Okay, I’m almost over my fantasy kick. This fight, technically, is only half swords and sorcery. In one corner, there’s Drizzt Do’urden, the popular chararacter from R.A. Salvatore’s best-selling Forgotten Realms novels. Drizzt is a scimitar-wielding warrior exiled from his dark elven homeland. For the record, my character Garyl Shadowslayer ( from Shadowslayers, plug plug) is not inspired by Drizzt – he’s more an amalgamation of Methos and other immortals from Highlander. Facing off against him is Hellboy, a literal child of hell who stars in Mike Mignola’s excellent comics and a pair of films. Both of them have angst, both of them look like freaks, and both of them are badasses in their own way. So let the games begin!
Drizzt is a D&D character, so despite all of his talk about how precious life is, the reality of the situation is that living things are just sacks of experience points and treasure there to make him even more of a badass. By that same token, Hellboy has to have close to 20 hit dice or so, so he’s worth a heck of a lot of XP. Therefore, it’s in Drizzt’s best interest to kill Hellboy, take his stuff, and level up so he can help other people in the world by more effectively killing and looting from the enemies of law and goodness.
Hellboy doesn’t need a lot of circular reasoning in order to get into this fight. He sees some guy who’s about to attack him, and he meets him head on. Despite his combat prowess, however, Drizzt still has a wide variety of unconventional and sneaky tactics. He uses one of those tactics right off, summoning his magical panther companion Guenhwyvar to attack Hellboy’s flank. Hellboy takes one look at Guenhwyvar and is overcome with an inexplicable, seething rage. Actually, it’s not that inexplicable…it’s really a common anger that is encountered when one comes across a fantasy character with too many consecutive consonants in his name. (For that matter, I’m none too keen with Drizzt’s double Zs or his insistance on having that damned pretentious apostrophe in his last name…) Hellboy proceeds to let that rage flow through him, and he pounds the everloving crap out of that damned panther. Drizzt stops the killing blow from landing by forcing Guenhwyvar back into the astral plane, where no harm will come to him. Still, the battle, if not the war, definitely goes to Hellboy. Round One goes to Hellboy.
Hellboy cracks his knuckles and prepares for a battle against Drizzt, but the dark elf has other allies as well. No, I’m not talking about the dwarf, barbarian, and archer chick that follow him around in his books. I’m talking about members of PETA, who are furious at Hellboy’s mistreatment of that poor panther. The humane way of handling the situation would have been to let the cat maul him, because animals are simply superior to humans in every way. While PETA has a huge problem with violence against animals, they have no such problems mistreating humans or human-like creatures, and they rush Hellboy en masse. Hellboy proceeds to knock the pesky people away, sending them flying two or three at a time with a swing of his arm. However, the distraction is enough for Drizzt to sneak in with his scimitars and slice his foe apart. Hellboy goes down in a whirling frenzy of bladed death. Round Two goes to Drizzt Do’urden.
With another battle won, Drizzt sheathes his blades and then begins reflecting upon the carnage that seems to follow him wherever he goes. (Mostly because, well, he carried around two magical scimitars and an extradimensional panther that has a habit of killing critters it doesn’t like.) He pulls out a diary and starts writing in it, angsting away like the little emo kid that he is deep down inside. “Oh why must I be so perfect and yet trapped in the body of a drow? Why am I cursed to live forever when all around me perish?” And so on and so forth.
If Drizzt wasn’t so caught up in his whining, he might notice that Hellboy’s wounds are closing. One of the many powers he has is the ability to regenerate damaged tissue and return from death’s door itself. But Drizzt fails his Spot check, the poor fool. Hellboy gets up and clobbers the drow ranger repeatedly with his Right Hand of Doom. Drizzt’s last journal entry goes something like this:
“Whine whine whine whine angst angst angst oh why am I such an outcast *THUD* big red smear.”
Hellboy goes back home and does his angsting his own way. Quietly, and without a trilogy of books devoted to his inner monologue where nothing ever changes except the enemies he kills. (Well, actually, one could argue that that’s all Hellboy comics are, but I would be inclined to disagree.) Hellboy’s way of dealing with his uniqueness and violent ancestry doesn’t land him on the best seller list, but it’s good enough. Round Three and the fight go to Hellboy.