Phil Dreizen

The anti-climatic death of an incompetent tragic prince

The following is the story of Cal Arath, a Barbarian Prince who lost his kingdom. Forced to flee his homeland, with little money and no friends, he began a journey to regain what was rightfully his.

Cal Arath began his tragic journey north of the Tragoth river. Not well versed in the ways of the sea, or rivers, he failed to find his way south over it. Fortune smiled on him the following day, however, when he ran into a raftsman willing to ferry him south west to the city of Cumry...for a fee.

What better way to regain a Kingdom than to banter in the taverns of Cumry, seeking information and making friends? Though Cal found no useful information or any followers who sympathized with his quest in the days he spent seeking whatever he might find, he did grow rather fond of Cumry and its people. That is why what came to pass is so tragic. His time in the taverns proving fruitless, Cal sought council with the town leaders, hoping for some ally or any information at all. Insecure and threatened by Cal's powerful visage, the leaders of Cumry instead threw Cal into the dungeons, under the pretense that he insulted the mayor's wife.

For nearly a week Cal spent his days languishing in the dank pits of Cumry's dungeon, but not before being stripped of what few possessions he had. On the sixth day of imprisonment, he escaped to the hills northwest of the city. After a few uneventful days of foraging and hunting for food, Cal decided it was time to pay Cumry a visit.

Getting to Cumry would be no easy task. To get there he needed to avoid a rather large group of Cumry lawmen that were seeking him. Arriving in the city after some evasion, Cal was intercepted by two well armed, and wealthy looking, city guards. Robbed of all his money before being thrown into the dungeon, Cal knew he needed some gold, and these guards were surely no match for a Barbarian Prince wielding the mighty Bonebiter.

A vicious battle ensued, and though Cal Arath emerged the victor, he was only a little richer, and seriously wounded. He had no choice but to return to the refuge in the hills, northwest of the city, where he spent the next week recovering and looking for food.

On one of his days of rest, he came upon ancient ruins that he, and his mapmaker, had not known existed so close to a major densely populated town. Tempted by the treasures he might find, Cal Arath explored the ruins. On an altar, protected by a magic spell of unknown power, sat a ring. Unfazed by the magically induced fear that came upon him as his approached the ring, he discovered the spell was nothing but a harmless ruse. And he was awarded for his bravery: a Resistance Ring!

Exploring the ruins became an obsession. If the ruins had magical rings laying around on altars, protected by practically nothing at all, it might have more riches to offer him. Twice Cal Arath faced fearsome spectral figures that threatened to whisk him away to astral dimensions. But with his ring, nothing could harm him.

When Cal found a room filled with ancient treasures, guarded by four ghostly warriors, he brazenly charged into battle. Fortune would not smile upon him for his foolhardiness this day. After felling his first Wraith Warrior, his ring failed him, melting into nothingness as the three remaining ghostly warriors attempted to avenge their recently vanquished friend. They beat the now vulnerable trespasser mercilessly.

Shocked and beaten, Cal fled from the ruins to south. He had no chance to rest. The next day, as he tried to recover from his recent failure, an opportunistic great cat leaped out of seemingly nowhere. With what energy he could muster, he killed the cat. And ate it.

A day of peace finally came to pass the next day. Though his body was still covered in wounds, Cal Arath felt confident in his hunting skills, and he he sought to find a meal. An extremely foolish thing to do, given the ample rations he was carrying with him at the time.

There, in the open countryside, the once mighty Cal Arath, Prince and rightful heir of the Northern Kingdoms, tripped, fell, and broke his head while looking for some food.

The story above was a session report of a solitaire game called "Barbarian Prince" that I posted to BGG.