Pop Culture Party – Good Thieves, but not Vengeful Ones

(l-r) Valeria (thief), Conan (fighter), Akiro (wizard), Subotai (ranger)

IN THE GAME

What gall! What daring! What outrageousness! What arrogance! A giant jewel from an unholy tower. A princess rescued from a powerful cult. Good thieves can do it, but not vengeful ones. Too bad that their fighter Conan, a barbarian (but not a Barbarian), has a history with this cult, and its sorcerous leader, Thulsa Doom. Valeria is the consummate rogue whose heart has been stolen by the savage fighter. Akiro is the wizard of the mounds, communing with spirits, devils, and gods. Subotai is a ranger of the steppe, whose deadly bow kills men and monsters. All are thieves by trade. All will know gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth. But only one was born to tread the jeweled thrones of the earth beneath his sandaled feet.

SOURCE MATERIAL

“A spring wind blows in the north of every man’s heart.” It’s lines like those that make John Milius’ 1982 Conan the Barbarian film one of my favourites. It’s not perfect and it’s not as faithful to the Howard stories as some fans would like – but the gritty bronze age low fantasy setting is just wonderful – right down to camels who need to get punched.

The Pop Culture Party Series follows a similar line to my Motley Crew series. Only while that nerdly rotogravure imagined sci-fi motley crews in Firefly’s ‘Verse, this will imagine various casts of adventure media as D&D characters.

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Kage

Kage is the updated version of one of my teenaged characters, Shado. Get it? Like Shadow, only sounding Japanese? Ah, youth!

Kage’s helmet, enchanted to forever encase its wearer in shadow, hides a secret. Kage is a shifter, a lycanthrope. Beneath the shadow feline eyes and a tiger’s markings mar the humanity. There’s a hint in the loping way he moves, in the solitude he craves, and the ferocity with which he fights.

Shado was a rakasta, a 2nd edition D&D race of tiger-men from a vaguely Japanese setting. I don’t remember much of any of his adventures, but I do remember that I named his two katanas (two katanas, so bitchin’) tsunami and tai-fun.

Ah, youth.