I travel with an eclectic mix of people I’m slowly, if not reluctantly, beginning to call friends. They represent different walks of life and each possesses gifts and strengths which make them unique… and in some cases dangerously powerful. And I suppose I must include myself in this apt description of our adventuring company.
Braddoc Stoneshield is definitely the most understated member of the party. In many ways he epitomizes the dwarven warrior stereotype. He is quiet, gruff and rude, and his physical strength outclasses anyone I’ve ever met. He wields his battleaxe like it is an extension of his powerful body.
I’ve watched him struggle to master fighting with such a diverse and disorganized party. I assume that before joining the Clifftop Adventurers Guild Braddoc fought side-by-side with other dwarves. Having military training myself, I understand how difficult it can be to go from fighting in formation, with everybody in the line performing their role as expected – as ordered – and the company striking with precision, to running into combat haphazardly not knowing if your companions are behind you, beside you, trying to get around you, or moving to flank the enemy. I too have adjusted my combat tactics as I got to know how every member of the party puts their skills to the best use. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how powerful Braddoc really is.
The party ventured cautiously down a corridor during our exploration of some old catacombs near Delver’s Dale, when a door unexpectedly opened and two ghouls and four zombies started moving into the hallway. Before the party could deliver any real damage, the intelligent undead signaled retreat, moved back into the room and closed the door. The party quickly followed. Once inside the room we saw all the undead standing on a swirling dark sun pattern in the centre of the room. An aura of evil spewed forth from the dark sun, offending all that is good, and giving the undead additional strength, power and resistance to our weapons. The party moved into the room and began fighting, attempting to rid the world of such foul mockery to life.
It was during the battle that I witnessed Braddoc display his true potential. With one mighty blow from his battleaxe he mowed down two ghouls and one zombie. He utterly destroyed the three monsters through sheer force. He was able to take down three by himself while the rest of the party worked together on the others. And as soon as he dropped those three undead, Braddoc moved to again crush one of the remaining zombies with a single strike. The awesome display of physical might and precise blows was truly something to behold.
I realize that every person has their own method of contributing. Be it a contribution to life in general or contribution to a particular situation. Braddoc Stoneshield has demonstrated beyond any doubt that his contribution to this adventuring party is the power to destroy his foes, tempered by his judgment and a desire to uphold the values he believes in. My confidence in this party’s ultimate success continues to rise knowing that Braddoc will be fighting beside us.