Random Encounter: The Analyst’s Couch

His name is known throughout the land, and his tales are oft-repeated in the taverns and quiet spaces of many neighbouring lands. His exploits are legendary… and becoming legends. If he were here, the very ground would shake beneath his booted feet.

He lives in the keep on the hill, overlooking Ogre Pass. When he is not there, intimidating the ogres into sullen obedience by the sound of his determined breathing and the weight of his intense glaring, he is walking the land, exploring forgotten places. On these journeys he kills at least 20 sentient beings every day, and never thinks twice about it. Moreover, any bureaucratic dispute or even minor argument in a tavern is resolved by combat, with the loser identified by being all corpsified and gross, and subsequently being looted. Our hero does so love to loot the dead.

How does a man, with ‘Good’ written all over him in crisp mechanical pencil, as unerased and nigh indelible as the 2 weeks of iron rations in his indestructible and capacious pack, become a remorseless killer? How does he become a killer at all, for that matter?

If we were able to coerce or persuade Lord Thunderboots to rest his mighty frame for a while on the analyst’s couch rolled as the random encounter in Room 42 of the second level of the dungeons beneath the Haunted Castle of the King of Pain, we might be able to glean some insight into how this mighty champion of justice, and fierce slaughterer of pretty much anything and everything in his way, came to be.

Sadly, Lord Thunderboots has no back story, he just sprang into being one lazy afternoon over some pristine pages of paper, some dice, a Mountain Dew stain that looks like Lemmy Kilmeister, and a galactic age’s worth of Doritos crumbs, and so that tactic will prove futile.

Lacking facts, we must follow in the example set for us by the love generation, decried by the X generation, but subsequently entrenched by the entitlement generation, to resort to pure fiction dressed up in false earnestness, an aura of certitude, and that annoying, self-righteous tone. Fortunately for our exploration, people do not need truth, just the comfortable illusion of truth. Feel free to stand back and attempt to disbelieve.

Examining Lord Thunderboots with our instantly expert eyes, we can tell that he grew up on a small farm with many siblings, a doting mother, a lovely pony, a sweet canine companion, and great friends, but, perspicacious as we are, we cannot help but notice the deeply hidden traumas of a past long-buried under the soothing panacea of mass slaughter and wanton pillaging. By the way he rests his head on the opulent leather pillow of the couch we can tell there was a dungeon near the farmstead, and that its denizens, unable to resist the attractive and lucrative employment opportunities provided therein, (such as trap-greaser, portcullis wedger, door jammer, cobweb hanger, tv and vcr repairman, photography, rumour milling, gelatinous cube trimmer, or the mother lode job of waiting around for decades in empty rooms with no food, water, or sanitary facilities), struck a blow which wounded him to the quick.*

The nature of this wound becomes more and more obvious the more that we think about it, and grow intoxicated by the heady power of fabricating truth from random impulses. Clearly, his beloved sister, Beauty, was snatched up by evil forces that lurked in the dungeon down the street and force-fed to the Beholder.**

The young Boots, not yet a lord nor capable of thunder, compelled to follow his sister to a fate worse than death, would have marched into that dungeon with his father’s wood-axe and a pillow case (for the loot) and battled with whatever stood between him and the allowance in his dead sister’s pockets. She wouldn’t be spending it in the afterlife, and it shouldn’t go to waste. Waste not want not. This would have exposed him in rapid succession to two of the three factors which transformed his young life. The first is the thrill of victory by violence. The second is more practical: that which you have looted, only makes you stronger.

Surviving that early adventure, cleaning out the dungeon of its fierce employees, and shifting the threat level from yellow to blue in his once-again idyllic pastoral community, our hero would have encountered the third and final active ingredient in his personal recipe for sociopathic stew: praise. All those who had lost people to the perils of the dungeon, and all those who wanted to get medieval on the asses of the perils in the dungeon, but weren’t ready, and all those who just love to ride on coat-tails or brand themselves with the identity of others, would have really driven the point home: “You, Boots, are a special snowflake, and with your talents of mayhem and grave-robbing, you can make something of yourself and get out of this nowhere town.”

Instantly, the transformation from smalltown-boy to killer would be complete.

Thus are legends born.

The hard part is getting out of Room 42 alive. Whatever you do, don’t let Lord Thunderboots hear the change jingling in your pockets. Back away from the couch very, very slowly.

* This sentence brought to you by the letter E, the lovely city of Gary, Indiana, and the number Gygax.

**How do we know it was a Beholder? It’s obvious, where else does beauty lie?

2 Responses to “Random Encounter: The Analyst’s Couch”
  1. BF Wolfe says:

    ok. I did not see that beholder joke coming. and thank you for not making this a Freudian analysis. – the sword jokes would have been tame compared to the rest of his arsenal.

  2. Runeslinger says:

    I’d love to reply that I am too Jung to make Freud jokes, but the pronunciation police won’t let me.

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