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Friday, September 11, 2020

Lessons from Nature by Skollvog the Unrelenting

Since COVID-19 struck, I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons online with some friends. My first character was the ill-fated Skollvog the Unrelenting, a nature-loving barbarian who died in an ambush before even reaching level four. He is now known as Skollvog the Unremembered. 

Before we started playing, I wrote up some quips Skollvog might drop during the course of the game. These went unused thanks to Skollvog's early death, so I present them here for posterity. 

There is always turbulence where two rivers meet. 

Lions may roar, but beware the silent hippo.

When you hear the rumbling of distant thunder, be ready for the crash of lightning. 

The lion may lie with the lamb for a brief rest, but eventually dinner must be served. 

A mountain may look imposing, but even the mightiest will wither with time.

Victory may burn like fire, but even as fire burns, snow can smother. 

Lava may be slow, but like Skollvog, it is unrelenting. 

Beasts may mate, but only people fall in love. 

To cheat Death is natural and good. To cheat Life is to cheat yourself. 

Even the tallest mountain will one day be conquered. 

Even the fiercest lion retreats when it must. 

The true warrior is never lost, but only forging new paths.


Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

It is also fun to imagine Michael Ansara saying these as a Klingon like in “Day of the Dove.”

“Only a fool fights in a burning house!”

Jeff Shyluk said...

I'm imagining Skollvog sitting at his candle-lit table in the corner of the Blag & Port Inn, scratching these quotes out with a quill locked in the death grip of his mighty fist. The tip of Skullvog's pink tongue curls up at the corner of his lips.

After a considerable interval, I also see in a sun-smacked glass-sided high tower in the financial district of New Blaganport City, Skollvog's publisher scanning through sheaves of manuscripts, scrolls, and tractor paper. "How come Skollvog doesn't write?" he complains. "We'll never get his book finished at this rate!"

I also see a distant future, when society has flourished and collapsed. Distant alien gunfire rings out across the shattered plaza and echoes among toppled pillars of duracrete. Four or five tattered refugees shelter in the long-abandoned wreckage of the financial district of Blagan Starport. One produces a book from the deep pocket of their mova robe: The Collected Wisdom Of Skollvog The Unrelenting. "This book has been passed down in my family from generation to generation. My father told me what his father told him: the writings of Skollvog will help you in your hour of darkest need." "Sounds about right," says the refugee leader who lights the tome on fire before throwing it to the ground. The refugees stay warm for a good ten minutes.