A Scholar’s Advice on How to Survive Having a Hero in Your Midst

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Your worst fears have come true. A dragon is heading right for your village, there is an enemy army heading toward your defenseless town, or an ogre is rampaging through the square.

Then, suddenly, from out among you comes someone brave enough to confront the enemy. Raising the weapon he or she scarcely knows how to wield, this individual charges the enemy, inspires you all, and saves the day. Or the quiet, retiring neighbor who seldom shows up to local festivities but always knows when someone needs help comes forth brandishing an old but well-maintained weapon and single-handedly defeats your foe. Congratulations! The day is saved! You have a hero in your midst!

You have a problem. Statistically, towns with heroes are 99.9% more likely to be destroyed than towns without. It is time to take stock of the situation and make plans.

Don’t worry. Our scholar is here to help you find your way through these difficult times.

How to Survive Having a Hero in Your Midst

Art by Bill Austin

1) First, throw a party. The day has just been saved, and there is no point in worrying just yet. News of your hero is unlikely to spread in the next hour or two, and if it does, there’s no time to do anything anyway; you might as well die after a good party.

2) Give serious thought to hiring someone to teach you all how to fight. The best way to avoid having your peaceful village destroyed is to stop being a peaceful village. Get some walls up and start practicing!

If you are dealing with a retired hero, take advantage of the resource and get him or her to train you. Ignore all protests that he or she came for the idyllic rural life your home offered and keep nagging until he or she starts drilling everyone in combat techniques.

3) Consider emigrating. Don’t tell the hero. If all of you leave quietly in the middle of the night, you might be able to get away before anyone even knows about your hero. You do still run the risk of an especially bloodthirsty warlord tracking you all down, but most of them are too busy warlording to bother scouring the land for the dispersed members of one village.

Admittedly, this is a bit drastic, but it just might save your life.

4) Make your hero miserable. His or her enemies are far more likely to destroy the pastoral town where he or she enjoyed a happy childhood than one he or she hated.

Note 1: This is more to work with a home-grown, young hero than with a retired, older hero.

Note 2: If you go this route, be thorough. Chase the person out of town quickly. Lingering heroes, however unhappy, are still likely to get their town destroyed.

Note 3: Make sure you are dealing with a hero rather than a budding villain. A hero will leave and do great things elsewhere. A villain will come back to crush you all.

5) If all else fails, kill the hero. A gift of some nice cookies in his or her favorite flavor with a little something else baked in should do the job. Note: This has a 50% chance of backfiring, particularly in the case of a retired hero, as his or her slightly-less noble friends may come and obliterate your town in retaliation.

6) Resign yourselves to your fate and celebrate your contribution to making the world a better place.

Was your town infested with heroes? How did you survive the experience? Write and let us know!

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