Lothar's Story
Back to Heroes
Lothar's Story

At one point in the adventures of the Heroes of Sturmsbane, the two warriors - Lothar the Testy and Kori the Killer - staged a valiant defense of the Town of Carlston, while the other heroes led a stealthy assault on the evil monastery nearby that had been responsible for its woes. Here is an account of Lothar's story as shared with Kori the Killer; a story that, alas, the bard's journal fails to chronicle.

The campfire was crackling as the few straggling villagers who were yet to evacuate sat, staring at the flames, tending bumps and bruises. Kori, the elven archer, approached bearing a new bundle of firewood to keep the flames burning. He scanned the aching folk with puzzlement, and noticed a conspicuous absence.

"Where is the one called Lothar the Testy?" asked the woodland elf. With a general chorus of groans and a few mild curses, the assembled villagers pointed toward the village's battered old ale house, the Spoon and Frog. Kori sighed, dropping the wood and trudging off toward the ramshackle old building.

A flying body greeted him as he approached the door. The door, sadly, hadn't been open, and so shattered pieces of wood went flying as well. The body, also sadly, was not meant to fly - at least, not with legs upward and head downward and arms asplay. The formerly airborne villager hit the ground with a tumble as a voice inside the bar shouted, "KORD!" Kori nearly bumped heads with a big, burly warrior as he peered into the doorway as the warrior stomped out.

"Wanna try for two out of three falls?" the big behemoth asked the villager as he helped the not-quite-airworthy peasant back to his feet. The offer was declined, with much waving of hands to clear the air of the big warrior's alcohol-drenched breath. The villager quickly joined the others in the safety around the campfire.

"Lothar, what in the Nine Hells have you been up to?" demanded Kori.

"Aww, come on, pointy-ears," replied Lothar, "It's part of a celebration to Kord! For today's victory and tomorrow's battles! Besides, it's just a little wrestling, and I'm trying not to hurt 'em...." Although Kori could smell the alcohol Lothar had been saluting his god with, and there was a slight slur in the big human's voice, he could tell that Lothar was indeed keeping from injuring the villagers ... too much. There was something in the big man's eyes, however, that seemed just a bit out of kilter- but that look was there even when Lothar was sober.

"Well, please stop hurling the locals. We're here to help," chided the elf.

"Okie doo," replied the human, smelling like a brewery. "Besides, I've wrestled everyone left in town ... 'cept you."

Kori stepped back a pace as he saw the strange look in Lothar's eyes flare up like a great bonfire. "Look, we have work to..," stammered he elf, but before he could finish, Lothar had grabbed a couple of mugs of drink, and had pressed one into Kori's hands. The elf looked down into the mug and felt disdain. Granted, he wasn't a teetotaler, but this stuff was smoking, and the pewter mug seemed to be dissolving quickly. It was either drink it or wear it.

The two warriors downed their drinks quickly, and as Kori grimaced at the awful taste and strange effect it had on his brain, Lothar shouted "Kord!" and locked up with the elf, collar and elbow.

The only way to keep him from hurting anybody else or himself, thought Kori, is to keep him occupied. But by the gods, is he big! The elven archer locked his arms with Lothar's as he attempted to sort out how many of him there were. According to his eyes, Kori counted four. It was going to be a tough time.

The two warriors tumbled and turned about for a while, knocking over the remains of furniture and other detritus from Lothar's previous matches. The elf felt like a rag doll attached to a bull as Lothar's massive frame tumbled throughout the bar. I'm not bigger than him, but I am faster, thought Kori, as his senses began to refocus. It was either that, or the crashing about of the two wrestlers matched his spinning brain. Either way, Kori seized an opportune moment, ducking behind Lothar and twisting the big man's arm in a classic cockatrice-wing arm lock.

The big man flailed his free arm and grunted, spinning about, trying to free his arm. Kori matched the spin, and decided to make small conversation with Lothar as he tried to wear the warrior down. "So, Lothar," he began, "how did you ever get the moniker 'the Testy?' I thought you close combat fighter types had names like 'Phil The Avenger,' 'Lanagan the Stealthy,' or 'Ogg the Don't-Mess-With-Me-Or-I'll-Turn-You-Into-Squishy-Bits.'"

Lothar grunted and flailed some more, and began his reply. "Well," he huffed. "It all started out when I was a young child. I was given the name Lothar Ulrich Bjornsen Detaaste." His voice began showing hints of a northern accent as he continued, "My father was a traveling weapon smith, Bjorn Gunter Jansen Detaaste. He, Mother, my sister Gretel and I would travel about in our wagon as father sold his wares to warriors in towns across the land. As I grew older, I helped him out, although I was much more aware of customers trying to cheat us than father was. I would get upset sometimes during these transactions, and one day, just outside of Luskan, a fairly disgruntled wizard said 'Detaaste? Kid, they should call you Lothar the Testy!' Father laughed so hard, he gave the enchanted dagger to the mage for free. Eventually, everybody started calling me that. It bothered me at first, but I eventually took it as a symbol of pride - the hard-bargaining Lothar the Testy."

