Vastaanan, Hero Of The Desert!

It’s D&D weekend! It’s a weekend where we play a single D&D game, with friends who we don’t get to see except once a year! It’s great! It’s fun! It’s 4th edition D&D, and as I write this, it’s still in the future. As you read it, it should be happening, for me, like, right now, The continuity of this potential game is a bit weird, and that’s appropriate, because, in the interest of getting a good, solid hit-the-ground-running game setting, Fox decided to run her weekend-long sword-and-sorcery adventure in The Legend of Zelda.

It’s a generic nonspecific Legend of Zelda – which is to say, it’s the place where most of the stuff that you can think of in the Legend of Zelda fits in place. It isn’t very Wind Wakery (because Wind Waker is full of boat stuff and it’s hard to hide an ocean in another story) and it isn’t very Skyward Swordy (because there’s ground), but otherwise, the feel is kind of an overlap of the best ideas from all of the best of the Legend of Zelda games, like the half-corrupted othering reality from Twilight Princess, or the adobe-dwelling Gerudo of Twilight Princess, or the wolf-related parkour (aka ‘barkour’ from Twilight Princess.

That means we don’t know what we’re going to deal with, but we know what we can draw upon to bring characters to life, and I wanted to talk about my character in this game, who will meet with the others in [Obligatory Central Town Location, Probably Like, Hyrule Castle Or Something].

We needed a defender in the group, and I wanted to play it, and sifting through the options I settled on Battlemind. The Battlemind is 4th Edition’s psionic tank – they get a small number of at-will powers, but they also get power points they can pour into those powers to make them them better. Since we weren’t likely to level up, and we had a game starting at a reasonably high level (12), the urge was to make a character whose build just worked as it was.

I opted for a few known packages of bits – stuff like polearm momentum and slide moves, along with a rounded sort of all-purpose hero character. What I got was someone tough, partially armoured, and capable of controlling a large area.

And so,


Vastaanan is a half-gerudo (dwarf) from a Hylian village near the borders of Gerudo territory. The story sounds fairly classic at first – he was dropped off at the village as an infant by a Gerudo woman coming from their desert palaces. What he sometimes leaves out of this description though is that he was one of about ten and this happened a lot – Gerudo are mostly quite capable of making kids on their own, so the half-Gerudo kids get dropped off before they can grow too attached.

Vastaanan grew up therefore on the edge of the desert, where he learned to commune with the crystals in the sand, learning the way thoughts could resonate. In this, he learned about old stories, stories of the stories that keep happening. There’s always a hero, always a royal birthday, there’s always an event and there’s always a clock tower, and there’s always a fairy that follows a boy who’s going to fix everything.

Vastaanan considers himself a hero of Hyrule; he’s going to find the biggest, baddest thing that happens in his whole life, and he’s going to solve it, by stuffing his long-handled polearm into its stupid face.

Complicating Vastaanan’s personal mission, though, and his overwhelming, endless confidence in his own abilities is that he’s still a boy from a desert village that supplies itself with some trade and quite a bit of stealing. And lots of the times, the Hero of Time, in the stories, finds a thing, and uses it to solve another problem. That’s a good model to use, that’s historical, that’s cultural.

This means Vastaanan is a hero by declaration and an anarchist by praxis; right now he’s arriving in the town square with a to-do list that looks somewhat like this:


  • become hero
  • save village
  • get water for village
  • fix well
  • divert river
  • make windmill
  • steal windmill

This might work out horribly! All I know is that I’m going into this game, looking to play a Ridiculous Trash Boy tank, who is going to do everything he can to Save The Day, Help Everyone, And If All Else Fails, Steal A Windmill.

Should be fun!

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