Train Bridge at Swarthmore College crossing Crum Creek

A Hare of a Problem

With one final strike it was over. Howard the Formally-Truthful had fought his last battle. His body lay shamefully where it had fallen moments ago, his face torn and tattered. A gaping wound in his chest was rhythmically squirting blood onto the floor. His party, capable of only staring surrounding his corpse. A rabbit sat on Howerd’s chest cleaning it’s gore soaked fur.

Some Back Story

I had decided I wanted to play a Monk in an upcoming game but came to the same conclusion every Pathfinder player comes too. Monks suck. So I decided I was going to make it fun any way possible.

What I decided on was a level 13 Monk with the Quinqong Archetype as well as the Vow of Poverty, Vow of Truth, and the Vow of Fasting. What this meant is I could have no wealth, never tell a lie (This one is important, remember it) and only eat basic foods. This also meant I had a metric load of Ki points a day. I could teleport and breath fire on top of hitting up to 30 times in a single round. The problem was this build relied heavily on good rolls for health and stats and I rolled like crap. Sure I could hit 30 times a round but none of them were ever going to hit. I knew I was going to die going into this, all I wanted was a hero’s death. Anyway, onto the story.

Deep in Another Dimension

The party entered the dimly lit room filled with torture equipment with all but one empty. The only device in use had a female rogue tied with her arms in the air. She began yelling and struggling when the party came into view desperate for their help. This was so obviously a trap the party ignored her screams for help and began tearing the room apart. They found nothing that stood out as unusual for a torture room in a magical alternate dimension.

Sure that the room was free of traps, at least of non magical traps, the party walked over to the captured rogue and tried to get her to speak. She seemed only capable of begging to be set free and wouldn’t respond to any of their questions.

“Fine then!” the Monk said and walked over to her shackles and grabbed them firmly. What should have been a scene of pure might looked closer to a school child attempting to win at tug of war against a elephant. Despite this his footing began to slip and he attempted to hide this with loud grunting noise which ended up sounded more like a duck then a man and the fake shows of force which would embarrass the child playing tug of war. This abysmal show of force went unnoticed by everyone except for one entity in the universe. This entity sat atop his golden throne watching creatures toil in their daily struggles from high above in an unseen dimension. He noticed one of his Monk in particular break one of his holyiest of vows in a thinly veiled attempt to save face.

“Normally I’d give you a second chance” the god thought to himself “except now I’m embarrassed to have you as a follower. You’ll regret this moment, I promise. I’ll even get a good story to tell the guys tonight over a few tankards of mead”. He chuckled to himself and with a flick of his wrist obliterated the tie the Monk had with it’s own inner life force.

The monk despite lying about it was still able to pull the chains clean out of the wall and the rogue tumbled forwards. He felt his life drain out of him and just stood there in total shock at how much he had just screwed up. The Rogue began to thank the Monk but was interrupted by the crackle of a summoning trap. A Bone Devil flashed into existence barely 5 feet from where the monk stood and it drove it’s tail into the monk’s back 3 times. Each time it pulled back blood and flesh spewed into the air covering the Bone Devil and walls in gore. The monk fell forward like a tree felled by a mighty woodsman, landing on his face with a thud. Blood began pooling around his body and the Bone Devil went in for a second round of beatings.

Meanwhile the Druid had an idea, a terrible idea. He focused on the Bone Devil looming over the Monk and cast Baleful Polymorph. In an instant the blood soaked bone monster became a common bunny rabbit. Without missing a beat the rabbit jumped at the Monks throat and began tearing with its vicious teeth. A choking sound could be heard throughout the small room as the Monk finally succumbed to the abuse and drowned in his own fluids. The party sat dumbfounded as to what had just unfolded.

The Druid was first to act, yelling “Mine!” while throwing his body on top of the rabbit and the corpse of his friend. With a death grip around the rabbit’s neck he began petting it with enough force to crush a normal rabbit. The monk is long gone but what’s the sense in losing your front line man reasoned the Druid. The party nodded in agreement and trotted through to the next room.

The Monk stood up straight watching the sun rise over the distant mountain. It was peaceful, serene. He had always appreciate the smaller aspect of life, the birds singing or the thousands of distinct colors of the setting sun. In a more normal situation he would have sat down and painted the vista before him.

“Well, you died like you lived. A petty excuse of a monk and a even pettier excuse of a follower. I do commend you on sticking to your beliefs up until the end but to lose it all for something so trivial. It’s hilarious!”

The Monk had not pictured death unfolding quite like this. Standing before a god laughing at your abject failures. He was somewhere between humiliation and shock. This very well might be what Hell felt like.

“I’ve decided to give you a second chance. Go back to the world of men and prove to me that you aren’t a total waste of space.”

The Monk sat upright trying to take in the world around him. It felt different, alien. There was a constant pressure he felt on his body but he wasn’t able to identify it. He struggled to release the pressure but it only made it more intense. He tried to shake it off but found he was unable to move his arms. He opened his eyes and took in the world for the first time in his new body.

He looked down onto to meet eyes with mangled face of his previous body.

No, This is what Hell feels like.