By Malfrak Duggems
Every story has a hero, and few heroes in Silversun are more renowned–more beloved–than Chad Wolfpuncher.
Wolfpuncher is, of course, the lauded hero who defeated Telthrax the Terrible, the evil lich who once threatened our fair land (and was, shockingly, Chad’s own father, warped by a terrible necromantic curse).
I recently sat down with this great hero to discuss his legendary exploits.
We spoke over dinner at the Sparkling Dragon, one of Silversun’s most upscale restaurants. Chad had booked the entire restaurant for the evening to ensure we weren’t disturbed, explaining that under normal circumstances, he can’t eat in public without constant interruptions by eager fans.
“It’s not their fault,” he says with a smile that shines like the sun. “I wouldn’t be able to resist me, either.”
He’s right. ‘Irresistible’ is the only way to describe Chad Wolfpuncher–though if anyone had the mental fortitude to resist him, it would be Chad himself.
I begin our conversation by asking how he managed to single-handedly destroy the most powerful lich the world had ever seen. He chuckled and replied, “Well, it wasn’t quite single-handed.”
He is referring, of course, to the four brave souls who accompanied him on his journey: the archer Elza Grantika, wizard Dalbert MacGoodle, barbarian warrior Kraglorr the Chunk, and the thief known only as “Brian.” These four are often considered little more than a footnote in Wolfpuncher’s own saga–something I quickly point out.
“It’s true that I did most of the heavy lifting,” Chad admits. “But that isn’t their fault. They were good people! They just weren’t quite on my level. They were on a level maybe, like… four or five levels below me, pretty consistently, throughout the adventure.”
I ask how the four of them even got involved with Chad’s quest in the first place.
“Oh, they were summoned by the DM, of course,” Wolfpuncher says, referring to the Divine Majestor who assembled the team of heroes. “Yeah, the DM decided he needed a group to investigate some rumors of undead sightings near the Tombwood. I wasn’t even part of the plan, originally–can you believe it?”
“At first, the DM was just going to let those four handle it. But then he realized he needed to send along a trusted agent, to make sure the party did things properly. As the Divine Majestor’s Personal Champion–what we call a DMPC in the biz–I was the obvious choice.”
So then, if the party needed a guide, why send them at all? Couldn’t the DMPC have handled things all on his own?
“I suppose so,” Chad admits after a moment. “But, you know, I sort of think he wanted people to see how everything went down. We’ve always had a good relationship, and I think he wanted to show me off a bit.”
I had spoken to the DM prior to my chat with Chad, and it’s safe to say that Wolfpuncher’s supposition here is accurate. The Majestor is clearly quite proud of his chosen Champion, and spent hours regaling me with the details of Chad’s life before the Telthrax crusade.
“Of course, the others helped, on occasion,” Chad clarifies. “Dalbert–he was good in a pinch. He had this delightful sense of humor, too! He used to target me with spells in the middle of combat and pretend that it was an accident.”
Wasn’t that dangerous?
“For a normal man it may have been,” Wolfpuncher admits. “Luckily, my holy amulet protects me from arcane damage.” He indicates a beautiful, faintly glowing necklace–the famed Amulet of Alzuthal. “It was a personal gift from the goddess of magic,” he explains with a wink. “She’s an… old friend, let’s say.”
I reached out to Dalbert before the publication of this article, hoping for more information about his relationship to Chad. Unfortunately, it seems our correspondence was the victim of a mailing error–rather than Dalbert’s response, the Chronicle received only a sheaf of explosive runes in reply.
On the topic of women in your life, I ask, what of Elza? Rumors abounded during the Telthrax adventure that Chad and Elza had been an item. Chad grows uncharacteristically solemn at the mention of his past flame.
“We just couldn’t make it work,” he says in hushed tones. “She loved me–I know she did–but she’d never admit it. ‘No I don’t,’ she’d insist. ‘I don’t like you at all. I have a husband back home. The whole reason I’m on this quest is raise money to save our farm; you should know all of this. Did you even pay attention to my backstory?’ All lies, of course. But what could I do? I had to let her go.”
I was able to procure a statement from Elza about her time with Chad, but unfortunately, it was unfit for print, as it could be seen as libelous.
Chad quickly moves past this obvious sore spot, brightening considerably when I mention Kraglorr the Chunk.
“Kraggy was the best,” he recalls. “Didn’t talk much, just let me do my thing. You know? Exactly what you want from a party member. Good in a fight, too–so good that the DM was afraid they might show me up!” He laughs. It’s the most incredible sound I’ve ever heard. “They never did, of course, but still–I think the DM was a bit frustrated that someone else was dealing almost as much damage as me.”
With the rest of the team covered, I feel the need to complete the set. What of “Brian?”
Chad is momentarily confused. “Who?” he asks. After a moment, recognition dawns. “Oh! The little thief guy? I don’t really remember. He was always coming up with plans, but they were too complicated. I always found a faster way of doing things. I’m pretty sure he left partway through the quest.”
Without a way to contact “Brian,” I left him out of my attempts to connect with Wolfhunter’s former adventuring companions. However, the morning before this article went to my editor, I arrived at my office to find it quite thoroughly burgled, with the following note left on my desk:
“Chad Wolfpuncher is a real piece of work. The [expletive removed] left me for dead. Literally. I got killed by a mummy a couple of months into the adventure and that smarmy [expletive removed] didn’t even [expletive removed] notice. It took the rest of the party weeks to get the gold to raise me, and that dumb [expletive deleted] didn’t help one bit. [Expletive deleted] that guy.”
(Editor’s note: normally we would not publish such a defamatory letter, but due to various other notes left at the scene threatening the Silversun Chronicle if this missive went unpublished, we felt we had no choice.)
Of course, a hero is only as good as his villains; I ask the question I’ve been dying to get to all night. What was it like to face off against Telthrax the Terrible?
“You know, it really wasn’t that bad,” Wolfpuncher replies. “Yes, he was a font of eldritch power–and yes, I did learn shortly before our confrontation that he was my own father–but he was also a bit of a pushover. He almost killed the other three–I’m pretty sure Brad or whatever was already dead or gone at this point–the other three party members, but once I saved all of them, I was able to vanquish him with ease. In fact, I struck him down with but a single blow from my enchanted battleax, the Chaos-Slayer.”
That same ax is leaned against the very table we’re sitting at. It is truly awesome to behold, just like its wielder.
All that’s left is the obvious question: what’s next for Chad Wolfpuncher?
“Well, right now I’m just trying to relax,” he says. “The DM hasn’t been able to get a new adventure together since the last one. But I’m sure that when he does, he’ll call on me again.”
We can only hope.