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Marfeldt the Barbarianby James Ruhland
Known to be wandering south of Blackmoor, this creature has wrecked several kingdoms to the east and may be responsible for the divisions in the Great Kingdom. He suddenly burst upon the world about a year ago when it was said he killed the Wizard that created him during a friendly wrestling match.
A secondary power of this creature is the revulsion (I think he meant attraction; read on --ed) that overcomes all those who are near it for a prolonged period. If this period lasts for more than a few turns, the other party will gradually assume the mental characteristics of the barbarian and only a Wizard can cure him/her (Doesn't say with what spell, though --ed)
Marfeldt the Barbarian
(A Short Biography)
*(From the Archives of Rhun)* On the 14th of Salix, the unwashed Barbarian first came to our fair country, presented himself to the recruiting Sergeant at the West Gate and joined our Army. To have put him to the Sword on the spot would have served the world better than all the sacrifices made to the Great Gods throughout history. Disdaining the regular training program, the Barbarian slew his instructors with ease (this during practice with blunted weapons) and showed great leadership potential by beating to death anyone who disagreed with him. Thus, within a week, the Barbarian was a Sergeant and also sent out from the city to the Hill country to collect the annual tribute from the Tribes there (it was essential that he leave town before rioting Wine Merchants and Tavern Keepers stormed the Army Barracks).
Reaching the poor Hill Tribes, Marfeldt (for that is the name he used) was disgusted by the poor hides and livestock presented as tribute, although that was all that was expected. Taking his squad of men, he exterminated the first Tribe to the last man, taking all their women and valuables. The gathering hordes of Hillmen objected to his tribute collecting shortly thereafter, and the Barbarian returned with a few wenches loaded with Gold to the Capital.
Pleased by the Gold and Women (although somewhat used at this point), the Duke directed that the Barbarian be promoted to Lieutenant and join the Army being dispatched to quell the revolt of the Hill Tribes. Taking the fore in the campaign, the Barbarian led the Army directly into a frontal attack on the Hillmen's great mountain keep. Undeterred, the Barbarian breached the walls and led the surviving troops into the town where all the men were put to the Sword. The Gold and Women were born back to our fair city by the surviving members of the Army who had lost 80% of their numbers following the Barbarian through the breech.
More pleased than ever by the Barbarian's prowess in battle, the Duke directed that he be awarded the Military Governorship of the Eastern Province where there had been bandit trouble of late. Reaching the area swiftly, Marfeldt determined that the raids were originating within the country east of his Province. Therefore, he gathered all the armed men under his control, as well as more than a few unwilling conscripts, and attacked. The enemy province was quickly devastated, their troops destroyed, and our troops expended on a colossal scale. It was unfortunate that in the Barbarian's absence, the bandits also devastated our Eastern Province. . . . .
Again the accolades given the Barbarian by the Duke were great and Marfeldt was given the command of our Armies now faced with an invasion from our eastern neighbour. Swiftly taking the field, Marfeldt defeated the enemy in a series of aggressive moves, most of which involved attacking the enemy Army wherever they were encountered. All who were found were killed, and great trains of treasure were brought back to our fair city. Again losses were high.
This war disturbed our other neighbours greatly and when their emissaries arrived at the Capital to inquire after our intentions, they found the Barbarian was second only to the Duke. In such an exalted position, it was Marfeldt that received their Embassy. His reaction was bloody and swift with the Ambassadors remains being returned to their respective countries when their origin could be determined. . .
The ensuing war against us by our neighbours was the greatest that any country could have fought. Everywhere the Barbarian led our Army to victory until less than a thousand were left facing the enemy alliances 10,000 that threatened the Capital. In spite of this, he was again victorious, cutting his way through the enemy lines and killing all their Generals causing a panic among the enemy and forcing the latter to retreat. With fewer than a hundred me, Marfeldt returned to the city and the Duke.
With the country devastated, the treasury empty, the civil populace (women) fled to the hills, and no Army left, there was little the Duke could give his victorious General. The Barbarian flew into a rage, killed the Duke, the Army, looted the city, and was last seen scouring the Hills. . . .
Thus our fair country has never returned to it's former greatness and is held in thrall by it's neighbours, who have not ruled us gently. . . .
*(This is but a fragment of the story, there is no confirmation of the fate of the Duke's six daughters nor the numbness of the mind that seems to afflict those who converse with Barbarian. . .at least in this story!)*
One side note is that though in Mystara canon the treatment of women is fairly enlightened, that wasn't always the case in gaming history (c.f above).
Anyhow, I hope that this has been somewhat humorous irregardless, and thus may in some fashion make amends for any offence my own ranting screeds might have given (especially to Alphatiaphiles).