Barbarian Introduction Speech
Agonar eyes you warily, his cold eyes sending a chill rippling down your spine. He speaks, "The Barbarian Guild has a simple task -- to turn soft and tender would-be adventurers into hard and dangerous warriors."
"In here, if you make the grade, you shall learn to use your weapons in ways you never knew. We shall run you past the edge of endurance, then push you even further! You shall achieve TRUE victory, which for a Barbarian means victory over oneself as well as one's opponents."
He goes on, "Steel and iron, speed and strength...these are our tools. No fancy spells, no calling on the Gods for help. It is you, your will and your weapons."
Agonar glances over you with a critical eye and taps his chest with a thick finger. "Here, is where true strength resides. We can forge your body and skills, but the desire must rise from within. So step forward and JOIN us if you have what it takes to be a real man. If not," he growls, "then drag your worthless rump out of my Guild!"
Agonar assesses you with piercing grey eyes and chortles, "Well, well, look what the wolf dragged in...are you lost, Barbarian? This is the Barbarian Guild, not a nursery!" He eases off with a smile and continues, "We take motivated youths and make them warriors here, savage instruments of death. If you care not for the sight of blood, then off to the Trader's Guild with you, for blood mingles freely with sweat and mud in our profession. We are survivors! A Barbarian improvises, adapts and overcomes when steel is not enough, and dies with laughter on his lips when the Fates deem it so."
Agonar crosses his massive arms, emphasizing the last remark with a grim smile. "But rare is the battle when the Barbarian is not victorious, standing splattered in gore and knee-deep in enemy corpses!" He tosses back his head and unleashes a blood-curdling, "HOO-yah!"
Agonar grunts some orders to a pair of barbarians, one short and spindly with the poise of a master swordsman, the other a muscle-bound behemoth with arms like massive clubs.
The short one drags you to a small arena and hands you a battered wooden sword without explanation. Then they both square off and lunge at you mercilessly, the giant pummeling you with heavy fists as the warrior swats you down with the flat of his blade. The blows are relentless, the time immeasurable as humiliation wells inside you like acid in your veins. But you endure and reach deep within yourself for a power you feel was always there, yet remained untapped. Your knuckles whiten upon the wooden sword, and you launch a swift counterattack that catches your foes unaware, disrupting their seamless tandem and even landing a blow or two for good measure.
They finally let up with nods of respect and a couple hearty slaps on the back. One of them even says, "Nothin' personal, Barbarian, but 'dere be only one way ta pound sense an trainin' to a newcomer likes yerself. Ye'll do jes fine when da bruises fade." They both guffaw at this witty remark and take you back to the main hall.
You realize that you have just survived both your initiation and first training session. An aching thirst scours your palate, but you wonder if you've even enough strength to hold up a drink.
Agonar strides over and clears his throat to speak...
Agonar greets you, "Welcome, young Barbarian. Let me tell you of our Guild!"
He continues, "Here, you shall learn the art of combat, pure and simple. We shall hone your mind and body until your skills with weaponry are but an extension of thought. Remember this place, Barbarian, for you must return here for your training. Here, the flagstones beneath your feet grace heroes aplenty, and the halls ring with tales of their deeds if not the clash of steel on steel." He squints at you and snickers, "From your appearance though, I wager a gold kronar you spent many a night carousing at the Viper's Nest in drunken stupor. But that matters not now, we shall see soon enough if you are worthy of song!
Agonar shifts the scabbard on his shoulder and continues...
"The way of the Barbarian may seem simple to outsiders," he explains, "but you shall discover otherwise. Let the Mages wave their sticks and chant their nonsense -- we have no use for sorcery and the crutch it provides." He spits on the ground in disgust. "A Barbarian with a yard of sharpened steel can slay half-a-hundred while the wizards ponder why their spells spout daisies instead of flames!" The Guildmaster throws his head back and laughs. "Magic corrupts the inner fire. Do not succumb to paltry enchantments and wizardry, spellbound trinkets or mystical baubles...for should you covet these things, Barbarian, the blaze shall smoulder within your heart, and you shall be powerless on the battlefield."
"You shall learn to draw on your inner strength in ways no spell-slinger shall ever know." he says. "We do not cloud your head with spirituality or burden you with rituals. Time enough for that beyond the grave, I say. Paladins may preach from their lofty pedestals until the mountains fall to the sea, but here you shall learn honor and courage every bit as much as those pretentious semi-priests ever manage." He gives you a sly wink and snarls, "Besides, if swords ever cross, the Barbarian shall be the one left standing, while the Paladin makes peace with his deity."
The Barbarian continues, "You shall become a master of weaponry and combat technique...by Everild's teeth, if it can be used to cripple, maim, or kill your enemy, then you shall know how to wield it! Your armor shall seem as a second skin, be it leather, mail or plate. But there is more to a Barbarian than mere proficiency in combat..." He lowers his voice and draws you closer. "Hear these words, Barbarian, and remember them well. The oath of a Barbarian is a promise before the Gods, and should you break your oath, then may you die without honor upon a rusted blade, with naught to keep you company but carrion worms to rend your lifeless flesh. A Barbarian honors his oath or dies in the trying. Never forget that, Barbarian."
Agonar lets that sink in and smiles to himself. He continues, "Now, go out and make sure you get properly outfitted with some decent gear. Bear this in mind though -- a savvy Barbarian maintains proficiency in a variety of fighting techniques to take advantage of an opponent's weaknesses. You must demonstrate prowess in at least TWO weapons to advance in rank, so choose wisely. I also recommend training in multiple types of armor, but you need only one to succeed in the Guild." Agonar shakes your hand with a vise-like grip that, unprepared, would have crushed your fingers. You return the grip as best you can, and the Guildmaster pats you on the shoulder. "You are learning already, Barbarian, you shall do well if you keep it up. Good luck with your training!"