laure: (Laure at Court)
Rode from Durquba to the nearby town of Bariyye, which rose from the desert at dawn. Gorgeous city, an oasis on its outer wall.

Sadly, there's nothing interesting within the city's walls. No new blood for my crew, no interesting peasant quests, nothing at the market to catch my eye. So I left.

While riding in the heat of the desert afternoon, I came across Emir Lakhem, who I stopped to speak with in the hope that he'd need some taxes collected or something similarly remunerative.

He was wearing a very lovely coat, an embroidered yellow and burnt orange number, which looked far too hot to wear in this climate. He asked for my name, which I gave him. Though I come from a distant land, he knew of my name, and asked if he could hire me and my men for an upcoming campaign!

The contract is only binding for a month, so I decided to take it. It'll give my men a chance to test their swords in battle.
laure: (Default)
The tournament master at Narra tells me there are tournaments to be had soon in Sargoth and Durquba. Both of these are fairly far flung from my present location here in Khergit territory, but I've never been to Durquba. It lies in the lands of Sarranid Sultanate. I've longed to go there, because I hear they have some amazing cavalry amongst them and I'd like to hire some on in my company.

To Durquba!
laure: (Battle Laure)
[After an inexplicable hiatus in posting...]

With the recently earned money from the tournament and tax collecting, I have decided to continue my ride through Swadia in search of more hands. I met no new warriors in Dhirim, but I did meet a farmer from the nearby village of Ushkuru who begged us to help rid his village of bandits. Finally, a fight! The battle was swift, we emerged victorious. The peasants offered to pay us in food, but I declined, stating that they needed it more than we did. Not true, perhaps, but I felt as if I'd gained some honor. I could use some honor about now.

After the fight, Ymira came to me. She said that she'd learned a great many things already from just that first battle. Flattering. She also said that she thought a woman of my renown should have a fief by now.

Not this again. It's only the women of my party who say such things, really... should I believe them? Then again, King Graveth is no woman (I'm sure of this, as he has a beard) and he said much the same thing.

Sigh.
laure: (Battle Laure)
Praven. There were two men of interest in town: Artimenner and Bunduk.

Artimenner's an engineer. While I see myself needing such skills eventually (for constructing ladders and siege towers to take castles and cities), I think those days are unfortunately still a ways off. He may prove himself in battle in the meantime, but he wants 300 denars just to come on board. Were I in need of his engineering skills, it would have been worth it, but as it is, I've told him good day. Perhaps our paths will cross later at a more opportune time.

Bunduk, on the other hand, seemed immediately useful and only wanted 200 denars to join on. When I went to check my purse, though, I realized that I only had 548 to my name, and my men would soon need to be paid. I told Bunduk I couldn't afford his services just now.

I had to question myself. Why was I on this grand tour, looking to take on skilled soldiers, when I hadn't the cash flow to support such an endeavor? I realized that, in truth, I'd taken on this new plan out of mere boredom. Not a very wise reason.

The problem: I need money before I can get more men. I've been doing okay with killing bands of raiders, but not enough to really pull me up out onto solid ground. How else to make money, I wondered...

Then it came to me: tournaments. I'd won the tournament in Praven, right after coming to this land. My skills have greatly improved since then. Surely I can risk placing some sly bets on myself and really make some money. I went to the arena in Praven and asked the tournament master where the next tournament would be. Sargoth.

So, to Sargoth it is. We ride.
laure: (Laure at Court)
I have grown bored of killing sea raiders. I have decided instead to ride a grand circuit through Calradia in search of more friends.

While passing through Wercheg, I happened upon Firentis, a poor soul who, in a drunken moment, kind of sort of killed his own brother. He feels bad about it. Honestly. And he is look to redeem himself... through... more murder. But murder of only bad people! To whom he is no relation!

He asked for no money to join me, and the price seemed right.
laure: (Default)
We were heavy with loot after taking on the raiders, so I left sea raider territory behind for a bit and rode to Wercheg, where I made a new friend! Finally!

Her name is Katrin. She's spent the past 30 years following troops, outfitting them with food, wine, women, you name it. But she's over that now, and is looking to be a fighter herself. She's got some skills from all those years on the lines. She wanted 100 denars to join me, but it seems money well spent. She can ride a horse, for starters, and it seems as if she also has skills in trade, which will help us to get better prices on food and more cash for our loot. Like it or not, that's still our primary source of income.

