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Hawk the Slayer - 1980s Fantasy movie - Portrait

Hawk the Slayer


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Beyond the edge of darkness there is a world of sword and sorcery.

Context

Hawk is the main protagonist in the 1980’s high-fantasy cult classic Hawk the Slayer.

Hawk must gather a D&D-style rag-tag group of heroes to battle his evil brother, Voltan.

This profile has S P O I L E R S.


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Background

  • Real Name: Hawk.
  • Marital Status: Widower.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed (Father deceased), Voltan (Older brother), Drogo (Nephew), Elaine (Wife, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Hawk’s companions.
  • Base of Operations: He rides!
  • Height: 6’2″ Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Steel blue. Hair: Dark brown.


Powers & Abilities

Hawk was born into nobility. But he shunned all responsibilities associated with his lineage. Instead, he rides around the country-side, building his reputation as a hero.

Hawk is a good horseman with unmatched swordsmanship.

He seems to have an almost preternatural ability to tell when someone is lying.

The Mindsword is his family’s two-handed longsword. It holds the power of the last elfin mindstone. This magic blade gives Hawk psychic and mystic abilities.

During his travels, Hawk made many adventurous friends. Some were among the magical peoples of the world – including an elf, a giant, and a dwarf.


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A fantastic world of Sword & Sorcery

In the same thread as “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”, many years separate Hawk’s world from our own. His world could be Earth or it could be some distant planet.

In the beginning, there was no magic in Hawk’s world. The immortal creatures called Nelfie traveled in magical light-ships. Every so often, these ships need powering. They did this by finding a suitable planet and burying a gigantic crystal there. From this crystal they draw magic off the planet itself and into their ships, recharging it.

When the Nelphie did this to Hawk’s world, it affected other crystals already present in the world. These various-colored crystals gained certain powers. A dark crystal would deal with death and shadow magic. While a white crystal would have light and healing powers. Some inflicted terrible damage.

The Nelphie decided they must close it down. They placed three stones around the enormous crystal to shut it off. That’s how they left it.

Magic Crystals

Eons later, a rock troll dug down and broke into the chamber holding the giant crystal. The greedy troll saw the three restraining stones and took them.

With the three stones gone, the great crystal came back to life and magic was born in the land.

The three stones were:

  1. Hawk’s elfin mindstone.
  2. One in possession of the Elves.
  3. The last was lost.

Specific individuals may be in-tune with a specific crystal. A very few can control several crystals at once, harnessing awesome power.

Great wars happened, involving elves, dwarfs, and giants. What’s left is a broken landscape where the Earth is cracked open. Smoke billows out. It’s never really light, the sun doesn’t shine very much.

The evil black wizards control the lands. But they don’t control our hero. Hawk carries the legendary mind-sword which has become the symbol of good.


(1980) Original Trailer


History

This is a story of heroic deeds and the bitter struggle for the triumph of good over evil and of a wonderous sword wielded by a mighty Hero when the legions of darkness stalk the land.
— Introduction.

Hawk and his brother Voltan loved the same woman, Elaine. She chose to marry the younger, kinder Hawk.

Voltan shouted his enmity for his brother and gave himself over to evil.

Sometime later, he ambushed the newly-weds with a crossbow. Voltan intended to kill Hawk and take Elaine by force. Elaine fought back, thrusting a burning torch in Voltan’s face. She then fled with Hawk.

Voltan in his rage fired the crossbow, killing Elaine.

Voltan then went to slay their father!

Our story begins!

Hawk rode hard to his father’s castle, but he was too late. His father lay critically wounded when he arrived. The work of his brother, Voltan.

Hawk the Slayer - 1980s Fantasy movie - Portrait forest pommel

Voltan was now an agent of the devil. Therefore, their father would never surrender the families’ ancient power to him.  He gave the Mindsword to Hawk.

(What “the devil” means in this setting isn’t explained. It may simply have been a turn of phrase.)

Voltan burned a village, his men hacking down any who tried to escape. One warrior alone, Ranulf, escaped. He lost a hand in the process, and had to seek refuge with nuns.

