Before I ever played Dungeons and Dragons I was listening to Dungeons and Dragons podcasts such as Nerd Poker, Critical Hit, and Drunks and Dragons. I didn’t start playing D&D until October 2015. It was literally the same day as my first day of therapy, something I needed but had been avoiding, that I got a text message from a friend asking “Would you be interested in playing D&D? I’m getting a group together.” It may be a bit of revisionist history on my part but I’m pretty positive I send back a resounding hell yes.
We started with the 5th Edtion Starter Set – The Lost Mine of Phandelver and the pre-made characters that came with it. I was a dwarven cleric but after our first session, I was immediately hooked. I did a deep dive online about D&D 5E and next paycheck I headed to my favorite comic shop to buy my own dice in green, my favorite color, and a copy of the 5th Edition Player’s Handbook so I could make my own character, a dwarven ranger by the name of Bhruic Forgeworthy.
Then one of my players loosed an arrow at a green dragon and ended up getting the party wiped out. So, we started a new campaign, The Hoard of the Dragon Queen and so I wanted to make a new character. I had heard of Dragonborn from the Drunks and Dragons podcast with Thom the Dragonborn and to be quite honest, thought they looked cool. So they’re like humanoid Dragon people? That’s awesome! Plus I wanted to hit things so a chose barbarian. Harailt Bloodcloak was born, a silver Dragonborn Berzerker barbarian who was raised by copper Dragonborn. While they were simple farmers, Harailt began training with the greataxe until he joined a mercenary company that was slaughtered, leaving the cloak he was wearing bloody, hence the name.
Afterward, he joined the party as we headed to a burning town being besieged by Kobolds. I remember kobolds carrying something out but not noticing us. Harailt hated kobolds so naturally, I did something stupid.
“I shout out to those kobolds,” to the groan of everyone else.
“What do you say?” My DM asks. I had no idea so I said the first thing I could think of.
“Fuck off,” I shout.
“Roll for initiative.”
Harailt was brash and a loudmouth. That is as far as roleplaying him as I was good at. My greataxe was called Retort. The +1 fiery greataxe I eventually found I called Sunder. We defeated a white dragon deep within a castle of the Dragon Cultists. Then we transitioned to The Rise of Tiamat. I don’t remember it very well except for the ending. Tiamat was rising, three heads had emerged, and almost every party member was down. Harailt was the last one standing, and then he wasn’t. However, I forgot about an essential part of my level 16 barbarian, Relentless Rage
Starting at 11th level, if you are raging and you drop to 0 hit points and don’t die, you can make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. If you succeed, you drop to 1 hit point instead. Each time you attempt this saving throw after the first, before completing a short rest or longrest, the DC increases by 5.
I managed it twice, passing both the DC 10 and DC 15 before Harailt was able to chop off the three emerged heads of Tiamat. I believe I still have the date saved in Google Calendar. Yes, March 16 – Harailt Bloodcloak chopped off Tiamat’s heads before she could rise.
In Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Harailt traveled with the bard Luken Songsteel, a paladin, and a rogue. In the Rise of Tiamat, he traveled with Gamdanf, the wizard who only said “I am Gamdanf,” a ranger named Frevor who at one point summoned twelve badgers to kill kobolds. Honestly, those campaigns were a bit of a blur now. I could play in those campaigns again and only have a vague recollection of what happened. There was a vampire we failed to kill. Luken Songsteel said he’d fire his rapier off his crossbow by mistake but he rolled for it and sure enough, he shot his rapier with his crossbow.
I’d probably play Harailt Bloodcloak completely different now, but I still think fondly of him looking back.
Here is his level 7 character sheet which I still have.