DM: “[the dead body] has a couple coins in his pocket but nothing too interesting”
BARBARIAN: “how many coins..?”
DM: “I dunno, like 7.”
PALADIN: “you are NOT taking a dead mans copper.”
BARBARIAN: “why? hes dead!”
PALADIN: “Its 7 copper pieces holy shit. I will give you one whole gold piece if you dont steal a dead guys copper.”
PALADIN: “one whole gold piece! thats 93% more than your 7 copper pieces!”
BARBARIAN: “fine! I’ll take your stupid money. ”
DM: “okay, if you’re done here you leave the room.”
BARBARIAN: “before we leave I roll slight of hand to pocket the copper pieces.”
PALADIN: “WHAT THE FUCK”
I will now relate events that took place in the 94th Olympiad, in the city of Athens. I am Hipparchos, son of Nicomakos, of the deme Euonymos, and though I am now old, I will never forget that day.
I was strolling with friends near the Acropolis when we heard the sky tear apart. An object of shining silver came out of the rent clouds and landed near us. Before our astonished eyes, a door opened, and someone, or something, came out.
“Your headman to take I toward,” said the little green man. We stared at him. Barbarians are, truly, getting stranger by the day.
He hit a box hanging around his neck.
“Take me to your leader,” he said, and now his tones were the purest Attic Greek.
“To Alexias?” I whispered to Pythodoros.
“No,” he replied, “better not bother him. Take him to Socrates.”
“Will he believe that Socrates is our leader?”
“He’s a barbarian,” Pythodoros said. “He won’t know any better.”
So we escorted the little green man to Socrates. All along the way there, he looked around curiously and scanned things with his little box, nodding excitedly as he did so.
Socrates was holding court before his little crowd.
“This is your leader?” the little green man said dubiously.
“He is preeminent among us for his mind,” said Pythodoros, laughing.
The little green man indicated agreement.
“Tell me,” said Socrates, “who are you among men?”
“I am not a man,” said the little green man.
Socrates nodded. “What is a man?” he asked.
“Homo sapiens sapiens. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid; H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, which differentiates them from what has been argued to be their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu. The ingenuity and adaptability of Homo sapiens has led to its becoming the most influential species on Earth. Homo sapiens sapiens inhabits the planet Terra, in the system Sol, in the Milky Way.”
Many of us were astonished at this speech, but Socrates only nodded again.
“And you are?” he said?
“I am an inhabitant of Xraxas 9, in the Andromeda Galaxy. I am krax kraxis! We laugh at homo sapiens’ feeble knowledge.”
Socrates nodded once more.
“What makes a man a man?” he said.
“Homo sapiens sapiens is distinguished by a lighter skeleton and a smaller brow ridge than homo sapiens neanderthalensis….” Krax continued in this vein for some time.
“Perhaps,” said Socrates. “But is it not behavior that makes a man, rather than his external appearance? Do you have cities on, ah, Xraxas 9?”
“Certainly, Socrates,” he said.
“And do we have cities here, on Terra?”
“And is this city so different from your cities?”
“It is inferior!”
“What is inferiority?”
At this point Pythodoros sneaked away.
“You do not have the technology that we have. With a single finger, I could destroy your entire city.”
“But you are not doing so,” Socrates said mildly. “It is because first, you are acquainted with the nature of virtue, and second, you are disinclined to destroy your fellow humans.”
“I am not human.”
“What is humanity? It is not simply the form of this - ” his tongue stumbled over the unfamiliar syllables “ - homo sapiens sapiens. Is it not also, O man of Xraxas 9, in a shared language, and in shared spirit?”
“I do not speak your language.”
“But I can understand you,” replied Socrates. “What are you speaking, if not my language?”
“It is only through my superior technology that I can understand you.”
“But you acknowledge that we are not beasts? For beasts have no language.”
“And what distinguishes us from you, besides your size and color?”
“I….” The little green man trailed off. He pressed a button on his box and spoke in a guttural language. We heard the screaming in the sky again, and the silver object appeared. The little green man went to join his fellows.
“We will be back!” he said, as they took off into the sky. “Perhaps not in your lifetime, and definitely not in his.” He pointed to Socrates. “But we will return!”
