AR 1210-03-15 Wolf speaks with Battle Ragers

As Wolf opened the door he was assaulted with the sour stench of old sweat and the deafening noise as people yelled out over the sound of metal crashing against metal. He was definitely in the right palace. As he shut the door, he heard a cry to get out of the way, and almost immediately got bowled over by two dwarfs.

Crawling out of the tangled mess, he saw an older dwarf running in his direction. “Geez boy! Din’n ya get taught not to walk into a lion’s den without proper plannin’?” The old dwarf quickly picked Wolf up by the arm and dragged him to a corner. “Now then, what would make a kid like you come ‘ere during the middle o’ practice?”

Wolf, now able to take in the carnage surrounding him, gave a big smile and responded, “I was told I’d make a good battle rager, and I figured I’d come and see what all the fuss was about.”

The old dwarf gave a wry smile, “An’ what’s the name o’ our newest would be member?”

“Wolf sir. What’s…”

“No, no. No one’s going ta know ya by that. What’s you’re dad’s name?”

Wolf’s jaw set; it didn’t matter how many adults he had met at school, the only thing any of them ever seemed to care about was who his parents were. “I’m the son of Rogi Axeforger.”

“Ah, Ulfar,” exclaimed the old dwarf as Wolf winced. “Yer dad said you might be coming by soon. Said you were showing the making’s of a fine battle rager. What can I do for ya?”

Wolf, trying to hide his irritation, looked out across the room, “So, what exactly do battle ragers…uh…do?” He knew it was a stupid question as soon as it left his lips, but he couldn’t think of any other way to ask it. It didn’t seem to matter much as the old dwarf quickly started into what seemed like a memorized script.

“The dwarven battle ragers are the ultimate in offensive tactics. We trace our heritage back through the reign of over 100 different kings. We relish in the face of battle and never run from a fight. Our motto is…the motto is…I can never remember the stupid motto. Bah, it’s all hogwash anyways. Look, we’re a bunch o’ dwarves who like ta get angry and love ta fight. The rest of it is just the king’s way o’ trying to spit polish a turd.”

Wolf didn’t know if he should be shocked by the use of the words king and turd in the same sentence, or if he should just bust out laughing, so he opted for the latter. “How exactly do battle ragers fight though? Isn’t it difficult getting them to focus their rage on the same target?”

“Naw, it’s really simple. We always partner up, and we try to move as a unit. When someone tries to break from the group, their partner knocks them upside the head and they fall back in line. Tends to happen a lot with the newer members, so we keep them closer to the inside of the group.”

Trying desperately to find a way to get the answer to the question he doesn’t know how to ask simply responds, “How do you know what targets to go after? Doesn’t your rage cause you to blindly go after a single target and anything that gets in the way of that? I had a friend who I left behind fighting zombies as I ran off alone to kill a ghost.”

The old dwarf looks at the boy with a quizzical expression, “That’s what yer partner is for. If ye gets too focused, they knock ya upside the head and bring you back to yer senses. As for how the group moves, someone else usually points us in the direction we need to go and we attack anything that gets in our way. Within reason of course.”

“Do the battle ragers ever pick their own targets in battle?”

“Only when we get into fights without our partners around. That kind of think is best left to kings and tacticians seeing how most of our members are twice as tough as a pile of rocks, and about half as smart.”

Wolf stares at the fighting still taking place in front of him, more unsure of himself than when he had walked in the room. “Do you know, where does the rage come from? Do you think it could be the gods trying to give us guidance?”

“Uh, I hadn’t thought of it that way. I suppose ye could be right, though thinking on it too much is liable to cause a headache. I’d put money that it’s more a personal thing we ragers have that doesn’t have anything to do with the gods.” The old dwarf puts his hand on Wolf’s shoulder. “Sounds like you’re trying to make a big decision.”

Nodding his reply, Wolf asked “Hey, if I don’t become a battle rager, would you guys still let me come down and practice with you?”

“Of course! As I said, at our core, we’re a bunch of dwarfs who love to fight. We’d welcome Ulfar, son of Rogi Axeforger any day.”

Turning to look at the old dwarf with a half hearted glare, “The name is Wolf and some day I’ll do something that will get you to remember that…and thank you.”

AR 1210-03-15 Wolf speaks with Battle Ragers

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