can stop a landragon's strike at close range. It has, too. But you know what they said at the last castle I applied to for employment? "Come back in a chainmail bikini and we'll consider it." So I went back to Aldana, and she cut me a deal. There isn't any fighting to do around here, but at least the ale's not bad.

Speaking of ale - ahh, thank you. I wish you all the best of luck on your quest.
 
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Shemeska

Adventurer
This amuses me
shemmysmile.gif
 

TanithT

First Post
Well, it DOES explain the lame@ss way "women warriors" are dressed in most fanboys' idea of art. Huge, huge pet peeve of mine.

I fight in the SCA and have also fought at Faires with live steel, and there is no way in heck you'd get me on the field in a freaking chainmail bikini. I mean, duuuh. I cannot even begin to imagine anything stupider than that. But that's what's on the cover of every fantasy novel as the well dressed woman warrior. All I can say is I hope those Brass Nipple Pasties Of Protection are +5 and have charms of arrow deflecting, because otherwise it's gonna hurt.

F that noise. Not wearing that stuff. Because as a female fighter, I actually, y'know, plan to FIGHT. What did you THINK that sword was for? Never mind, I don't wanna know.

There is nothing more ridiculous and insulting than the assumption that every female fighter is not really a fighter at all but some sort of fantasy fashion Barbie. Every artist who has ever drawn a female fighter like this really needs to run out in the middle of an SCA war or a live steel recreation dressed in their skimpies. That should be a painful but highly salutory lesson in the practical mechanics of what a fighter had damn well better be wearing in the field. If you wanna pose for a cheesecake magazine that's your beeswax, but you cannot fight in that stuff and you will be VERY sorry if you try.
 

Quartz

Hero
But that's what's on the cover of every fantasy novel as the well dressed woman warrior. All I can say is I hope those Brass Nipple Pasties Of Protection are +5 and have charms of arrow deflecting, because otherwise it's gonna hurt.

Have you read the Thraxas stories? One of the things they satirise is this trope. One of the characters, Makri, does wear a chainmail bikini, but she's a waitress. For serious fighting she breaks out full armour.
 

TanithT

First Post
Have you read the Thraxas stories? One of the things they satirise is this trope. One of the characters, Makri, does wear a chainmail bikini, but she's a waitress. For serious fighting she breaks out full armour.

Naah. Have read Chicks in Chainmail and really should get around to submitting this one to that series. Who wrote the Thraxas stories?
 



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