Degrees of Barbarity – Chapter 7, Act 2, Strip 47

Finally an obstacle that calls for a lil’ o’ the ol’ ultra-violence. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a trap/riddle-heavy dungeon, especially for a beginning party, but fantasy roleplaying without any swords or sorcery just isn’t the real deal.

Naturally, it’s the Barbaressor who raises to the occasion. Violence wasn’t always his forte, but at the moment he’s having a bit of a hard time fighting his in-born inclination toward it. He does seem to get better at controlling himself, though – notice that he didn’t even take off his clothing, this time around.

The fight itself is brutal, but very short. The wild men in the maze are, inevitably, Kibaji and Strong Kanegou…but even if they’re traditionally considered to be two of the more competent guards of Takeshi’s castle, they stand little chance against the little Barbarian. The main problem is, in my opinion, that Strong and Kibaji are only playing at being wild men, and are actually quite civilized in reality. For the Professorian, being a Barbarian is not a game – it’s an irresistible call running through every fibre of his very being.

Oh, and the next-to-main problem is that he’s armed, while Strong and Kibaji aren’t. A golf club is not a classic fantasy arm, but one as sophisticated as this one gives the Professor a lot of power and control – while protecting him from developing golfer’s elbow, a considerable risk especially at his age.

And the Barbarian had a third advantage on his side: the element of surprise. Strong and Kibaji have seen a lot of things, but a yodeling, half-naked kid rushing at them with a golf-club was definitely novel. And not in a good way.

The final score is: Real Barbarian 2, Fake Barbarians 0, and another obstacle overcome.

More on Thurs…uh, Monday.

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