Who knows, maybe you were kidnapped. Tied up, taken away, and held for ransom

A day later, Voltan and his men arrived at the Church. They kidnapped the Abbess and demanded a ransom of 2,000 gold pieces. Voltan would return for payment at the next full moon.

Meanwhile, Hawk rode through the forest. There, he found two men ready to burn a woman for witchcraft. After a brief fight Hawk freed her. In return, the witch read his fortune in the flames. She told him of Ranulf.

In the meantime, Ranulf went to the Abbott of Danesford for advice. The Abbott sent him with a token to find the warrior known as Hawk.

After many days of searching, Hawk found him.

The table of five

Hawk and Ranulf traveled through the forest of Weir, an evil place. But the Mindsword’s light kept the evil creatures there at bay. They continued to the cave of the witch.

Hawk the Slayer - 1980s Fantasy movie - Team in forest

She used her magic to teleport Hawk to those willing to stand against Voltan. He gathered them one by one, à la The Magnificent Seven. The group consisted of:

  • Hawk, the slayer.
  • Ranulf, the soldier.
  • Gort, the giant.
  • Crow, the elven bowman.
  • Baldin, the dwarf.

The companions knew of a slaver nearby. They would take his gold to use for the ransom, and thus lure Voltan to them.

Hit and run

Drogo, Voltan’s son, had a desire to prove himself to his father. He made a pre-emptive attack on Hawk and his companions at the Church. Hawk killed Drogo and returned his body to Voltan.

After putting his son’s body on a pyre, Voltan rode alone to the Church. There he made his threats. Voltan would return with his men and destroy them all!

Hawk attacked Voltan’s camp first. After a quick battle, Hawk met his brother. Voltan held a dagger to the Abbess’ throat. With the threat to her life, Hawk and his companions retreated.

Treachery

One of the Sisters took matters into her own hands. She offered a plan that would give Voltan both the ransom and his brother Hawk. In exchange, Voltan would return the Abbess and promise to never bother the Church again. Voltan agreed.

Hawk the Slayer - 1980s Fantasy movie - Duel

That night, Gort the giant was on watch. The Sister drugged him allowing Voltan and his men to enter quietly.

Voltan repaid the Sister by slaying her. Hawk and his companions were bound.

Baldin re-injured Voltan’s face. For this, he got a knife between his ribs.

The witch arrived late that night and rescued the heroes. But even she could not save Baldin . They buried him under a tree.

Brothers! With only blood between them…

Spurred on by a fresh desire for retribution, the small group returned to the Church to finish the job.

The witch cast a spell giving Hawk the element of surprise. Still, during the battle, Crow was injured and Ranulf, killed.

Hawk and Voltan met for a final showdown. Voltan relied on his greater strength. Yet, Hawk was far superior in swordsmanship. He disemboweled his brother.

Voltan’s reign of terror was over.

Aftermath

Hawk and Gort took the ransom money to the Abbott of Danesford. The witch warned of wizards gathering in the south. Hawk and Gort rode in that direction.

Hawk the Slayer - 1980s Fantasy movie - Team indoors

After Hawk and his companions had gone, the wizard Voltan was allied with passed through the closed Church doors like a ghost.

It collected Voltan’s body and carried him from the Church saying, “We have further need of you dark one.”


Description

Built like a young Errol Flynn. A good-looking young man but appears a bit wooden. His face rarely shows any personality or emotion.

In a swashbuckler style, he wears a long-sleeve white shirt under a green studded leather vest. Brown leather gauntlets and red leather pants. He sometimes wears a sleeveless chain shirt.

He carries the Mindsword on his back, its hand-shaped pommel grasps a bright green stone.

Around his neck, the clay cross that once belonged to Elaine.


Personality

Hawk is always stone-faced. Emotionless and unblinking. Cool.

Hawk the Slayer - 1980s Fantasy movie - Stare

He speaks clearly and precisely. Serious. His stare is a challenge, accompanied by a tune like the theme from The Good the bad and the ugly  (video).

When coming upon a situation, he’ll talk first to discern his best course of action. Hawk has a knack for walking up on people unaware of his presence. Standing still and silent, unnoticed, judging until he speaks. He stands with his sword in front of him, his hands resting on the pommel.

