Not to make light of current events but, holy hells, I was in the middle of an argument with someone who was justifying the actions of a 17-year old shooter and their entire refrain felt far too familiar.
So I wrote it up.
Party of adventures hear that a horde is about to siege a town in a neighboring kingdom. There’s been nightly raids but they’ve been assured by reports from the town guard that things are about to get truly dangerous.
Party gets armed and armored, then saddle up and ride to the town. The town guard is, to put it mildly, grateful to see them. The dark is beginning to light up with the growling, primitive sounds of the savage horde.
Thus opens the classic D&D red box edition module labeled S5: The Siege of Kenosha.
S5.1 Off to protect the town of Kenosha
And the town guard welcomed the heroes, showering them with praise and an occasional offer of bottled refreshment. There was even a winking promise of possible future employment.
The heroes then went and located the most vulnerable locations and made their might known. They showed off their weapons and they called out for the horde to send out their champions.
The horde, being a bunch of fucking cowards, wouldn’t comply. Instead, they tried to assault the town guard, by setting a trash fire and hurtling it towards the vulnerable guardsman.
Thank fate that someone interfered somewhere (not our heroes, who were otherwise occupied), but that frustrated the horde. They looked for flammable options to set the whole town alight.
S5.2 The Call to Adventure
Barely a step away from being a man, the youngest of the heroes was out in the crowd. He was a healer by nature (and had his healer’s kit ready in case he ever needed it, which he really didn’t).
Being a healer didn’t make him any less of a man. He was well armed with warrior’s weapons. And, thankfully, before the event, either he cast or his mother cast on him “Detect Evil”.
He sees the horde advances and tries to protect the target. But then, sensing weakness, the horde finally sends out a champion. Someone throws a potion at the healer, but he’s too quick.
The champion pursues our hero, fists clenching, calling out challenges. Our hero turns… and thanks to Detect Evil, he can tell the champion is irredeemable. A flurry of magic missiles later and the champion is defeated.
S5.3 The horde strikes back.
Seeing his death coming hard upon him, our hero watches with horror as another irredeemably stained soul starts to bring down a club on his head and shoulders.
Thankfully, magic missile saves the day. He’s free for just a fraction of a second, but realizes that’s only because the horde has their own twisted version of a wizard, black with evil, moving in with their own magic missile.
This time his aim is off; our hero is faltering under the stress. The horrible mage survives, though this spell is disrupted. The hero runs. Not finding his fellow adventurers, he makes it to the town guard, who let him go home.
S5.4 So marks the hero.
The young hero doesn’t even have to show up to the magistrate who may have one or two clarifying questions for him. The town’s sheriff announces to the crowd that they welcome adventurers into this town, as long as the horde continues to ravage unabated.
S5.5 Rumors in the tavern
Well, if the kid was a healer, who did he heal? What was he there to protect? Were his friends there to fight the good fight or were they just there for the coin?
What if he couldn’t detect evil and this was a product of monumental stupidity? What if the subhumans of the horde weren’t so morally repugnant that you could scratch any three at random and they would be deserving of death.
Answers to that in the sequel…
Because once the siege of Kenosha is resolved, bands of adventurers will be coming into your homelands. They will bring law and order to the country in the name of heroism, camaraderie, and the inability to distinguish what the term “evil murder hobos” truly means.
Just a design note. There’s a lot of talk about domestic abuse attached to people of interest in the Siege of Kenosha. You know who I know who aren’t surprised that the men involved in violence had domestic abuse records?
Women. They’ve been adamantly insisting that the number of abusers has been under-reported forever.And as usual, they are being proven right.