Mordikia (Pronounced Mord-e-chi) is a Tiefling bard with a rather amazing talent with the sword. Also being a gladiator, he and his wife performed in the arenas entertaining the masses with their battle prowess and tenacity. They were perfection in motion, and they felled all challengers. Early on, they had no wish to pick sides or join an army, nor did they aspire to loot the hoards. They did, however, become an avid test of fledgling warriors aspiring to do one or both. The Arenas, owned by either one of the five banks or nations or run by the guild, were there to scout out new recruits for them. Death was a hazard of their profession but was not expected in the pits.
Unfortunately, one day, they got careless. Having way too much fun embarrassing a couple of newbs, the love of his life was caught off guard, taking a fatal blow. Mordikia did not let this slight pass, on the contrary, he let his rage and pride take control and killed them both. No one blamed him. But he walked away from that life; not wanting to continue without her.
Suddenly the dangerous life as hoard fodder became more and more alluring.
(Tiefling pic by Hinchel Or)
( Above pic: “Battle at the Door to Beryl’s Reach by David Auden Nash”)
(For more info on the upcoming campaign setting tentatively called WAR OF THE BANKS )
Mordikia is a tiefling with blood ties to Zariel, a fallen angel who got a bit to caught up in the Blood War and ended up ruling over Avernus. This subspecies ups both strength and charisma fueling the ability with the sword and the charisma to sell the crowd. It also drops a few spells here and there that sounds a lot more like a paladin.
The turn comes when this bard picks a college. The College of Swords take the ‘Jack of all Trades’ Bard and turns him toward the life of a fighter. Gaining proficiency with simple or martial weapons and the ability to use that weapon (probably a sword) as a spell focus, makes your bard a quite able warrior. Add to that a specialize fighting style of either dueling or two-weapon fighting, an extra attack and several options for a ‘blade flourish’ and you have a flamboyant swordsman.
The write-up in Xanathar’s guide reminds me of an article on bards we published a couple of weeks ago. Being an entertainer with a sword opens a world of options. Being a bard is simply more than a song and a dance. It’s about entertainment. So, entertaining the crowd with a sword can mean knife throwing, sword swallowing, mock fights or maybe even juggling. Panda went the route of the arena. With a gladiator background, sword skills and a flair for wowing a crowd, an entertaining pit fighter works on so many levels.
While working a crowd, an able swordsman with the charisma can feign weakness faking out their opponent, mock an attack and turn it to your advantage or use your snappy dialog to insult them putting them off their game. Or maybe being in the arena is more about the crowd than the opponent. I mean, BARD…HELLO! Sure, you want to come out of the fight the victor or, at least, looking like the victor, but, just like the WWE, it’s more about the reaction of the crowd than the result of the match. Being a gladiator is about wowing the crowd. Getting them to come back for more is about getting them excited about what’s going on. And who better to ‘wow’ the crowd than a bard?
But how does all of this help you out on an adventure? As stated above, this bard brings the ‘double-edged sword’ (get it?) of both a high strength and charisma modifier. In other words, if they can’t talk their way out of a situation, they sures as hell can fight. This bard can help fill out a group with no fighter or paladin. Unlike one of them, the bard can put over a false image, surprising the enemy with his sword slinging prowess. And, if all else fails, they can put over a false bravado with a good chance at winning an intimidation game.
Reading over some of the information on Zariel mentioned earlier, a bard of this ilk could easily segue into the Warlock class. Zariel respects fighting ability. This could go either way. Either she seeks your bard out because she feels he has potential. OR maybe she’s angry because your bard advertises to be a great warrior, but she knows that’s not true. OR another option could be the bard who wants to be a more powerful fighter, so they take a short cut; pledging allegiance to her in return to power.
Lots of possibilities here. Let us know where you would take this build. What would you do different? We would love to read your input. As always, you are a part the process here and, I’ve found, I can think better in a community.
Click to download suggested 10th level character sheet sans spell list!