As suggested by Stefan, here is a post in appreciation of the humble henchmen that accompany our brave adventurers into the depths of those dank dungeons.
My Monday night game (which may be on hold, or at least down a player now my brother has become a father) currently has three henchmen, one per PC, who got promoted from simple hirelings after surviving an adventure; they have proved resilient and useful, and are now decent fighters wrapped up in chain mail and wielding decent weapons (but no spears yet). Their names: Oswald the Brave, Tomlinson and Geoff.
But I want to briefly talk about others, from days long gone by. I’m not sure if I ever used the henchmen rules that strictly, not that I recall, but there was one character who started off as little more than a, well, a beggar really, who one of the PCs took pity on and took under his wing. This was a halfling, somewhat simple-minded, certainly weak and with an array of ability scores that were truly awful. He started off as a homemade class, practically zero-level, in the AD&D2E days.
His name was Cos, and he was taught and trained by his master, a dwarf called Storin. As time went by, as he joined them on countless adventures, he grew up to be a successful adventurer, gifted by gods, loyal and brave, and rose to great heights. By the end of the campaign, he was a rogue in double-figures, owned his own tavern, and was powerful, respected and well-liked. A statue of him (and the others) rests in the Hall of Heroes, in the City of Greyhawk.
I loved that character, even if he was only a minor NPC to start off with. Despite being a DM-character, he never eclipsed the player’s characters and was often played for laughs and light-relief.
Other characters of note, that were also part DM-NPC and henchmen, were Garret the Ranger and his lover Jade; and Armis & Jajore, a pair of thieves that became contacts in the City after a few adventures.
Oh, and while looking through my old notes, I came across this character sheet for Cos, with this background:
Born In little farm outside the coastal town of Seaview, Common Year 542, Oerth.
A puppy-dog eyed halfling, cute to behold. Has curly brown hair, brown eyes, and a friendly smile.
Cos was found in Seaview, having left home. He took Storin as his mentor and has been with him ever since, a total of 11 years to date. Though he began as a somewhat backward person, his awareness of the universe has grown, and he isn’t the pathetic creature he use to be. He still lacks tact and wisdom, but has a disarming personality to melt even the heart of a fiend.
He has a deep fondness for good food and ale (and now Bloodwine, a planar brew), and is always interested in new experiences. He follows his friends wherever they wander, and has faced Tallur twice, numerous fiends, a few dragons, and hasn’t died even once- though he has come close several times. He dislikes anything that seems to give his friends trouble, a list which continues to grow (includes Orcs, Bugbears, Gnolls, dragons, liches, fiends, Tallur, evil priests, various undead, animated statues, a giant tentacle creature, and others besides). At heart, he is a true adventurer.
He had joined the Believers of the Source, and achieved the rank of Namer, before being whisked off to Oerth to take part in a series of adventures that led to the Great War of Common Years 591-592. He had also built his own restaurant under Storin’s inn, in the village of One Ford. However, during the battle at said village, they were forced to burn it down. He now lives partly in Jander’s keep, and Vallan’s tower, or in the various inns of Greyhawk City. He is looking to build his new home somewhere safer, and is considering the options. Since then he has been involved in the Battle of Greyhawk, and various battles within Furyondy. As the CY 592 began, he once more found himself on the battle lines, and before the year ended he had played a part in the Siege of Littleberg.
He was looking for the means to increase his prowess in battle, and to protect himself more than he could. More powerful weapons and armour would have been nice, as would another lucky pebble which was lost during an encounter with some Brotherhood men during the Thorn-Elves incident.
However, he has now reopened his inn in the City of Greyhawk, and is quite intent to live out his days there. Unless, of course, adventure comes calling.
Anyhow, just thought I’d share. I’m hoping that our current henchmen will be able to tell a tale of their own before now, something to tell the drunks down at the local tavern if nowhere else.
What are your renowned henchmen?