I collected taxes for four days. People got angry, but no one actually threatened me with violence, thankfully. I was then able to easily track down the King, and he allowed me to keep 1335 denars for myself. Excellent! I then asked him where Count Meltor was, as getting that other 300 denars is also important. The King told me the Count was at Rindyar Castle... but I've since found out that Rindyar is currently under siege.
That complicates matters.
But I rode that way anyway, through the night...
...and was jumped by some forest bandits. Only seventeen of them, though, and I've been doing a decent job of recruiting men, so I had twenty-five in my number. I decided to take the bandits on rather than pay their toll. My first real battle! My first true test!
Stupid me, I am the only one in my party with a horse, and I rode straight into the bandits before the others could catch up on foot. I hate to admit it, but I was nearly killed. However, ultimately the rest of the men arrived and saved my arse. We lost four recruits, but captured five bandits. That'll make for a bit of change at the next town if there's a ransom broker to be found, and I can always find more green recruits.
Better yet, I was able to finally loot some Not Silly clothes. I was able to ditch the toque for a fashionable black hood, as well as a better outfit than the nomad armor (which, quite frankly, made me look like I had a dead animal draped around my shoulders).
I immediately changed clothes, right there on the field of battle. I am very pleased to tell you that I no longer look like a gnome.
I then headed on to the city Dhirim, in search of the horse merchant. I could use a better steed, and could no doubt give this old swaybacked saddle horse to Klethi, if she knows how to ride. If she doesn't, I can teach her. The ride to Dhirim was somewhat eventful... we nicely eliminated some bandits from the village of Emirin en route, and the villagers paid us in grapes, cheese, and grain, for which my men were grateful.
At Dhirim, after picking the best of the spoils gear-wise for Klethi, I sold off our loot but was unable to find a suitable steed in my price range. Sigh. Oh well, having some money in my pocket is always good, I suppose. I headed on toward Rindyar, recruiting as I went. That siege on Rindyar, it turns out, was unsuccessful. I located Count Meltor, who was out patrolling his lands. 300 more denars for me.
These odd jobs are making me weary. I think I shall instead ride from city to city, looking for allies in the bars and participating in any tournaments I can find. If some bandits show up, we'll fight. Gods willing, we'll win.
At Reyvadin I found a nice courser, and I bought it for 1200 denars. That left me nearly broke, but I'll find a way to make up for that at a tournament soon, I hope. Coursers are fast, and that's what I need right now: speed. Speed to run from larger groups of bandits. Speed to find glory more quickly. Or perhaps I delude myself.
It also turns out Klethi doesn't know how to ride a horse. Silly girl.