“Ah, Hipparchos,” Socrates said, turning to me. “I find this very instructive.”
Through group dates, individual dates, competitions, parties, product placement and public meltdowns, the show continues. Laurent has been sure of the finalists since soon after the start of filming, but he manages to weave in enough red herrings and emotional tripwires to keep a viewing audience engaged. Even Kallias looks genuinely shocked when he beats out Pallas for a spot in the last four.
Pallas looks up at Damen, rueful, and accepts Damen’s hug goodbye. They both look sleek and strong and masculine in their suits.
“So,” Nicaise murmurs, “d'you think Lazar–”
“Don’t tell me,” Laurent says, “and I won’t have to fire anyone.”
“Ugh, you’re going soft,” Nicaise says.
The other finalists are less surprising. Erasmus has been unfurling with happiness like a literal fucking flower as the weeks pass, increasingly relaxed in front of the camera, constantly laughing and telling fond stories about the kids on his ward. For Damen not to choose him at this point would be like kicking a whole sackful of a puppies.
Jokaste is still Jokaste. Her cattiness behind the scenes is matched only by her charm when one-on-one with Damen. She is witty and edged and lovely, and if she isn’t inundated with offers after the season goes to air, Laurent will eat his headset, or possibly hire her himself.
We had a new player once. He decided “Hey cool, barbarians sound awesome. I want to be a barbarian trapper. I shall regale you with his antics :
1. Upon entering a dense forest in search of some Kobolds who were preparing to attack a nearby town, Steve rolls perception and spies a deer. He’s bringing up the rear and veers away from the party. We find him later, playing checkers with a band of Pixies in a clearing. Apparently he had rolled a Nat 20 for animal handling and the deer led him here. The deer is nearby just watching. Everyone in the circle turns to look at the party.
Steve : Oh hey guys. These are my friends.
The rest of the party : *Bewildered stare*
Steve : We can’t really talk to each other. But I’ve named them. This little guy is Peter. That one is Vicky. And that little bugger over there is Steve Jr. I’ve always wanted a Steve Jr.
Tiefling rogue : Uh… Steve… We have a mission.
Steve : Oh! Right! *looks at the pixies* Bye guys! We’ll catch up later.
Dwarf Cleric : You sure you’re not a druid?
2. Steve was with the party in a goblin cave. He’s a bit ahead scouting as a meatshield/warning bell. After a few moments we no longer hear him moving ahead of us. We stop, the rogue stealths ahead to find Steve in a side store room sitting at a table with a few goblins. They’re playing some form of poker on a rickety table of explosive powder. Steve is smoking a pipe we’ve never seen before. The rogue brings the party up.
Steve : (in goblin) Oh don’t mind them. Those are my friends. (To the party) Hey guys! Check it out. These dudes are super cool!
The goblins smile and wave.
Tiefling Rogue : Steve… We need to have a chat.
Steve : Sure. What’s up?
Tiefling Rogue : Okay first of all, We think you have a wandering problem. And a gaming problem. Where the hell did you get that pipe? And you -DO- realize we’ve been paid to kill these goblins right?
Steve : Aww… But these dudes are super cool! See? We’re playing poker.
Rogue : Steve. We have to kill them.
Steve : Shame… *turns to the goblins while unlimbering his great axe, aptly named The Axe of Steve* Look fellas. I’m really sorry about this.
3. After arriving at a local farming community and meeting some locals, Steve wanders off to set some traps to check in the morning. The farmers have agreed to purchase anything he catches. It’s been a rough harvest season. The next morning he goes to check the traps. Alone. And finds an owl bear.
Steve : Oh man. Check you out! What a magnificent beautiful bastard you are! (ooc) I’d like to roll animal handling to see if we can be friends. *rolls a Nat 1*
There is a cairn stone in the clearing where we found him with the Pixies. Steve died that day. The owl bear proved to be too much for his gentle nature.
