Hands up if you’re not a jerk. No-one? Thought not.
The only reason I – a randy mercenary-for-hire who murders anything he can’t sleep with – am nominally a hero in this world is because everyone else in it is a total ratbag. I’ve ceased to expect that any contract or quest will result in any warm and fuzzy feelings, and now presume from the off that whoever offered it to me has darkness in their heart. Let’s review the evidence:
Profession: Soldier for the army who I think are the slightly less evil side of the war but I’m almost certainly wrong about that
Request: Rescue him from being left tied up at the water’s edge by fearful locals, where he was to become Drowner feed any minute
Inevitable jerky outcome: Once freed, he took up a life of robbing refugees and now proudly declares himself a rich man.
My response: I refused his bribe, so he attacked me and got himself and his men summarily killed.
Profession: A lowly trader wearing a nappy on his head
Request: Find his cart and goods, which were missing in a nearby swamp as a result of a horrible monster attack he narrowly escaped from
Inevitable jerky outcome: He’s actually a secret agent for the Northern army, and had brutally ambushed one of the other side’s medical transports, whose contents he wanted me to reclaim from the dangerous swamp for him. To add insult to injury, he even tried the ol’ ‘look out behind you!’ trick.
My response: I let him go but kept the medicine, hoping I could give it to someone in need. It just turned out to be some stupid flowers anyway.
Captain Of The Guard
Profession: As above
Request: Track down a monster which has been preying on his men in the woods
Inevitable jerky outcome: It’s actually elves wot did it, and he’s neither surprised or upset by this. In fact, he’d really love it if I mindlessly slaughtered anything ‘non-human’ on his behest.
My response: We swore at each other a bit, I didn’t get paid, but no-one got killed, for a change.
Vernossiel and her Scoia’tael
Profession: Elf leader and Elf soldiers
Request: Turn a blind eye to the fact her gang of elf outcasts have been slaughtering and robbing soldiers in the forest, because her people have been treated with appalling brutality by said soldiers, and also they need food.
Inevitable jerky outcome: Won’t even consider a middle route of just robbing people; it’s either they die or I die.
My response: I was pretty sure I’d have to kill them if I refused to keep shtum, so I just walked away grumpily.
Rating: JERK who probably has a good point
Priest Of The Eternal Fire
Profession: As above. Already has Jerk written all over him, this one.
Request: Burn bodies on the battlefield with my Magic Witcher FireTM to stop ghouls feeding on them.
Inevitable jerky outcome: He’d been illicitly buying supplies from a black market trader, who he’d knocked out and hidden among the bodies then hoped I’d burn him unaware.
My response: I waggled my finger at him disapprovingly, he ordered his men to attack, death death death.
Request: To eat my bones
Inevitable jerky outcome: I dunno, I guess he’s just acting on instinct?
My response: Got a bit stabby, basically.
STOP BEING JERKS, EVERYONE