Kori grinned at the story, but his curiosity wouldn't let the matter be. "So, how'd you become a wa-?" His question was cut off as Lothar took the opportunity to spin out of the arm lock and grab the elf around the waist and took him down with a belly-to-belly duplex. Kori rolled over as his back hit the ground, keeping the bigger man from pinning him. Lothar fell atop the elf, trying to turn his opponent over for a pin.

"How'd I become a warrior?" he grunted, "Well, that came a few years after I got the nickname. I'd always watched the warriors as they handled our weapons. I'd mimic their moves, so that I could properly model our wares for others. One day, a group of rough looking guys tried to offer Father ridiculously low prices for his finest work. Even Father wouldn't bargain that low with them, and the men went off empty-handed. He traveled on toward our next stop, the city of Luskan, when we were attacked in the middle of the night. It was the rough looking men, who'd tailed us and wanted to steal the weapons, our money, everything. Father and I fought back bravely, but we were overmatched.

"Father fell first, and one of the robbers hewed at him with a great axe. I was pinned against a tree, and watched as the monster cut down Mother and Gretel as well. I was disarmed and beaten, and dragged over to my family. They were badly injured, but still alive. The one with the great axe, obviously the leader, sneered down at us and taunted us before he was to finish us off. He raised his weapon to kill Father when suddenly, he was struck by a glowing war hammer! The thieves were set upon by warrior-priests of Kord, and leading the group was the same old wizard I had annoyed years before!

"We were taken back to the nearest temple of Kord, and our ills were healed. Now, we hadn't been particularly religious, but from that day forward, my family devoted itself to Kord. I trained as a warrior of Kord, while Father stayed at the temple to make weapons for the Kordites. I still helped him and learned much. Mother and Gretel cleaned the temple, and Gretel eventually married a young acolyte, Zandar Stonybrok. They went off to do missionary work for Kord. A few months later, I overheard Callahan, the old wizard, talking with my father. 'Bjorn, old friend,' he said, 'I have grave news. Zandar and Gretel have been captured by thugs, and taken for ransom. What's worse is, you and she have met up with these men before.' I listened as the old men discussed where the bandits were, and I set off, grabbing the nearest weapon at hand- a freshly forged axe. On the way to the kidnapper's hideout, I drained my wineskin to gain courage.

"I arrived at the camp, my head buzzing and my heart burning. Before I knew what I was doing, I ran into the center of the camp, shouting, 'Kord!' Bandits came at me from all sides, and were quickly dispatched. I saw only shades of blood red in my fury. Still, I was outnumbered, and the wounded bandits closed in - only to back off again, as their leader, brandishing his axe, stepped forward. I still remember how the steel rang as the axes clashed against one another, blocking and parrying massive blows! Alas, my haste in choosing a weapon betrayed me - for my axe, freshly forged, had not had its head properly bound to the handle. With a mighty down stroke, I attempted to cleave the rogue leader in twain, but he easily parried the blow. My axe's head sailed off, burying itself deeply in the chest of a (now former) robber, and I fell on my back as the great weight of the axe head was gone. The head thief stood over me, raised his axe, and swung downward for my breastbone."

By this time, the two warriors had given up their wrestling match, and were sitting on the floor of the inn as Lothar continued the story. Kori listened intently. "As the blade came down, the only thing I could think of doing was to reach in and grab the handle. And, by Kord, I did it! The blade was against my chest, but I had the handle! I kicked out with my feet as I rotated the axe handle like a lever. The head bandit was flipped over, and released the weapon, which was mine alone! Quick as lightning, I rolled and regained my feet, swinging the axe down and beheading the robber chief. The others stood in stunned silence, and I set upon them - I did not show them the mercy of Kord. After the last man was killed or driven off, I retrieved my sister and my brother-in-law. I returned them, somewhat worse for wear, to the temple, where all hurts were cured. I kept the ruffian's axe, and trained extra hard in its use. It is the one weapon I carry not made by my father. Ever since then, I wander the lands, smiting evil in the name of Kord."

Lothar staggered to his feet to get another drink. He returned to Kori, and sat before the elf. "So, my pointy eared friend," he began. "What made you an adventurer?"

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and the D20 System are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, and their use here does not constitute a challenge to trademark status. This is not an official site, and the contents of this site should not be considered indicative of the quality of Wizards of the Coast products. With the exception of the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" logo, and except where otherwise noted, all material on this page is (c) by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock, and may not be reproduced without permission, except for personal use.