Damen was in a meeting
when he was told the news, whispered softly into his ear by one his men. He
inclined his head slightly without taking his eyes off of his current business
adversary, and nodded to indicate he’d heard, signaling for the man to leave so
the meeting could continue. He shuffled the information to the back of his
mind, and carried on, ignoring the curious look Nikandros sent him. He made
himself not react as he faced the golden-haired man in front of him.
matter?” Auguste asked from across the conference table, looking squarely at
Damen shook his head,
allowing an easy smile to grace his features. “No, nothing of import.”
Sharing none of their
emotions, they carried on with the negotiations.
watched Auguste carefully until he could see outside the conference room
windows that he had gotten into his car – alone – and had left the premises. He
waved for Nikandros to follow him as he got into the elevator and pushed for
the basement levels.
As soon as the doors
were securely closed, Nikandros turned to him, his eyes narrowed.
“It was a ploy,” Damen
said, answering the unasked question. “The little brother, Laurent, was caught
sneaking around the top floors.”
civilization 5 barbarians: a small rapscallion of a skeleton. his heart is full of malice that his tiny body cannot accomplish, so he settles for smacking your beverages off of the coffee table when you aren’t looking. his shenanigans are tiresome
civilization 6 barbarians:
this fucking dude -
he is made of metal. his bones are covered in spikes and when he howls his terrible war howl, the sun goes dark and birds fall from the sky. you watch in terrified awe as he picks up your car and bites it in half. his name is written on his forehead in three-meter-tall flaming letters, and it is FUCKMOUNTAIN DEATHMONSTER. there can be no hope in a universe that contains the fuckmountain
I took a tiny break between playing Breath of the Wild and working on commissions to make a few Link doodles. So far, Link is the CUTEST in this game. (I also adore the barbarian armour… he looks so fantastic in it~). AND LINK EATING ANYTHING IS THE CUTEST THING EVER <3 <3 <3
Ok. Back to riding around Hyrule, setting everything on fire with a flaming skeletal arm. Totally the hero here. Totally.
Our large 20 strength barbarian Dragovir as he grappled a small creature to use it as a deadly weapon: “Hey DM, am I proficient in motherfuckers? I would like to beat a motherfucker with another motherfucker.”
Harry didn’t have much experience planning dates. Up until this point he’d been more of a ‘charm a woman during pub night with the lads or on the rarer occasion when he was dragged to a club, go back to her place, have sex, say thanks, and leave’ kind of guy. There were never any expectations or disappointments for any party involved but he still felt pretty shitty afterward.
She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.
That word she used: babink. You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?
It means sweetie pie.
I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.
No, babink means barbarian. She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!
Barbarian isn’t an insult?
No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.
It’s a game?
Then what is it?
In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—
Really? He’s the hero?
In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—
That would never happen.
In the story it does, and they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.
He lives in a cave?
It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.
Ah. A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?
Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.
How does the story end? Do they fight battles?
They get to know each other intimately.
In the cave?
You see, he’s very brooding, very manly, but he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—
To civilize him?
Yes, but that’s not until the third book.
There are three?
Matthias, do you need to sit down?
This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—
Calm down, Matthias.
Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.
Now that sounds like a party. We could play.
We most certainly could not.
At one point he bathes her.
Why would he—
She’s tied up, so he has to.
Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.
[numbered, but in no particular order except for number 1]
1. “And if you want a personal message,” said Laurent, “You can tell my uncle boykiller that he can cut the head off every child from here to the capital. It won’t make him into a king, it will simply mean he has no one left to fuck.” [honestly this is the most savage set of lines in the series why is laurent so Iconic™]
2. “Yes, apparently I have fucked my enemy, conspired against my future interests, and colluded in my own murder. I can’t wait to see what feats I will perform next.”
3. “I don’t roll in the sty with swine,” said Laurent, coolly. “I’m here to bathe. Have I said something astonishing? Come here.”
4. “The barbarian won’t fuck boys. He prefers to wait a few years and then use a sword in place of his cock.”
5. “My uncle is discriminating. Not like Jord,” said Laurent, “who’ll take a middle-aged man’s sloppy seconds and treat it like it’s worth something.”
Context: Our Half-Orc Barbarian has entered in a non-magic, non-weapon, fighting tournament in hopes of being granted presence with the leader of a clan corrupting the city. His first opponent is a halting fighter who he has already brutally beaten.