As much as I'm eager to make a name for myself in this land, I must say it's worthwhile to be neutral. It allows me to sit back and watch, to learn which realms are strongest, so that I can decide where to lend my sword when the time is right. Everything in the land of the Nords seems to be on fire as of late. Upon riding into Sargoth I learned that it had recently been taken over by the Vaegirs. Disgraceful.

At any rate, in Sargoth I made another new acquaintance, Baheshtur, who'd been driven from his home by local feuding. He required 400 denars to accompany me, but I think he'll prove himself to be a good investment for my cause. He can ride a horse as well as I can, and is excellent at horse archery.

It's not all a smooth road, however. Baheshtur has only been in our party one day, and already Katrin has come to me, complaining that he is a heathen. She says that after the last battle, she heard him muttering incantations as he looted bodies. When she questioned him, he said that he was giving thanks for our success in battle, but she worries he'll raise the ghosts of the dead to haunt us. I told her that Baheshtur is a capable member of our party and I won't have her picking fights with him.

Sigh. Interpersonal dynamics are hard.
laure: (Battle Laure)
It's been a long but good ride. We've ventured beyond Swadia into other lands.

We've picked off some taiga bandits in the land of Vaegirs, easy looting for some quick cash. I've been through a few cities, but have made no new friends of note, only the nameless souls I recruit from villages... I long for more people of talent and intelligence that I can train for the party's benefit.

Some decent news, though. While traveling along the Nord coast I located the lair of some sea raiders. Sea raiders are quite renowned for being tough fighters, but the challenge is worth it, because they're also known for having incredibly good loot.




Night time attack on the sea raider lair


We were successful! Hello stuff! New clothes for me and Klethi! New shields! Sausages for the men! And, of course, Klethi and the men and I learned a bit from the experience. I think we'll see our fortunes turn soon. I hate to admit it, but I am already look forward to an easier life. I'm not tired of the fighting, of course. I never grow weary of battle. But I am dreaming of easier battles against harder foes. With each passing conflict our skills are improving, as is our gear.
laure: (Banner)
I have decided to traverse the length of Swadia.

In my wanderings, at the tavern in Uxhal, I came across a lass named Klethi, who seems to be a bit of a kleptomaniac, but proficient enough with throwing knives. She said she needed to leave town before it was discovered that she'd stolen a valuable amulet, and I figured she might prove to be a good addition to my band of mercenaries, what with the knife throwing and the sticky fingers. She insisted I give her 200 denars, but it seemed worthwhile. I was broke as a result, but having another lass along for the ride has been nice. I confided in her that I secretly aspire to be queen of this land, all of Calradia, and she said said I'd make a fine queen... particularly if I remembered the people who helped me get there. I shall have to file that little bit away for later.

I rode on toward Dhirim by way of Emirin. I have been successfully recruiting villagers as I traverse the land. We then came across Count Montewar of Swadia. He noted my banner, and suggested that I was the bastard daughter of a puffed-up cattle thief, or that perhaps I had stolen the banner. I was tempted to say something like, "Maybe now I'll take your banner. And your cattle. And your life," but instead checked my tongue and offered my services. The bastard had no tasks for me, then tried to flirt. Outrageous.

I had better luck when I ran into Count Clais, who didn't sass me quite so much, and had a letter he needed to run to Rindyar Castle, which wasn't too far away, so I took the job. A mere 30 denars, but it's a start.
laure: (Laure)
My name is Laure.

Yes, it's pronounced like "lore". Who knows? Perhaps it is from my legend that the word was drawn.

Drawn by the stories I have heard about Calradia and its kingdoms, I have decided to join a caravan to Praven, in the Kingdom of Swadia. Here on these pages I will tell you my tale.

The caravan I joined has taken me through the heartland. Green shoots of wheat, barley and oats are beginning to push through the dark soil of the rolling hills, and on the lower slopes of the snowcapped mountains, herds of cattle and sheep are grazing on the spring grass. Occasionally, I catch sight of one of the great warhorses that are the pride of the Swadian nobility. The land here is rich—but also troubled, as the occasional burnt-out farm bears witness.

It was some relief when I crested a ridge and caught sight of the great port of Praven, its rooftops made golden by the last rays of the setting sun.

But on my very first night here, I was jumped by a thug in the street! )

January 2011

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