Hawk has no issue getting involved and dealing out his own justice.


Quotes

“Voltan ! You will die by the sword.”

Witch: “By what name are you called lord ?”
Hawk: “Hawk.”
Witch: “Yes, many times I’ve heard it spoken. You fight for good.”
Hawk: “It is the way I have chosen.”
Witch: “You have saved my life today and I’m in your debt. How can I repay you ?”
Hawk: “I need no payment.”

“We have others to find. Comrades who have fought by my side before.”

“It was no jest.”

(After deciding to travel through the Forest of Weir, a haunted and evil forest)
“Beyond those gates will be as dark as night, but the Mindsword shall light our way.”


DC Universe History

Hawk’s world could be fleshed out, adding details about the magic crystals, the three stones, and the magical races.

Perhaps Hawk and his companions would complement the world of Beowulf or the DC Implosion era Starfire.

The evil wizards controlling the lands remind me of Thundarr the Barbarian’s broken world.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Hawk

A 485 points Character (Without equipment).

Dex: 09 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 04 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Hero
Inf: 03 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Wealth: 009
Init: 018 HP: 010

Skills:
Animal Handling (Horses): 05, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry (Melee, thrown)*: 09

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (the Forest around his father’s castle), Expertise (Forest Survival), Lightning Reflexes, Popularity.

Connections:
Hawk’s Companions (High).

Drawbacks:
Enemy (Voltan, 15 pts), Serious Irrational Attraction to Justice.

Equipment:

  • The Mindsword [BODY 09, Aura of Fear: 03, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 09), Flash: 01, Flight: 03, Reflection/Deflection: 09, Sharpness (EV): 01, Descriptor: Slashing, Piercing, R#0, Cost: 92, Bonuses and limitations:
    • Aura of Fear is Contingent Upon Flash, has a range of 01, and only affects evil creatures (-3FC).
    • Hawk must concentrate on seeing the sword in his hand for Flight to move the sword to his hand (-1).
    • The elfin mindstone is connected to Hawk alone. No one other than Hawk may use the Mindsword’s powers. Although another family member might connect with it if Hawk were out of the picture.]
      The light generated by the sword is about 20′, centered on the gem. Evil creatures recognize it as good and threatening (Aura of Fear). Most flee it.]
  • Dagger [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing, Cost: 8].
  • CHAINMAIL SHIRT [BODY 03, Blunting: 03, Enhance (Slashing, Piercing RV): 02 (cap is 08), Power Loss (Blunting drops to 01 against non-Slashing/Piercing damage), Stealth penalty 2⁄3, Partial Coverage – Vest-level (+1 OV to bypass)].
  • CROSS MEDALLION [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap 05), Descriptor: Piercing, Thief (Concealment (of blade)): 05, Cost: 23]. Has a concealed blade.
  • Hawk has a riding horse with standard stats.

Design notes

This is a low Hero Points world. Most everyone can be killed with a single arrow or sword swing.

Wealth! – Hawk is heir to his father’s castle and lands. I expect money comes with that, through taxes or a family fortune. He and his companions live off the generosity of those they help.

I could only guess at his Wealth score. Maybe a 09? His companions would have 000-002 APs of Wealth, taking odd jobs or mercenary work for their wages.


The film and a sequel

The film had many travel scenes shot with something interesting in the foreground. Like a boa constrictor on a limb or a human skeleton.

The filmmakers wanted it to be family-friendly, so there is no blood in the film.

There were plans for comic books and video games based on this film that never came to be. Though there was a book adaptation based on the movie and an LP.

A sequel, Hawk the Hunter, was written in 1981/83, revised for release and announced in 2009. As of this writing, it hasn’t come to be. The tagline read, “The Slayer returns. The Hunt begins”.

A Kickstarter was set up in 2015 to fund the sequel. But it also failed.

By Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: The 1980 movie Hawk the Slayer, character portrayed by John Terry.

Helper(s): Darci, IMDb, Wikipedia, interviews on Youtube.

Writeup completed on the 3rd of January, 2020.

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