42 minutes ago
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Saint Joan of the City
On the southern end of Eldside Park there is a bronze statue of a stern-faced woman in plate armor holding a sword. The lady couldn’t be more out of place, surrounded by greenery and the picnicking wealthy. Her battles were fought in the stockyards, waterfront, and railyards. This is Joan Darkling--to the City’s labor movement, Saint Joan.
Joan Darkling was born in the Smaragdine coal country. She saw the worst of the mining companies' attempts to stop miners from organizing. Strikers were shot by hired mercenaries. Agitators died of poisoning from deadly ores inserted by malign kobolds imported from Ealderde. Joan left the Smaragdines in her teen years and became an adventurer, but never forgot where she came from.
Joan survived many a delve to retired from adventuring young. She took up the cause of the City’s workers with the same zeal she’d showed in slaying monsters. She wore magical plate armor she had scavenged from a delve to labor rallies. They were just another form of battle.
The famous folk song about Joan says she died after her battle with the “Golem of Capitalism”--a brazen, bull-headed construct sent against her by a consortium of robber barons. She defeated the bull, but succumbed to poisoning, caused by the alchemical smoke rising from the bull’s boiler and snorted from its nostrils. That’s what the song says.
In reality, no one knows what became of Joan Darkling. It is true that she disappeared soon after her battle with the golem, but no death was ever recorded, and the last to see her say they she was pained by a few wounds but seemed in no way dying.
Some say Joan sleeps somewhere in a subterranean chamber, awaiting the time when she is needed again. When injustices visited upon the poor and downtrodden worker will again require her to do battle with monsters.
Joan Darkling’s Sword: Joan wielded a Holy Avenger, an intelligent blade who adopted Darkling's crusade. It has a particular dislike of fat cats and acts as a bane of monied interests and their agents, getting a +1 against such individuals, regardless of alignment.