...and so it came to pass that I, a once mighty Barbarian fell on hard times and started to rot in the broken down pubs of New Tristram hoping someone would take pity and offer a free mug of ale.
A few of the warriors passing by would recognize me from battles fought and stories told of my past.
Not all good I’m afraid.
Ah how those memories ridiculed me. Cuts and bruises inflicted by those damned demons paled in comparison to the taunting of those haunting memories.
Broken down; defeated. Without a dagger to wound even a fallen demon, I was wasting away into nothingness like many warriors before me, who had abandoned their noble quests, mystified by the overlapping of good and evil, angels and demons.
I tell my story to anyone who offers me a drink and a bite. My story would not be for the weak of heart or stomach for they tell tales of blood and gore; of dismembered limbs and sorcery. They tell tales of warriors of many origins and race coming forth to join against a common foe. They tell tales of being victorious over the burning legions of Hell.
But once realization dawned on them that there is no real victory against the forces of heaven and hell, disillusion and agony forced many such noble warriors to wither away.
And I felt someone shake me awake from my drunken slumber. My hazy eyes bore witness to a massive warrior. Armor wrought with the finest of iron from the core of Arreat Mountain itself and weapons no doubt forged on Hell’s Forge itself for I could see the markings of Hephasto on those weapons.
Truly a sight to behold…but I could not care less.
I was fast losing my grip on reality and was willingly giving myself to the embrace of the misty haze when he poured a barrel of ice cold water on me.
I pounced upon him in anger. In hindsight, I can safely say I never did pride myself on having much intelligence. I stood eye to eye with him. I expected to be struck down but his eyes had a calm smirk to them and he said
“Ah anger. Anger is good old warrior. It will serve thee for what I have envisioned for you”
Curiosity got the better of me I admit and I stood down waiting to see what he had in mind.
He spoke thusly…
“My name is Morpheus. I’m a barbarian like you and unlike you. I grew tired of this seemingly endless war between two eternal foes after many a battle. So I started on a quest to find such like minded warriors who grew weary of the mind numbing grinding of metal on bone, and spoke to them of a challenge. A challenge to find the bravest and strongest barbarian clan in all of Sanctuary! For there were many who claimed the title for their respective clans but none were sure…
So I gave out the call and lo did the mightiest of mighty barbarians answer.
And then there were six. Three mighty warriors each, from the two mighty barbarian clans.
The clan of the mange våpen, they who wield weapons in both hands and who rely on almost unnatural speed and the clan of the mektige våpen, they who wield one mighty weapon and who rely on the simple rule of hitting something till it falls.
Two mighty clans and one simple challenge”
I interrupted him from his speech, impressive as it was and told him that it was all very interesting but I failed to see how it concerned me and why I had to be woken up from my blissful drunken stupor.
He smiled and said, I had two choices…
“Either go back to your drunk and inane life or let me offer you a chance to prove thy mettle in battle once again and help thee reclaim thy name”
“Dear friend, though I would love to try out and get back into the battle, I do not know if you have noticed but I’m just a bum without a single gold coin to buy me even a dagger. I cannot afford the armor and weaponry that would require me to survive a battle of the scale you are talking about”
He let out a shrill whistle and lo did a wagon approach us where we stood.
“Demon Knight, if you wish to accept the challenge, there is a billion and more in gold coins inside this wagon. Take it and make haste in equipping thyself with the mightiest of weapons and the strongest of armor. Succeed in the challenge and you regain your name and you get to keep the winnings of the battles as your just reward”
I looked at him if he was mad and I took a look inside the wagon. There was gold everywhere. A King’s ransom!
“Morpheus, I accept your challenge and I thank thee for a chance at redemption”
As he started to walk away, a sudden realization dawned on me and I shouted at him
“What if I lose?”
“Then your soul belongs to me…”
And he kept walking into the sunset…leaving me to contemplate on just what I had said yes to…