Jish the Barbarian (OOC): I rolled a 15, 17, and a 24.
DM: Those all hit. That’s going to be enough to take him out. How do you want to do it?
Jish (OOC): I want to throw him up, catch him in my elbow, and dab him into a headbutt.
a dumb question, maybe, but: what's one of your favorite parts about studying classics?
probably the constant reminders that throughout time and regardless of time, place, language, religion, ideology, system of governance or dominant school of thought, people remain fundamentally people
like i know that sounds really glib but it’s like - when i was doing this after alexander course last year, right, we looked at this thing called the zenon papyri, a huge stash of administrative documents from greek-ruled egypt addressed to an official called zenon, which was preserved because the winds changed and the building they were kept in was buried under a massive sand dune. and there’s one which we called the krotos papyri, which is a letter from a native egyptian writing to zenon telling him how he had been mistreated by greeks, who laugh at him because he doesn’t know how to “act like a greek” and call him a barbarian and refuse to pay him his proper wages. which is very familiar. and when you look at the actual papyrus fragment, the writing at the top is big and clear and spaced-out, but as it gets towards the bottom of the page it gets smaller and more cramped and the lines are all squint, because this nameless egyptian guy who does something with camels in the 250s BC hadn’t worked out how long his letter was going to be and he’s realised halfway through that he’s going to run out of space
and in first year i went on this trip to hadrian’s wall, and it started snowing while we were standing on it and the wind was blowing a gale right into our faces, and afterwards we heard a lecture about the vindolanda tablets, and there’s one, tablet 346, a letter to a soldier stationed there - and the soldiers stationed there could come from anywhere in the empire, rome or egypt or north africa, hot places, basically, and the wall is fucking cold - which is maybe from his wife or mother or sister, which reads as follows:
“… I have sent (?) you … pairs of socks from Sattua, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of underpants, two pairs of sandals … Greet …ndes, Elpis, Iu…, …enus, Tetricus and all your messmates with whom I pray that you live in the greatest good fortune."
and that’s not some kind of “people don’t change” idea. people do change, have changed. you read the stuff these civilisations produced and some of it is so, so alien to us, so hard to understand, so strange. but then in amongst it you find things like people running out of space on their last bit of paper, or sending their son more socks because he’s got a job somewhere cold. and we remember it, these weird small human things, by total random chance! no-one sat down and thought ‘let’s keep this’ - the wind changes and an entire archive of papyri is preserved under a sand dune for 2000 years. the excavators who found the vindolanda tablets thought they were wood shavings. there’s a pot of roman face cream in the museum of london which still has fingerprints in the cream, which was found hidden in a ditch outside a temple. and in the meantime, we have no firsthand accounts of the campaigns of alexander, one of the most influential series of events in western history, because… we just don’t. they existed, but they’re lost. for some reason, somehow, presumably though some kind of enormous cosmic joke, we have a fragmentary letter from an anonymous person sent to an anonymous soldier telling him his pants are in the post and to say hello to his friends, but we don’t have callisthene’s deeds of alexander or ptolemy’s memoirs. isn’t that infuriating? isn’t that great?
I like the concept of a bard learning and figuring out Vox Machina’s adventures by going to all the people and places they have met,specifically just to make a satirical play. None of the feywild was recorded in the play, and all of the romances are done really cheesy.
Think Avatar the last air bender style, if done in a rated R setting.
This bard works specifically in plays and scripts, and doesn’t sing or fight all that much. their job is just, writing stories. Someone has to after all.
Context: the tiefling bard who had been extremely antagonistic to the rest of the party had recently died. The player’s new character, a human paladin, had just joined the party.
Rogue: you know without Fabio here we can–
Barbarian: I don’t want to speak of him anymore
Paladin: who is this Fabio?
Barbarian: *begins ranting about the things Fabio messed up*
Paladin: well I-I mean surely he couldn’t have been that bad.
Barbarian: *continues ranting. Other players join in.*
Paladin(ooc): aww now I’m sad.
The night before Ragnar and Ivar are prepared to leave, you finally convince Ecbert to at least let you see the son. While Ivar had been so hospitable before, it made you naive to the darker side of him, and you fall like a rabbit into a wolves den.